In his first season as Washington Redskins' head coach, Ron Rivera is facing a tough decision the closer it gets to training camp in that he must determine who will lead his offense going into the 2020 NFL season. Currently, second year quarterback Dwayne Haskins is expected to start. That could easily change pending a number of factors. Of course Haskins will be expected to exhibit complete command of the offense. He will need to show an ability to not only grasp offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system, but be able to execute it efficiently. Another factor is 3rd year quarterback Kyle Allen who the Redskins spent a 5th round pick to acquire this off season.
Allen is expected to be Ron Rivera's contingency plan in the event Haskins is not ready to be the starter by the time the season begins. Allen played under the father and son duo of Norv and Scott Turner in Carolina, so he is very familiar with the system, and has starter experience after playing while Cam Newton was injured last season. He could possibly surprise some and prove he is a better quarterback than Dwayne Haskins right now, which I'm pretty sure he is anxious to show is indeed the case. Ron Rivera has continuously indicated that position battles will be commencing all over the field, and quarterback is no exception to that. Kyle Allen was brought in to compete for the starting position, not to just back up Dwayne Haskins. Not only does Allen know the system, but he is still young so there is more than enough room for him to continue to improve, and be a quality quarterback. Rivera has spoken very highly of Allen, and was willing to give up a draft pick to get him, so he clearly sees value in having him on the roster.
The Redskins coaching staff have some decisions to make as far as the depth chart is concerned and minimal off season work. Kyle Allen is the insurance policy Rivera needed in the circumstance they do not receive ample practice time prior to the season, and/or if Haskins isn't ready to play. Allen's acquisition was ideal on a number of levels. Financially, he is still in the last year of his rookie contract so he will only eat up $675,000 in cap space, which is essentially pennies. Schematically, he knows the system, and can help others grasp the concepts and terminologies. I can't forget to mention, the kid is pretty good at football too, and has proven he has the capability to make plays at the NFL level. I would venture to say giving up a fifth round pick for a young quarterback that has starter experience was well worth the investment in Rivera's eyes. He knows exactly the type of teammate he is getting, and the type of player.
It's going to be interesting to see the quarterback competition unfold. Dwayne Haskins has been working hard according to his physique and his videos that are frequently posted on social media. The question is will his work translate into production? Only time will tell, but don't expect Kyle Allen to concede anything to Haskins in regards to the competition to be the Redskins' starting quarterback. Rivera is fully expecting Haskins to be pushed to the competitive limit by Allen, and he wouldn't have it any other way, and has made that clear on more than one occasion. When training camp starts, I will have my eyes on the way each quarterback commands the huddle and leads the offense. Chemistry matters, so the interaction between the quarterbacks and the receivers will be something to keep an eye on as well.
You would think in order for Allen to overtake Haskins for the starting job, it would take a total collapse by Haskins for that to take place. That may be valid, but there is nothing like being a head coach and having two capable quarterbacks on your roster. The NFL season is long and painful for players. Haskins can attest to this as he battled an ankle issue the second portion of his rookie season. In the event Haskins gets injured, the offense doesn't have to modify the playbook at all. With Kyle Allen already knowing the system, he will be able to execute everything inside the playbook putting no limitations on an offense without Haskins. It's an invaluable luxury that the Redskins haven't had this side of Colt McCoy, but perhaps this concept of depth at every position is really beginning to materialize. As you were…
Photo Credit: forbes.com