Haskins Looks to Revitalize Career with Steelers
With an aging Ben Roethlisberger creating uncertainty at the quarterback position this past offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team decided to take a chance and sign Dwayne Haskins off of the Washington Football Team.
The 24-year-old and former Ohio State Buckeye is looking for a chance to start fresh and create a name for himself in the quarterback group that features Roethlisberger as well as Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs.
Haskins Has Much to Prove
Proving himself on the squad also is serving as Haskins’ motivation to play better.
“Just coming here to Pittsburgh, I want to prove to the coaching staff and my teammates just how much I love football and that I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here,” he said. “I want to show them that my mind is in the right place and I’m willing to work and earn a spot here.”
Pittsburgh took a flier in January and signed Haskins to a futures contract after spending his first two seasons with the Washington Football Team. In those two seasons, he struggled, only winning three out of thirteen games as a starter, and throwing more interceptions (14) than touchdowns (12).
Not only has the Potomac, Maryland native dealt with issues in his play, but he’s also had people question his maturity levels. But it’s not easy with the pressure a franchise quarterback deals with to suffer from stability and security problems also.
New Level of Confidence
However, Haskins exudes confidence that the issues that plagued him in Washington are now behind him.
“My expectation here is to make everyone who decided to take a chance on me look good,” he said. “I tried the best that I could and it just didn’t work out the way I wanted it to. I’m grateful to be here in Pittsburgh and thankful for the opportunity to have a shot. I want to work as hard as I possibly can and let my work speak for itself.”
One instance during the COVID pandemic helped spring up some maturity questions about Haskins. In December following a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, he was seen partying with multiple people that were not wearing a facemask. In turn, the team stripped him of his “C” captain patch and was also fined $40,000. A little more than a week after that occurrence, he was released by the team.
Haskins in the Steel City
With Pittsburgh, Haskins is now looking to regain the form of his senior season at Ohio State in 2018, when he finished with 4,831 passing yards, 50 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions. His new head coach, Mike Tomlin, has become more intrigued by how his new quarterback will develop from an on-field standpoint.
“Really, I’ve been more concerned about Dwayne the person, kind of getting to know him and getting an understanding of what he’s been through and how that’s shaped him positively and negatively, and affected the growth and development of his game,” Tomlin said. “I just want to get to know the young man and help him grow in that way.”
Those comments and praise have ignited a flame under Haskins to perform better. The words from his coaches and fellow quarterbacks also motivated him to leave what happened in Washington behind.
“They expect a lot out of me, as far as being prepared and being the best version of myself,” he said. “It’s up to me to allow that to speak for itself.”
If Dwayne Haskins can prove that his maturity and play issues are behind him, he will develop himself into a solid NFL quarterback in the Steel City.