Esiason: Haskins 'doesn't seem to love the game of football' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
It’s been an unquestionably rough week for Dwayne Haskins.
After losing to the Seahawks in a particularly poor outing last Sunday, Haskins went to a party without a mask and duly received plenty of backlash from pundits and sports personalities who’ve seen this kind of immaturity before. Still, the second-year quarterback had the chance to come back and clinch the NFC East title against Carolina after the Giants lost to Baltimore earlier in the day.
That didn’t happen. Instead, Haskins and Washington laid an egg in what CBS Sports analyst Boomer Esiason thinks could be the final straw for the Ohio State product.
“Zero chance Dwayne Haskins is the quarterback of the Washington Football Team next year,” Esiason said on the CBS halftime show Sunday. “No way. I think Ron Rivera, Doug Williams, everyone down there is trying to give him every opportunity to become the leader. He just doesn’t seem to love the game of football, because that’s ultimately what it takes.”
Haskins truly has had some opportunities to bounce back after breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols for the second time this season. Instead of using all the off-field drama and noise as fuel to help his hometown team to an NFC East title and a seventh win of the season, Haskins put in a woeful performance and was benched in the fourth quarter for fresh-off-the-practice-squad QB Taylor Heinicke.
Haskins had an opportunity to make people forget about his bad decisions from last Sunday and earlier in the season. He didn’t. It was a missed opportunity. Esiason, the Maryland Terrapin legend who once quarterbacked the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl, thinks he knows why.
“If you want to be great, look at Tom Brady, look at Drew Brees, these guys in their 40’s. They’re playing because they love to play, they love the game, and they love the challenge,” Esiason said. “It doesn’t seem to me that this young man truly understands that.”
Esiason’s thoughts come on the same day another team leader, Houston’s JJ Watt, gave an impassioned postgame speech after the Texans’ lost their 11th game of the season. When asked about how Houston can regroup before playing in a seemingly meaningless Week 17 contest, Watt spoke to the privilege NFL players have playing this game.
Perhaps Haskins could learn a thing or two from Watt’s complete and total love for the game of football.