Redskins OC pleased with Dwayne Haskins in virtual meetings

The Washington Redskins will have to wait a little longer to see how quarterback Dwayne Haskins looks on the field, but they're pleased with what they've heard from him so far in virtual team meetings.

"When we're talking to him [on Zoom sessions], he's speaking the language," Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner said on a conference call. "It's pretty easy to tell if they get it or not. Dwayne's doing a great job."

Haskins, who is learning his second offense in as many NFL seasons, is expected to be the starting quarterback this season after starting seven games as a rookie. However, new coach Ron Rivera has said that if there's a truncated training camp, then Kyle Allen would have an advantage.

Washington traded for Allen to serve as a backup. He spent the past two seasons playing for Rivera in Carolina and knows Turner's offense.

Alex Smith also is on the roster, but he still faces obstacles in his quest to return from his 2018 leg injury.

The goal, however, remains to develop Haskins, the team's first-round pick in 2019. For Turner, that means doing it via phone calls or virtual learning during the coronavirus pandemic. He quizzes his quarterbacks daily just to see what they've retained from the prior session.

During film study, Tuner will just ask what coverage the defense is playing. If given the correct answer, Turner will then ask Haskins why he picked that particular coverage to gauge the depth of his knowledge.

One time, Haskins told him the coverage as the safeties were aligned in a two-deep look. But Haskins noticed the weakside linebacker was moved over, tipping him off that one safety would rotate down to fill that void.

"That is something that we talked about a few days earlier and we picked up on it because he saw it," Turner said. "That is just a very simple example. Things like that. 'Hey, what is this motion called?' And he will answer correctly.

"It isn't always like that. Sometimes you have to go back over things, but that happens with everyone. When you can have that dialogue and they can give you the correct answer and are repeating the things that you talked about in earlier sessions, that is when you know it is really starting to click."

Haskins' rookie season was rocky. The coaches didn't want to draft him at No. 15, feeling he wouldn't provide immediate help for a staff in a must-win year. In Haskins' first four games, including two starts, he posted a 13.9 total quarterback rating with two touchdowns and five interceptions.

In his last four games, however, he reversed the touchdown to interception numbers and his total QBR rose to 34.6. And in his last two starts, his total QBR was 73.0 -- thanks to four touchdowns and no interceptions.

"It takes a while for guys to truly believe that they can do this and that they can play in this league," Turner said. "It is highly competitive, and it humbles everyone. What he did the last month of the season, he truly believed that he could go out and do that. You want to build on those things."

Turner liked how Haskins handled the pressure in the pocket. In college, Turner said, pocket passers too often are throwing from wide-open pockets -- something that rarely happens in the NFL. Turner said one of the first things he did after taking this job was to study how Haskins handled tight pockets.

"His eyes stayed down field. He was able to push the ball down the field in those 20-, 30-, 40-yard throws with velocity," Turner said. "Not needing a lot of space to generate with his body. He is a big guy and he is hard to bring down.

"You are going to make money in this league by standing in there and making throws down the field when it is tough. He has shown enough of that."

Haskins has posted multiple videos of him working out, showing a body more sculpted than at this time a year ago. He posted a video on Instagram of him throwing to receivers such as Stefon Diggs, whom he used to throw to while still in high school, and Antonio Brown. Turner said Haskins also has been throwing to Redskins receivers Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon.

"You can tell he's putting the work in away from the meeting time," Turner said of Haskins. "Obviously as a coach and putting in this new offense, I'd love to have more time with him. I think that we're doing a great job with making the most of the situation."