Ron Rivera admits Dwayne Haskins’ work ethic, commitment were issues

Ron Rivera finally said what everyone always knew: Dwayne Haskins‘ work ethic and commitment were issues. Those issues factored into Haskins being benched and eventually released.

In a podcast interview with Colin Cowherd, the Washington coach addressed Haskins’ troubled tenure with the team. Washington cut the quarterback after only two seasons and 13 starts, and Haskins signed with the Steelers on Jan. 21.

“You know what? I tried to come to terms with him,” Rivera told Cowherd, via Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post. “He’s a very talented player. He’s got an NFL arm, a legit arm, and there’s a part of him that he wants to, but something keeps getting in the way. I’m not sure what it was, and that was the hard part because he puts in the time, and then he doesn’t. And you’re wondering, ‘Where is he? What’s he doing?’ You see him over there and you go, ‘OK,’ and then you don’t see him. So I think the thing he needs to do is just prioritize. The kid, as I said, he’s talented, and if he ever does get it, he’s going to make an impact.”

When Rivera benched Haskins after the first four games, he said other quarterbacks on the roster with experience in the system gave Washington the best chance to win the NFC East. (He was right: Kyle Allen and then Alex Smith led Washington to the division title.)

When Smith became the starter in Week 10, Rivera alluded to Haskins’ work ethic.

Haskins went 3-10, completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his time in Washington.

When Washington drafted Haskins with the 15th overall choice in 2019, at the urging of owner Dan Snyder, the team thought it had its franchise quarterback. Instead, Washington is back at the drawing board.

Rivera answered Cowherd’s question about what he looks for in a quarterback by citing toughness, a desire to win for teammates and fearlessness. Rivera said he admired Cam Newton‘s fearlessness and Smith’s toughness.

Washington will explore “all options” at quarterback this offseason after moving on from Haskins and Smith.

Taylor Heinicke and Allen are returning.