Haskins’ second start in the Steelers’ offensive drills of the week in Training Camp is a step in the right direction for the second year quarterback. Haskins, who has been competing with second-year backup Landry Jones for the backup spot, has made steady improvement with his reads in practice since being named the starter. That improvement has translated to Haskins doing a better job processing information and making good decisions with his reads during this week’s practices.
For the second week in a row, the Steelers will be forced to make a difficult choice between a pair of young quarterbacks. This week, it was quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who is in his third year in the NFL, who edged out rookie Mason Rudolph for the starting job during the second week of the preseason.
The Steelers have a decision to make. While struggling to maintain their lead in the AFC North, they will start the 2018 season with a week eleven battle at home against the Browns. The Steelers backup quarterback situation is a mess heading into the season. While Steelers fans are celebrating the prime time debut of a star running back, the Steelers backup quarterback is struggling to stay healthy.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mike Sullivan’s instructions for Thursday night were comprehended by Dwayne Haskins.
When the young Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback stepped on the turf at Lincoln Financial Field for the Steelers’ second preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the veteran quarterback coach, who once helped Eli Manning to one of his best seasons in 2011, told him to channel Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington.
After the Steelers’ 24-16 victory, Haskins recalled, “Coach Sullivan came over to me and said, ‘Be like the jazz guys.’” “So, it should be fairly smooth. That’s sort exactly what I was aiming for today: just be smooth and a lot of opportunities would present themselves. Trust what I’ve seen, allowing my eyes and feet to lead the way with the ball.”
Wait, you want to be like jazz musicians?
Haskins clarified his coach’s instruction by saying, “Jazz, as in very smooth, dude.” “It’s all about the blues and things like that. “All you have to do is bob your head and snap your finger.”
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On the field, the former first-round pick wasn’t exactly bopping his head and snapping his fingers, but he got the job done, completing 16 of 22 passes for 161 yards and a score. He also led two more touchdown drives, one of which ended in a field goal, and another that resulted in a field goal.
Coach Mike Tomlin remarked, “I truly felt he was in charge tonight.” “He was fantastic at talking with individuals, going through progressions, and so on.”
If the fight for the No. 2 quarterback position behind Ben Roethlisberger is a war, Haskins defeated Mason Rudolph after the two drew in the Hall of Fame game. But it doesn’t imply he’s secured the place. There’s still two preseason games remaining, so there’ll be plenty more fighting.
Tomlin said, “We need to see more.” “We need to see more of him, and we need to see more of everyone,” says the narrator. We have two more preseason games left, and we’ll keep writing our tales. I believe that if we continue to throw the ball out there and let these players play without jumping to conclusions, they will eventually sort themselves out.
“… Sure, we have enough data to make judgments, but wow, do we have a lot of ground to cover. Just maintain an open mind and continue to teach. They continue to learn. We continue to snap the football. Decisions will be made with clarity.”
Rudolph started again on Thursday, but was hampered by holding penalties and a sack, and the offense was unable to score for the second game in a row.
In his second preseason game, Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins completed 16-of-22 throws for 161 yards and a score. USA TODAY Sports/Bill Streicher
Haskins, who entered the game halfway through the first quarter replacing Rudolph (8-of-9, 77 yards), struggled to get going in the first half, completing just 6 of 7 passes for 43 yards. Despite this, he guided the offense to a second-quarter score, a 1-yard run by Anthony McFarland set up by an 18-yard pass to Cody White a few plays earlier. In the second half, he found his stride, completing 10-of-15 passes for 118 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Johnson, as well as drives that concluded with a 1-yard Jaylen Samuels score and a 22-yard field goal.
“Coach did a fantastic job calling some plays and putting me into a good rhythm,” says the player “Haskins said. “The offensive line did an outstanding job of blocking.”
Not all of the throws were flawless. A few of passes, including a 24-yard third-down pass to Rico Bussey, wobbled their way to the target. Some balls were either thrown behind the recipient or flew out of the end zone. But that was an improvement over Haskins’ performance in the Hall of Fame game a week earlier, when he seemed to play it safe and depend on shorter passes.
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Haskins averaged 7.3 yards per attempt against the Eagles, up from 4.2 a week earlier.
His performance on third down was perhaps the most telling indication of his progress from the Hall of Fame game to Thursday night. Haskins threw 3-of-4 third-down throws for 13 yards a week ago, but none of them were converted. Haskins, on the other hand, converted 7-of-9 third-down attempts against the Eagles, completing on all seven completions for 96 yards and a 22-yard score.
Tomlin remarked, “He had a third-down play.” “It was around third and eight, and I watched him go through three or four reads before throwing the ball over the center of the field and converting for us. That was only a taste of the kind of night he was having tonight. I felt he was in complete control of his game.”
On Aug. 21, Haskins and Rudolph will face the Detroit Lions in the third round, but both will be on the bench, with Roethlisberger slated to start.
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