Urban Meyer defends Dwayne Haskins, says Redskins were “a mess” and had to surround QB with “elite culture”


As Dwayne Haskins enters his second NFL season with the Washington Redskins after a rookie year that can be described as turbulent, he still has a supporter himself: Urban Meyer. The man who coached Haskins in his 4,831-yard, 50-touchdown season at Ohio State in 2018, which led the Redskins to win the 15th overall QB in the 2019 NFL Draft, is still a supporter from Haskins – however, his recent comments made in support of Haskins came with a little take.

Talking to Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks on the Move the sticks podcast, Meyer expressed his belief that Haskins can still succeed in the NFL, but he cannot do it alone. The Redskins need to surround him with “very good players” and an “elite culture” – you know, like the kind of players and the culture that surrounded him at Ohio State.

“I hate being so simplistic about it, but you better surround him with very good players,” said Meyer, via NFL.com. “The NFL is amazing to me, the minute a team picks up a quarterback, puts it on a very bad team or there are a lot of cultural issues. What I do, I don’t want to start throwing stones, but I know, I talk to my guys, I talk to a lot of these players.

“So it’s the quarterback’s fault now that their coach was fired after which, [Week 5]. They were in disarray and it’s the quarterback’s fault now. I wish the university was as simple as that. For whatever reason, it’s not the quarterback’s fault, it’s the coach’s fault. For me, it’s a question of culture and leadership. Do you want Dwayne to be a great player? Surround him with very good players. Surround him with an elite culture. “

It is safe to say that the Redskins do not have the same type of list or culture as Ohio State. They have only made the playoffs twice in the past decade. They haven’t finished with double-digit wins since 2012, the year of RG3 rookie with Mike Shanahan.

“So it’s the quarterback’s fault? Said Meyer. “It doesn’t matter if their coach was fired, the place is a mess, there it is, it goes on, it goes on. Lots of things I heard behind the scenes – because, again, I have multiple players there – but it was Dwayne’s fault. “

Meyer is not wrong. Jay Gruden got shot in the middle of the season. Left tackle stud Trent Williams – now with the 49ers – did not play all season he was quarreling with the team over a serious medical problem. While rookie receiver Terry McLaurin broke with 919 yards and seven touchdowns, a second playmaker was entirely absent. Ball carrier Chris Thompson, now with Jacksonville, finished second on the team receiving yards with 378. With Haskins as a starter, the Redskins went 2-5, but it is not as if they fared better without him. They went 1-8 in the games started by Case Keenum and Colt McCoy.

The fact is, the Redskins had problems. Haskins was not the only problem in Washington.

Meyer is not wrong, but there is also an argument to be made that his comments are not Haskins’ most resounding endorsement. Teams often write first-round shifts to raise the team around them. Large shifts – from a Patrick Mahomes to a Deshaun Watson – are said to improve the lower teammates around them. Watson dragged the Texans to the playoffs despite having a terrible offensive line and coach Bill O’Brien. In 2018, Mahomes almost took the Chiefs to the Super Bowl despite playing one of the worst defenses in the league. Having a great quarterback makes it much easier to build the list, because a great quarterback can cover a team’s shortcomings.

But each young quarter cannot be another Mahomes or Watson. These are unreasonable expectations. Haskins can be a successful NFL quarterback without ever being as good as Mahomes or Watson. There are a number of good quarters who need help around them to thrive. A former Redskins quarterback, now in Minnesota, comes to mind. No one says that Kirk Cousins ​​is not a good quarter (well, I’m sure someone is there). He just needs help, as do the vast majority of other NFL quarters. I don’t think anyone thinks Jimmy Garoppolo would be about the same success if he didn’t land in San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan and a busy list. Support casts count.

To Meyer’s credit, he stayed true to his reasoning when he spoke of Joe Burrow, the top pick in this year’s overall draft, who is asked to straighten a 2-14 Bengals squad. He thinks the same logic applies to him.

“You know, Joe Burrow, he’s at the Cincinnati Bengals now and they were 2-14 last year,” said Meyer. “Do you want to know how Joe Burrow is going to be great?” Surround him with great culture, great leadership and great players, he will be great. Otherwise, it will not do so. “

Finally, some good news for Haskins: the Redskins seem to be slowly recovering. They fired longtime CEO Bruce Allen. They hired Ron Rivera, a respected veteran coach who took the Panthers to a Super Bowl. If he can’t change the culture, few would – other than Bill Belichicks and Andy Reids and Sean Paytons of the NFL. At No. 2 in the repechage, the Redskins could very well have recruited a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa and abandoned the Haskins experience after one season. Instead, they took advantage of the Chase Young hunter. the single quarterback they added was Kyle Allen, who is best suited for a backup role. Haskins will have a tremendous opportunity to emerge as the team’s starter given the lack of competition on the list.

The only problem? The Redskins may be progressing, but to undo all of the damage that has gone before, they will likely need more than one offseason to really climb. It might not matter to Haskins, who may already be running out of time to convince the team that he is their long-term quarterback.

If he wins the position, he will have to show more than a year ago, when he completed 58.6% of his passes, on average 151.7 yards per game and 6.7 yards per attempt, launched an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions (7), and accumulated a score of 76.1 passers-by. If he struggles and the Redskins make their way to another top five choice, whether it’s his fault or not, he could find himself replaced by another first round pick like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields.


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