Dwayne Haskins is headed to the bench as the Washington Football Team announced that Kyle Allen will take over the starting duties with Alex Smith as the backup. Haskins started four games this season, throwing for 939 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.
The 15th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft is coming off his best start of the season, where he threw for a career-high 314 yards and ran for a touchdown against the Ravens. However, that wasn't enough to convince coach Ron Rivera to keep Haskins atop the depth chart at quarterback.
Washington (1-3) has an opportunity to take hold of the division and make a run at the playoffs, as none of the teams in the NFC East have won more than a single game through four weeks. Should Washington make the playoffs with Allen as the starter, they'd be chasing their first Super Bowl since 1991 when Pro Football Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs was the coach.
"I just have great respect for him," Gibbs said of Rivera in an exclusive interview with CBS Sports. "I just think a lot of him and his coaching staff. So I think the decisions they make there are going to be best for the team. Now I would say for Dwayne, a lot of people look at this and say this is a huge deal, which it is, but I think back to in my career working with Mark Rypien. When we started Mark I think we went for about six or seven games and we were turning the ball over and we benched Mark. And I think it's one of the best things that maybe had happened to him. He had the chance to sit back, study, understand what we were trying to get across and when he came back from that he obviously took right off and led us and eventually was MVP of the Super Bowl."
Gibbs knows a thing or two about Super Bowl championships, having won three of them. In fact, Gibbs is the only coach in NFL history to have won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks. However, he doesn't believe this is the end of the road for Haskins.
"This is part of the NFL," Gibbs continued. "I think sometimes this is a growing pain situation and I think he's so young. I think his whole future is in front of him. Believe me, I think if he handles this the right way, I think this could be something that would help him in his career, not hurt him."
"I think if he handles this the right way, I think this could be something that would help him in his career, not hurt him.”— Matt Mayer (@MatthewMayerCBS) October 7, 2020
Joe Gibbs discusses the Dwayne Haskins benching in Washington and calls back on a similar situation where a QB he benched went on to win Super Bowl MVP. pic.twitter.com/9Dy9aXDYcO
The 79-year-old, Gibbs, also said he was excited for Allen to get the opportunity to start. He also was happy to see Smith in the backup role after coming back from a gruesome leg injury in Week 11 of the 2018 season. Gibbs also addressed the overall direction of the team.
"I think right now some of the things that have happened there from a culture standpoint with everybody, I think Dan is addressing. I know bringing in Jason Wright, I think he's taken a real strong stance against things. I know what kind of person Ron Rivera is and I feel great about him. I think Dan has made some good decisions there and I think they're changing direction obviously in some areas that needed to be done. But I think right now, I really am kind of excited about where we are. The fact that Dan was able to recruit and get Ron, a lot of teams were after Ron, and for Washington to win a chance to get this coach, I think it's a big deal for us and I think he'll make good decisions for them. I like the direction that we're going."