RICHMOND -- The past few months have been a whirlwind for quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has dominated headlines from the moment the Redskins drafted him 15th overall in late April.
From rookie minicamp to OTAs and veteran minicamp, media and fans alike have closely tracked his progression within the team's offense. Widely regarded as the future of the franchise, his development is paramount.
On Thursday morning, Haskins took the field at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center for the next step in his debut NFL campaign. He then sat down with Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael on "Redskins Nation" to discuss Day 1 of Redskins training camp, his grasp of the offensive system and more.
Larry Michael: How did your first day of practice feel?
Haskins: “I felt good out there, man. It was my first time back with the team since break. Just getting back, talking football with the guys, playing, it’s been great.”
Q: What were your thoughts on overall quarterback play today?
Haskins: “It was a good day. Not bad for a first day, of course we made mistakes but we’ll get better. It was great to get out there with Colt [McCoy] for the first time and get to see him throw, and Case [Keenum] did a great job, and whenever [Josh] Woodrum gets a chance. It’s a great quarterback group.”
Q: How excited were you for practice?
Haskins: “It’s a marathon and not a race. The biggest thing for me is getting better and finding a way to get better; not having too many lows and trying to keep my highs consistent. Every day is trying to get better and looking to my coaches to give me the tools to keep doing that.”
Q: How much have you progressed?
Haskins: “It’s the first day of practice, so I didn’t want to mess up on a play call. That was probably the most important thing today that I wanted to do more than completing passes. Every day is something new and it’s a never-ending growing process.”
Q: How much do you have to learn in the offense?
Haskins: “It’s a lot. I wouldn’t say the concepts are necessarily hard, it's just studying and being able to transform certain plays and being able to read it. Then being able to call plays and operate it in a manner where guys can watch you and be able to lead. It’s just about learning how to play like an advanced rookie.”
Q: Do you feel the love from Redskins fans?
Haskins: “It feels great. I’m basically a hometown kid and it’s important for me to show love to the fans who love me. If I stay the extra 20 minutes after practice to make that little kid smile, is something that I feel is very important. I’m very thankful for the fans.”
Q: How much are you getting mentored between each practice?
Haskins: “I probably talk to around eight people between each practice, from Case [Keenum] to Josh [Woodrum] to Kevin [O’Connell], coach [Tim] Rattay to coach [Matt] Cavanaugh and different players in between each play. It’ll be things like ‘be quicker with your feet’ or ‘read this better’ or whatever the tip is. They all look and try to be helpful.”
Q: You truly enjoy throwing the football don't you?
Haskins: “Grip it and rip it. Everything is lined up for me correctly and I know what I’m doing, so I just throw it.”
Q: How far can this team go?
Haskins: "If we do everything the right way, if we practice hard, if we work hard together and study hard then we can do a lot of things this year. We’ll take it one step at a time.”
Q: How do you keep a level head?
Haskins: “I just feel like I get it from my parents and learning and watching how they dealt with their struggles. At the end of the day this is football. We can always find a way to make it harder than it needs to be, but we’re trying to find a way to have fun and lead each other. That’s the biggest thing.”
Q: Where does your leadership stem from?
Haskins: “For me I learned from a lot of different people. I’ve studied it from guys like Kobe [Bryant] to hanging around guys like coach [Urban] Meyer. Leadership is really not just one thing. From the aspect of being a vocal guy to leading by example that works hard, to being able to pull a guy aside and talk to him. I feel like you need a toolbox to be a leader and I feel like I’m working on that.”
Q: Do you enjoy facing the Redskins defense in practice?
Haskins: “I hate it. They’re smart. In college when I went to Ohio State, a lot of guys were very talented but you can tell now in the NFL how instinctive guys are. I had one pass today where a guy jumped in a window when I didn’t think he was going to get there. Watching how fast they are, just watching [Josh] Norman and Landon [Collins], seeing how they practice, I’m very excited.”
Q: How do you keep your body in shape throughout the duration of training camp?
Haskins: “From the way I eat to the way I go to sleep, the temperature of the room, how many blankets I use, cold tub, hot tub, stretching, lifting, prehab, rehab, just stuff I need to be able to do to keep myself healthy. From keeping your body healthy to playing and watching film, it’s a lot.”
Q: How much does that carry over from college for you?
Haskins: “A lot. Going from Ohio State and having coaches nutritionists, which I never knew I would have, and learning how to eat the right things, what time to eat, what carbs and proteins you need to eat, what’s good for your body to give you energy. Of course, studying. Learning from guys like coach [Ryan] Day. Just being able to find my own way as far as studying and preparing. It was a good process.”