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The 5 O’Clock Club: Is Dwayne Haskins wasting his time learning the language?

SB Nation logo SB Nation 10/10/2019 Bill-in-Bangkok
a man standing in front of a crowd © Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club is published several times per week during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

Amidst reports that neither former head coach Jay Gruden nor current interim head coach Bill Callahan sees the Redskins 15th overall pick in this past April’s draft, Dwayne Haskins, as being ready to start an NFL game, I’m starting to wonder if it really matters and whether anyone should be trying to teach him the Redskins offense right now.

Gruden is gone. I don’t know if the 63-year-old Callahan represents the future at the head coaching position, or if, perhaps, young Kevin O’Connell will be given the opportunity to “do a Sean McVay” by taking over the helm of the Redskins in 2020. If either comes to fruition, then perhaps there will be continuity for Dwayne.

But it seems at least as likely that a new head coach from outside the organization will be in place in 2020; some of the names that have been tossed around include the current head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, as well as current offensive coordinators Eric Bieniemy of the Chiefs and Brian Leftwich of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Let’s assume for a minute that Dan Snyder brings in a new coach from outside the current Redskins staff, that the new head coach is an offensive-minded guy who decides to “clean house” and bring in his own assistants — people with whom he has close working relationships.

The offense in 2020 would, under these circumstances, be all-new, most likely with a new playbook and new terminology.

If that’s the case, then I wonder how important it is for Dwayne Haskins to spend the next 10 12 weeks learning Jay Gruden’s playbook and terminology?

Imagine being told by your company that you are about to be transferred to a new office in Athens, and that you need to learn the language prior to the new posting. You spend a year studying Greek, a language that doesn’t come to you easily, but then, at the end of the year your company says that there has been a change of plans. You will now be sent to the Shianghai office instead. They now want you to spend a couple of months ahead of the move to learn Chinese.

Perhaps the best thing for Dwayne at this point is not to be asked to worry about learning the specific offense and terminology of the Gruden-era Redskins, since it is likely to be obsolete in another 10 weeks. Perhaps he should be working on his fundamentals and understanding of NFL defenses — something that he might reasonably be able to do running the scout team, which would give him a look at multiple offensive systems over the next 2 12 months.

I’m not really making a statement here; rather, I am asking a question.

Is it really beneficial for Dwayne Haskins to focus on becoming the Redskins starter now, when the entire offensive system is likely to be brand new by February?

Isn’t it another failure by the Redskins front office and ownership to have allowed the team to draft a quarterback 15th overall — a large commitment of draft capital — only to fire the head coach 5 weeks into the season?

Wouldn’t the better situation for the franchise have been to dump Gruden in January, recruit a new head coach, and then let that coach be part of the selection and development of the new franchise quarterback?

The Redskins, right now, feel a lot like the Cardinals did just a few months ago when they had Josh Rosen, who had been a top-10 draft pick in 2018, a new head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, and the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. The Cardinals took the unprecedented decision to trade Rosen to the Dolphins and draft Kyler Murray.

Steve Keim righfully took a lot of heat for that situation, and the Cardinals are suffering through the expected growing pains of having a rookie coach, a rookie quarterback and a limited roster.

Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen seem to be unable to learn from, not only their own mistakes, but the mistakes of others. The team, going into its 21st year of Snyder’s flawed ownership, will again be in a messy position, trying to attract a quality head coach to join a dysfunctional franchise on the condition that he must develop Haskins as the centerpiece of his offense, while reporting to Bruce Allen.

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