There Joe Theismann stood on Friday afternoon, getting his first look at the first Redskins' player to wear No. 7 since his career ended in 1985.
Like Sean Taylor's No. 21 and John Riggins' No. 44, the number Theismann sported during his legendary Redskins' career has never been officially retired. However, it also had not been worn out of respect for what Theismann -- an NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion -- accomplished in the burgundy and gold.
That all changed during Redskins rookie minicamp this weekend in Ashburn, Va. Following multiple conversations between Theismann and first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, Theismann gave the Ohio State signal-caller his blessing to wear No. 7 in Washington. Haskins did not take the offering lightly.
“It has great significance to me and my family," Haskins told a host of reporters after practice Saturday. "It’s more than just a number. Just being able to carry that on throughout my life for multiple years. It means a lot to me, and I’m thankful Joe let me wear the number."
Theismann spoke to Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael about Haskins during the first day of minicamp Friday afternoon at Redskins Park. Theismann likes Haskins' passing ability, footwork and intelligence, and he's bigger than Theismann initially thought.
The key for Haskins, Theismann said, will be processing all of the information that comes with being an NFL quarterback.
"Everyone can run, every quarterback can throw, everyone can move around. How do you process the information?" Theismann said. "From a quarterback's perspective, how do you communicate that to other people? Do you have the voice to be able to have the inflection if you're in the huddle to be able to have everybody listen to you, understand you, know exactly what you're saying. That's something no one talks about."
Theismann understands Haskins will need time to develop these qualities, so the last thing Theismann wanted was continuing conversation about his rookie number.
Haskins has always worn No. 7, from his days at Bullis School in Potomac, Md. to his career at Ohio State, where he became a Heisman Trophy finalist with 50 touchdowns nearly 5,000 yards passing a year ago. Shortly after the Redskins drafted him 15th overall on April 25, Haskins went on NFL Network and said he'd "talk to Mr. Theismann" first before putting in a request to wear No. 7.
Less than a week later, following a "really nice" phone conversation with Haskins regarding the topic, Theismann told 106.7 The Fan that he gave Haskins permission to wear his high school and college number in the NFL.
“He said he’d give me the blessing to wear it but to think about it, and that’s what I did," Haskins said. "It was too much of an opportunity to pass it up.”
Added Theismann: "It isn't the number, it's the name on the back that I think is important, and I hope Dwayne makes his own name for himself," Theismann said May 10. "It's a choice that he made, and I just wish him all of the luck in the world."