Ron Rivera committed to Dwayne Haskins as Washington starter despite 3-pick performance

Dwayne Haskins moseyed on down to Strugglesville and never left in Sunday's 34-20 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Haskins threw three INTs and fumbled twice, losing one, as the Washington Football Team lost an early lead and never recovered.

Despite the poor outing, coach Ron Rivera remained committed to Haskins as the starting QB.

"I just got done talking to Dwayne and told him, 'I'm behind you. I'm going to stick with you, so you go out and play,'" Rivera said following the loss, via ESPN.

Throughout the offseason, Rivera put pressure on Haskins by consistently talking about a QB competition, noting at different times that Kyle Allen or Alex Smith had a shot at the starting gig. After the coach named Haskins the starter, however, he's not willing to bail on the former first-round pick at the first major sign of trouble.

Rivera noted that Haskins' growing pains are something all teams with young QBs must go through, and he's not willing to short-circuit the plan after 10 career starts, and just three in the new offense despite the ghastly nature of Sunday's play.

"As long as [Haskins] continues to do things that show he can make things happen, I am going to support the young man," Rivera said. "I am not going to pull the plug just because something like this happens. In my opinion, he is barely through a rookie year right now in terms of being out there, learning, and growing."

Rivera mentioned he went through similar growing pains with Cam Newton in Carolina. Newton had two 3-INT games his rookie season. And while Haskins is in his second year in the NFL, Rivera noted he's still a rookie in terms of staring experience.

"The truth of the matter is how is [Haskins] going to learn?" Rivera said. "Is he going to learn while taking the [scout] team snaps? No. The only way we are going to find out where Dwayne is and what he can do is by putting him back out on the football field and let him get exposed. That is how he grows. That is what we did with Cam Newton and look where he is today. Cam Newton was a league MVP because we trusted him and we took our lumps with him. I am going to take my lumps with Dwayne right now."

Rivera knows there will be a breaking point with Haskins if the quarterback stacks stinkers like Sunday. In talking to reporters Monday, Rivera said players "deserve better" from the QB spot and "there is a cut-off point for me," per The Athletic.

Right now, however, he's standing behind his starter.

The second-year signal-caller admits he has to learn quickly or a coach who wasn't here when he was drafted could run out of patience quickly.

"In spite of the bad I thought I had some good stuff to work on and improve off of," Haskins said. "Coach Rivera and I are very close and I don't want to ever just get comfortable thinking I'm his guy or he believes in me. That doesn't matter if you're not producing on the field. I'm definitely appreciative of that and how he feels of me."

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