Theismann told 106.7 The Fan over the weekend that starting the rookie QB out of the gate would be a recipe for "disaster" because of the Redskins' opening slate. Washington opens on the road against Philadelphia, versus the Cowboys, then the Bears, at the New York Giants, and home versus New England in the first five weeks.
"To put him out there early against those teams, it's just a formula for disaster for the team, for Jay [Gruden], for the fans and everybody else," Theismann said. "I think the young man is our future, and let's protect the future, instead of throwing it out there right now and saying, 'Okay, go get 'em.' The schedule we're playing is not a 'go get 'em' schedule."
The Redskins' quarterback battle will be one of the more intriguing competitions when training camp kicks off in Richmond, Va., on July 24. Haskins, the No. 15 overall selection in the 2019 draft, will try to prove he's worthy of the starting gig out of camp over veteran Case Keenum, and possibly Colt McCoy (if he's healthy).
Gruden has gone on the record saying Haskins has a shot to start Week 1 given his strong arm, accuracy and big-play capability. How the rookie handles the increased pressure of training camp and the preseason will determine whether Haskins will start from the jump, or perhaps further down the line.
In Theismann's view, the Patrick Mahomes route would be ideal for Haskins, and the rookie wouldn't play at all.
"To me, the best scenario for Dwayne would be this -- is to sit this year, Case plays, Colt comes back, is healthy enough to be able to be in competition and/or a part of the ball club ... and give Dwayne a chance to process everything," Theismann said, via the Washington Times.
Even if Gruden decides to give Keenum or McCoy a shot to open the season, it would be a stunner if Haskins sits the entire year. The Redskins targeted the big-armed pocket QB in the draft and considered trading up to snag him earlier. To hear Gruden gush, Haskins' skill set fits perfectly into his system if the mental part of the game progresses as it did during the spring. Rarely do highly drafted QBs sit long, if at all, nowadays.
Alex Smith allowing Mahomes to sit a year was the exception to the rule. Keenum or McCoy would have to dominate overwhelmingly during training camp and then win against that tough slate early in the season to keep Haskins on the sideline.