There was already pressure on Dwayne Haskins to take a huge step forward in 2020, but more has now arrived. The former first-round pick is embracing all of it though, to his credit, as he readies feverishly to of the Washington Redskins going forward -- having changed his off-the-field conditioning and diet to aid in that mission. Ron Rivera wasted no time endorsing Haskins after signing on as head coach, and you can count Doug Williams in as one who wholeheartedly believes Haskins is the guy who'll turn the organization around from its perennial losing ways.
Williams, the legendary Redskins quarterback who led the team to victory in Super Bowl XXII and landed MVP honors in the process, is the team's senior vice president of player development. He doesn't simply believe the 23-year-old has potential. When it comes to pure arm talent, Williams says there isn't another quarterback selected in the last two NFL drafts who can compete with Haskins.
"I don't care who came out this year, last year, there's not a quarterback that's come out in the last two years that has the ability -- from an arm strength standpoint and arm talent -- that Dwayne Haskins has," said Williams, via NBC Sports.
That, of course, is a bold statement when considering all the variables.
In looking at the quarterbacks who ascended to the ranks of the NFL, Williams is directly stating Haskins is better than players like a promising Drew Lock and Kyler Murray, the incumbent Rookie of the Year; both having also been selected ahead of Haskins last April. There was also flashes of what Gardner Minshew could do, which led to an entire craze surrounding his debut season for the Jacksonville Jaguars en route to seeing Nick Foles shipped out and Minshew seemingly being awarded starting duties in 2020.
And then there's 2020 first-overall pick Joe Burrow -- a Heisman and national championship-winning QB coming off of arguably the best season in the history of college football -- who's being looked at to achieve a more daunting task than even Haskins, for a Cincinnati Bengals team that's struggled more than the Redskins over the last four seasons (and overall as an organization).
Williams doesn't care who you put against Haskins in the category of arm talent though, but does admit the other components are a work-in-progress.
"Dwayne can throw with the best of them," he said. "Now mentally, he has to control the other part, and I think he has aligned himself and realized that's what he has to do and I think that's what he's doing. I think at the end of the day, give him the opportunity to do what everybody is doing, and that is to improve upon his game."
For his part, Haskins says he's committed to doing whatever is necessary to be what the Redskins need.
"I won't necessarily say it's just about football, it's with everything in life," Haskins said, via ESPN. "I'm going to deliver, it's never a question about that. ... I just wanted to be a man about my business and that's on and off the field. Not that I wasn't prior, but now turning 23, still being young and growing, whenever there were questions about immaturity or lack of whatever it was -- I was going to change that [perception] whether it was true or not. I needed to do that for me.
"I applied pressure with everything I did this offseason, with my body and how I studied, and it's making a big difference."
Williams believes the same, and now Haskins has to prove he's not just good, but that he's the best -- at least as far as his arm goes.