Dwayne Haskins did well for himself en route to earning the starting quarterback job by showing patience, Santana Moss says.
As the 1-8 Redskins prepare for the 2-7 Jets this Sunday, interim coach Bill Callahan came out Monday with the news many fans had been waiting to hear since April, when Washington selected Haskins 15th overall.
"Them coaches know, man," says Moss. "One of the things that we do as analysts and those Sunday couch coaches, sitting on the couch telling you what should happen, we just assume that just because who he is and what he's done, that he can go out there and just do that automatically. It's a different ball game in the NFL."
"I tell folks time and time again," he says. "It's a lot that goes through, us as players, leading up to every week to go out there and do what we do. You know, a lot of work behind the scenes – not just on the field – in the classroom. I feel that they're confident with where he's at with breaking things down and knowing what he's seeing from the classroom aspect of it, and then now it's time to transition that and go out there and be able to do that on the field when things are flying at you, like he did the past week.
"I'm happy that he's getting the nod now. I'm hoping that we really can put some things together and get some wins with him. I think it would be great for him to go out there and get a couple wins on his back, and then now you really have a guy that can go into the offseason and put some great work in. And coming back with some of the weapons he's got, man, there's no telling what we can do in the future with this guy."
Between the games he's already played for the Redskins and ther remaining schedule, Haskins has "the eqivalent of a college season" to grow as an NFL passer, Moss notes.
"I look at the games he's played in, he came in two games prior to his first start – that's three games total – now he's got seven games to play," Moss says. "This is the equivalent of a college season for him, so now they can really put something together and allow him to groom himself basically on the job, basically get out there and get something behind himself so he can really go into next season knowing what to expect, and them to know what to expect as an organization with what they have at the quarterback position."
"So if everybody goes out there and handles their business, then you could see some things with this offense, especially with the way we're running the ball right now," he says. "And then now you add in Derrius, he's back. I'm not sure how much burn he's gonna get, but just to know you have Derrius back, and AP running the way he's been running, man you can kind of find your way in the later part of this season and say, as an offense, we can be balanced for a change and really go out here and get some wins."
Moss wants to see one thing from Haskins in these next seven games: growth.
"I just want to continue to see him grow," he says. "We sit out here and say, 'Oh, I want to see him throw this many touchdowns.' No. I just want to see him grow. When I say grow, I want him to be able to... because one of things about this game, you're gonna have setbacks, you're gonna have adversity. I want to see him be able to overcome those situations, know how to say, hey, you know what? Every down, I'm not gonna be the guy.
"Every down, I'm not gonna be able to win. When you have moments when you're about to get sacked or the play just isn't going your way, get rid of the ball, save yourself for the next down, and don't feel like you have to make something of every down. Some downs, that team is gonna be like the Tecmo Bowl game – they're gonna cue what you've got going on, everybody's going to be covered. When you have those plays like that, get rid of the ball and make sure you can save yourself for the next down."
"If he can play the game the way he played last week," Moss says, "even though it wasn't much, but he showed a lot of signs of his growth from the previous two games. If he can continue to do that each outing when he's the starter, then we have a chance to go out there and be successful and he has a chance to be successful."
"I think the more games he plays, the more games he gets under his belt, he will be able to be confident in what he's seeing and what he's doing, and who knows what he can do once he has that bill of confidence," Moss adds. "But from my aspect, I just want to see the kid grow. Every time he experiences a low moment or a high, don't get too high and don't get too low. Stay neutral and go out there and make plays."