Hustling Backwards 101: Skins Have Nothing To Lose By Starting Haskins

The Washington Redskins fans want to see Dwayne Haskins on the field in Week 4 and they let it be known on Sunday after starting quarterback Case Keenum had five turnovers and took four sacks, against Khalil Mack and the Bears’ defense in a 31-15 loss. 

The FedEx Field crowd was sporadically chanting for Haskins to replace him. It seems like the logical thing to do at this point.  

The Redskins aren’t going anywhere or winning anything anytime soon. That’s just the facts of the situation. I’m not sure what bill of goods the franchise is trying to sell its fans, but the deal fell through. 

Unfortunately, head coach Jay Gruden is still playing franchise killer and says the fans aren’t going to get their wish because he wants “continuity” at the quarterback position.

“Not really, no,” Gruden said in response to a question about a quarterback change. “ I think the most important thing is we have to have some continuity. You know, I can’t be changing people every five minutes here. I’ve got to give Case an ample opportunity to play with these new guys,” Gruden told the media after being asked if he’ll make a switch. “This is his first time in this offense, really. Donald Penn, Ereck Flowers, their first time in this offense. Terry (McLaurin). Trey Quinn only played two games last year.

“I’ve made this point before: We’re not going to be perfect but we need to be better and I think we can get better. Otherwise, if I didn’t think we had a chance to get better, then I would make a change. But I feel like Case has the tools to become a very efficient quarterback in this offense and get us some victories here moving forward.”

The Future Is Now In The NFL

That’s some bs. 

At 0-3, there’s no reason to keep playing Keenum. Get Haskins in and let him have 13 games to get ready for next season when you draft high again and are able to place more talent around him. That’s what Washington needs to do. Stevie Wonder can see that.

Playing Keenum is typical Washington Redskins nonsense. Always hustling backward. Mike Shanahan destroyed RG3’s career and a bright future for the Redskins by mismanaging his talents. Now Gruden’s hesitance and stubbornness ‘ despite having a 0-3 record with Keenum at the helm, is taking all of the hope out of Washington’s season already. 

The season is already a wrap for these guys. 

Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, 186 teams have started a season 0-3, and just six of them (3.2 percent) made the playoffs. The fans are getting mighty restless. They want to see Haskins unleashed. Providing hope for the future would really be this season’s only saving grace for Redskins fans.   

Continuity Over Common Sense

Gruden has been an NFL head coach since 2014 with the Washington Redskins. In that time frame, he has just two winning seasons and has a career 35-47-1 record. He’s also had six quarterbacks start a game for him over that time frame, so I get the continuity thing. 

The Redskins have lacked continuity at the QB position for the last two decades. In fact, from 2000 to 2015, the Redskins had 16 different starting quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins was the first Redskins starting QB to start every game for three consecutive seasons (2015-17) since Joe Theisman in the 80s. 

Stability at quarterback is the key to a head coach and franchise’s long-term viability. Just ask the Patriots, Chargers, Steelers or Giants, who entering the season,  all had starters who have held their jobs since at least 2004. 

This is why the Redskins drafted Haskins, no? He’s talking like Keenum is a three-year starter with some playoff success. He’s making himself look really bad.

Last Of The Big Three

Redskins fans are tired of losing or being a middle of the pack Wild card contenders and some have been calling for Gruden’s head for a couple of seasons now. When the Redskins got the opportunity to draft the nation’s best passer with the 15th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, they took it. He was the last of The Big Three quarterbacks taken in the first round, but many considered him the best. 

Arizona picked Kyler Murray. The Giants picked Daniel Jones. Both of those guys are now starting for losing teams and getting a chance to grow with the franchise.

Murray hasn’t won an NFL game yet, but he became the second quarterback in history to start his career with two 300 yard passing games and has provided hope for a team lacking the talent to compete with NFL Top Dogs right now. Jones won his first start and became an overnight New York hero on Sunday when he threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns in his NFL debut.

The same could happen for Haskins if he gets a shot.

Murray started the season at the helm with the full confidence of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and as soon as the Giants season showed any slippage legend Eli Manning was replaced with Jones.  

The Redskins picked up journeyman Case Keenum in March and he supposedly won the job over Haskins in the preseason. The Skins decided to roll with a guy who will always be considered a stop-gap quarterback instead of going through the growing pains of developing their young stud and potential franchise star. 

Unfortunately, the organization as a whole, from owner Dan Synder to head coach Jay Gruden is lost in the past —  from its cultural awareness to the product on the field, to respecting its cheerleaders and the concerns of women in general. Always a step behind how the rest of the league is moving. Rarely if ever making the right move at the right time.

Every day that Jay Gruden and the Redskins don’t start Haskins is a step back for the future of the organization.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.