Esiason: Move at QB was necessary so players didn't turn on Rivera originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
The decision on the surface isn't too shocking; Haskins was underwhelming and unimpressive almost every time he took the field. But Allen is no home run, either, as he struggled plenty during the 2019 season where he started 12 games for Rivera in Carolina.
Former quarterback Boomer Esiason knows what it takes to be a successful NFL quarterback. The former Maryland star played 14 years in the league, earning four Pro Bowl honors and even won the NFL MVP in 1988.
Esiason believes that Washington's move at quarterback was not so much about inserting Allen into the lineup as it was about removing Haskins.
"If he's making the same mistakes, the other guys on the team are going to turn on the coaches," Esiason said on Boomer and Gio. "They've got to give the team the best chance to win."
When hearing Esiason's comments, it's hard to forget one comment Rivera made following Haskins' four-turnover performance in a Week 3 loss to Cleveland.
"There are a lot of guys that gave their hearts and put their heart out on the field," Rivera said. "Truthfully, they deserve better."
Throughout the offseason and first four weeks of the 2020 campaign, Rivera has preached growth and development for Haskins. Before this season, Haskins had just seven NFL starts under his belt. And prior to that, the quarterback only started one full season in college at Ohio State. Growing pains were to be expected with him.
But over the past two weeks, especially following the Cleveland game, the head coach made it clear that they could not see any more regression from the 23-year-old QB.
Esiason believes Rivera's decision to ultimately bench Haskins has to do with just that: regression.
"That tells me they've had enough with Dwayne Haskins not knowing what he's doing on the football field," Esiason said. "The mistakes must be enormous mistakes, a lot of mental mistakes, a lot of mistakes at the line of scrimmage, throwing the ball away and giving it away. These kids have got to learn."
However, Esiason also isn't sure if Allen is any better of a quarterback that Haskins is.
"Kyle Allen, he's another guy that puts the ball in dangerous places," he said. "I was looking at PFF, and they ranked him as one of the worst quarterbacks in the league in terms of putting the ball in a place where the defense can get their hands on it."
Asked if making a switch so early is fair, Esiason said that it is the nature of the NFL. However, Esiason isn't ready to fully close to book on Haskins' chapter in D.C.
"Maybe Dwayne is just immature. He's a young kid and he's got a lot to learn," Esiason said. "He's got to learn what it takes to be an NFL quarterback. Hopefully, Alex Smith is teaching him how to do that. Sometimes the light goes on a little bit later for some players."