Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Washington Football Team QB Breakdown

Remember, I am a huge Redskins Washington Football Team fan. I thought it would be good for me to exercise my analytical muscle and breakdown the team's skill positions in the aftermath of the draft and leading up to the eventually preseason. First up, we have the quarterbacks.

Roster Changes

Substractions

  • Case Keenum
  • Colt McCoy

Additions

  • Kyle Allen
  • Steven Montez

Haskins and Allen in 2019

Player Breakdown

Dwayne Haskins

Haskins has had his ups and downs last year playing for Washington, but not all of it is his fault. He was selected at number 15 overall and started playing for a coach that really didn't want him. Preseason saw flashes of excellence, but for the most part, average play. No one can doubt Haskins' commitment to the team, however, as he working hard during virtual training sessions and consistently working out with other players to hone his skill. He even lost weight in order to be more mobile with the football. Something that must have struck a nerve with him as other analysts have said he can only pass with a perfect pocket. Haskins finished the season with 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions and throwing for 1365 yards. He was sacked 25 times in 9 games but we can assume many of these were the result of a weakened offensive line since Pro-Bowler LT Trent Williams did not play for the season. Haskins is poised to be QB1 and has the potential to be a franchise player. However, he is still a kid and only had one year of college. He will need to be developed over the years and Rivera is just the coach to do that. 

Kyle Allen

Allen also saw his fair share of ups and downs last season as well. Allen was an undrafted rookie in 2018 and saw limited action. He ended up starting the last game of the season. In 2019, he was thrust into starting action after Cam Newton was injured earlier on in the season. In his 13 games played, Allen threw a respectable 3,322 yards and completed 62% of his passes. He threw 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. However, like I stated, Allen had flashes of awesome play and then absolute garbage. He was sacked a ridiculous 46 times and lost 7 of his 13 fumbles. At the end of the season, he was benched in favor of rookie Will Grier. I do not think this is indicitive of absolute poor play, but I do think he is not there as a QB1. Allen will get you through the game and maybe two after, but to have him play for an extended period of time right now...I don't think he has it in him.

Montez playing for Colorado.

Steven Montez

Washington was able to pick up the former University of Colorado Buffalo quarterback and not spend a draft pick. During his four years playing for the Buffalos, Montez posted decent stats. He threw for 9710 yards, while completing 62.4% of his passes. He also threw for 63 touchdowns versus 33 interceptions. He is a great pickup. Even better since no draft pick was wasted to get him. He will be on the active roster but do not count on him getting much action. We are likely to see him play more, perhaps even start at the end of the season if Washington does not make the playoffs in order to assess his potential. 

The Latest

Many people questioned why Washington did not go for some of the higher market free agents during the offseason. This included Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Rivera trained Cam Newton. The big one was Newton, as he was a former NFL MVP under Rivera and is probably the one QB in the entire league that is most confident and familiar with his system. First and foremost, this would most likely have detrimental effects on Haskins. He is the first-round draft pick and needs to have the confidence to take over the team. You do not draft a QB in the first round and not use him. He was obviously taken to start for the team. If you were to pick up a veteran QB, like Newton, you are just telling Haskins you do not trust him. He already has a mentor in Smith so that argument is just out of the question. Jacksonville was in the same boat with what to do with Gardner Minshew. They opted to put faith in Minshew and this is exactly what Washington needs to do. I have confidence in Scott Turner and Ken Zampese to develop Haskins into the quarterback Washington needs. 

Analysis

Smith will likely contribute as a mentor
for the rather young QB corps.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Haskins is going to get the starting job. Washington under Gruden rarely had three QBs on the full-time roster. This led to complications as Washington suffered injuries throughout his tenure as coach. This was brought to light in the 2018 season as Washington decided to only start the season with Alex Smith and Colt McCoy and went through four starting QBs in a matter of two to three weeks. This led to the signing of journeyman QBs Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson. It is likely for this reason, even though the team has new strength and conditioning coaches, Coach Rivera opted to go with three QBs to make it through the season. He decided to go with Montez taking him as an undrafted free agent. He posted decent numbers as a QB for the University of Colorado. Honestly, a great pickup and didn't have to use a draft pick for it. As for the QBs that left, I am glad Colt McCoy is gone. His fantastic college-level play never really translated to the professional level. He had one good game against the Cowboys and as a result, fans bowed to him. He was better for a less talented Browns team. We are saving a couple a million by not having him on the roster and can use the money elsewhere. As for Case Keenum, I believe he was only here as a role player. We needed a somewhat decent player to get us through the season and that was not McCoy. I never thought he was going to be there long and I fine with his departure. The wild card is still Alex Smith who is still on the team's roster since his probable career-ending injury in 2018. While currently cleared for football action, he is still on the PUP roster. Given the almost two-year-long battle with the injury and subsequent complications from surgery, it is very doubtful he will play and quite honestly, may never play again. He will continue to support the organization as a mentor to the young QBs on the team. It was honestly a heartbreaking injury not only for Smith and his family but for the team. It was likely Washington would have won the division and had a playoff berth. My best assessment is Smith will not play this season and if he does, will be at the end of the season to get back in the groove if Washington does not make the playoffs. Smith very well may be able to play in the future, but will never be at the level he was before the injury. He will likely retire in the next two years.

Projected Depth Chart

  1. Dwayne Haskins
  2. Kyle Allen
  3. Steven Montez
  4. Alex Smith 

If you would like me to conduct an analysis on your team, please reach out to me and let me know. I am always looking for more ways to hone my analytical skills. Yes, I will even analyze other NFC East teams as I need to remain objective in my writing and analysis. I look forward to your responses and questions.

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