Nothing but questions for Washington's offense

Ben Krimmel
August 21, 2020 - 3:06 pm

The Washington Football Team has 23 days to figure things out before facing the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2020 season opener.

And for Ron Rivera's squad, there are almost too many questions on offense to figure things out before the season kicks off.

"The problem is almost every position on offense has a major question mark," The Junkies producer Matt Cahill said Friday. "Michael Phillips saying that about the receivers, (Dwayne) Haskins is unknown, their running back (Derrius Guice has been cut), and yesterday, JP Finlay said offensive line depth is a major problem."

"So what's good on the offense?"

Outside of second-year receiver Terry McLaurin there is not much, with Phillips telling Chad Dukes Thursday “this is not an NFL caliber wide receiver group.”

"They're gonna struggle offensively," Jason Bishop said. "This is gonna be a three, four year project for Rivera."

The biggest question mark: Who will be the starting quarterback?

Haskins should be the starter. The second-year player out of Ohio State should be under center on Week 1 and the franchise likely wants last season's first-round pick to start all 16 games.

"I thought Dwayne did some really good things. I thought he made some really good decisions," Rivera said this week. "We look at this offense and with these quarterbacks, with all of these quarterbacks, we’re going to talk about decision making more than we’re going to be talking about anything else. I think that’s really important."

But veteran Alex Smith, back from a devestating leg injury which has kept him out of the lineup for nearly two years, appears ready to play again.

And in practice this week, Smith appeared to handle some of his reps better than the young quarterback.

However, it would be a shocker if Smith is on the field and another major shocker if Haskins does not start as Rivera sounds committed to allowing the young quarterback to develop.

"Watch how certain parts of his body aren’t in sync. His eyes might be over here, but his shoulders are still over here. He’s got to whip around to throw the ball, his tendency is to be late. Sometimes he gets ahead where his shoulders are already turned, his eyes are over here and he throws the ball way ahead. That’s what you’re trying to find with young quarterbacks," Rivera said this week when speaking about the team's young quarterbacks (Haskins and Kyle Allen) compared with the veteran Smith.

"Is their body keeping up with their eyes. Is their decision making being in position to throw the ball properly. You’ll hear us talk about mechanics, you’ll hear us talking about footwork. Those are things that we’re looking for," he added. "As long as he’s making good reads, as long as he’s making good decisions, you’ll feel like your guys are progressing because you’re watching tape and you’re watching him throw it where you want him to throw it to that receiver, but he didn’t lay it out where it needed to be thrown. That’s what we’re looking for from our young quarterbacks."

So even if Haskins starting the season as QB 1 is a certainty, how well he performs remains an unknown.

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