/Dwayne Haskins rapid downfall in Washington not just QBs doing – NFL.com

Dwayne Haskins rapid downfall in Washington not just QBs doing – NFL.com


Still, the Washington organization itself shares in the big-picture blame for Haskins’ downfall. Haskins was thrust into circumstances that would have made it difficult for anybody to succeed, and he was operating in a particularly bright spotlight because he was drafted by his hometown team. Washington has embraced and spit out players before — check in on Robert Griffin III — and it was hard to miss the whiff of resentment from the coaching staff to Haskins last year and Rivera’s reluctance to cast his lot with Haskins this season. Haskins didn’t create the difficult culture in Washington, where alliances among decision-makers were created and undone with a frequency that required a flow chart, but he is just the latest example of how the Byzantine politics of the place could undermine individuals and torpedo the football product.

At just 23 years old, the machinations in Washington had to be hard to process for a player who was used to success and stardom. Haskins looked and sounded miserable after Sunday’s game. As frustrating as his play and behavior has been, it was impossible not to feel badly about how defeated he appeared to be.

“Definitely the hardest week of my life,” Haskins said Sunday night. “I just want to bounce back and move forward and pray and get my life together.”

If he does — frankly, even if he doesn’t — Haskins is certain to get an opportunity, and probably more than one, to resurrect his career elsewhere. He is young and physically gifted and a fresh start might be exactly what Haskins needs, away from the perception that the owner had foisted him on his coaches, and in a place where he can quietly work on his game and grow up.

Washington is, remarkably, still in position to go to the playoffs. That is a credit to both Rivera and Smith, whose own soaring comeback story has been the counterweight to Haskins’ decline.

If Washington makes it to the postseason, it will help provide cover for what, the Football Team has to hope, is the final roster fiasco engineered by Snyder’s regimes. The dysfunction ran deep for years, and Rivera still has plenty of clean-up work to do, as does Snyder, who has been confronted by a series of allegations of widespread mistreatment of women in his organization.

There is a broader conversation to be had about why the culture of the NFL and its fans promotes more discussion of Haskins’ missteps than Snyder’s. But it says plenty about a franchise that the shockingly swift failure and exile of one first-round pick can evoke sympathy from another who suffered the same fate:

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