Despite optimism surrounding Alex Smith in recent weeks, the QB1 job in Washington remains Dwayne Haskins' to lose.
The former first-round pick enters his second year in line to win the starting gig after finishing a roller-coaster rookie season on an upswing.
Haskins said Tuesday morning that he entered training camp workouts with the mentality that he's the starter and wants to be a leader in all facets in Washington.
"I think mostly it's just a mentality, going in every day and handling your business on and off the field," Haskins said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post. "I just know you have to have a certain presence and confidence when commanding an offense or commanding a huddle. Having learned that going into the last couple games of the season last year, I've just been trying to master the same edge that a Tom Brady or a Drew Brees has when he steps into the building; you know that he's there. ... The offense needs a guy that's going to take ownership and lead, and why not be me? So that's what I've been doing."
Quarterbacks like Brady and Brees have spent years building a reputation as tireless workers both on and off the field. Haskins does well to attempt to replicate that manic mentality.
The second-year quarterback knows it's more than mentality, however, that will secure him the starting gig. Haskins noted that he's worked on his footwork this offseason and been in touch with coaches to learn the playbook.
"I feel like this offense that I'm in, it really fits me," he said of Scott Turner's O.
Haskins also said he's worked to shed weight this offseason to help his mobility in and outside the pocket. The big-armed QB noted he'll always be a pocket passer, but being able to move would be a beneficial asset.
As for the Alex Smith factor, Haskins said he's soaking up any knowledge the veteran is willing to share.
"I'm excited for Alex," Haskins said. "I hope he gets back to full 100-percent health. Whoever is in the quarterback room, I have to compete with, and even though he's not really practicing with the offense, he's still working hard, and even if we get to run against each other in competition and drills, I'm trying to make sure he gets me better, and I get him better. We look at Alex as somebody who's a mentor in the room that can help us every day as far as getting ready for who we're playing each week and who we're getting ready for next week."