Jay Gruden impressed with Dwayne Haskins early at rookie minicamp

Yahoo Sports
He only knows about 20 percent of the playbook, but new Washington quarterback <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/31847/" data-ylk="slk:Dwayne Haskins">Dwayne Haskins</a> has impressed Jay Gruden early at rookie minicamp. (AP/Nick Wass)
He only knows about 20 percent of the playbook, but new Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins has impressed Jay Gruden early at rookie minicamp. (AP/Nick Wass)

Dwayne Haskins made his debut with the Washington Redskins this weekend, competing at the first two days of the team’s rookie minicamp on Friday and Saturday.

Though it’s still early, coach Jay Gruden said he was extremely pleased with the former Ohio State standout.

"We're at the very bare minimum right now, but very impressed by his skillset for sure. Can really spin it," Gruden said Saturday, via the NFL Network. "He's just a big, solid, fundamentally sound guy. He's just a big presence in there and the ball just jumps off his hand. He also has the ability to speed it up and he has great touch, as well, for some of the short balls.

"He's displayed that he can make, in this short period of time, all the throws. ... He's kind of displayed a little bit everything these two days."

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Washington selected Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick in the NFL draft last month after his standout season at Ohio State, where he threw for more than 4,800 yards and had 50 touchdowns. The 22-year-old finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting last season, too, trailing only Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa.

While he said he only knows about 20 percent of Washington’s playbook, Gruden sounds confident that Haskins will get there in time.

And, after only two days, Gruden said Haskins has made several plays that made his head turn.

"It's just a lot you're throwing at him," Gruden said, via the NFL Network. "It's a long process, but he's a bright guy, he's wanting to work at it and he will work at it. And I was impressed.”

Preparing for a quarterback battle

The Redskins will have a full on quarterback battle at some point this summer to determine their starting quarterback, and Gruden expects Haskins to participate.

Colt McCoy is expected to be healthy again before the season starts, after he’s fully recovered from multiple leg surgeries, and Washington traded for former Denver Broncos quarterback Case Keenum in March.

Initially, Gruden said, he’s going to let the three go full out in the position battle, though he feels Haskins is talented enough to hold his own as a rookie.

"We're going to go at it, throw the ball out there and let these guys compete," Gruden said, via the NFL Network. "I think [Haskins] obviously displayed enough of a skillset to warrant the 15th pick in the draft and to give him an opportunity to see how far he can take this thing."

Either way it shakes out, however, the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year said he’s going to carry himself as if he’s the starting quarterback in Washington.

Then whatever happens, happens.

“Once I understand the playbook and understand what I’m looking at, it’ll be easy as far as the timing and where the ball needs to go,” Haskins said, via the Washington Post. “I’ll be ready for whatever the coaches want from me, whether that’s starting right away or next year or during the season.

"I’m going to prepare like I’m the starter. That’s me in the weight room, me in the meeting rooms ... every opportunity for me is an opportunity for me to showcase that I’m the guy.”

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