When Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins steps on the field today against the Baltimore Ravens, the pressure will be on. And not just because the former first-rounder is facing one of the NFL's best defenses.
Sources say Haskins enters a critical stretch for his own development and must improve greatly for him to keep the job. In fact, there is a chance if it goes particularly badly today, Haskins could be pulled at some point in favor of Kyle Allen, who was with Ron Rivera in Carolina.
Haskins, who Washington took No. 15 overall in 2019, is coming off a woeful performance, throwing three picks against the Browns in a 34-20 loss. He's also been sacked 10 times in three games.
While four games into a season could be considered early to move on from a player thought to be the franchise QB of the future, the urgency comes not just because of Haskins' performance last week. Some of it comes because of the schedule.
Washington's next five games are against the Rams, the Giants twice, the Cowboys and the Lions, and the thinking is that improved QB play could help them take advantage of a window of opportunity. It's possible Allen is the quarterback in place to see if that can happen.
Washington is a team in transition, and the team isn't overflowing with talent on the offensive side of the ball, from the offensive line to the tight end position, to a depth-starved receiver group. That hasn't helped.
During training camp, there was no quarterback competition. Haskins got first-ream reps. In fact, no other quarterback has taken reps with the ones besides Haskins, as the organization went all-in on his development and designed the offense to his strengths.
And while there have been moments -- such as the Week 1 comeback win over the Eagles -- there have also been frustrations. Taking too many sacks and not showing poise in the pocket are among them.
Allen, meanwhile, has run offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system before with the Panthers, and he has a season-plus full of starts, including three games in 2019 with higher than a 100 passer rating.
Haskins is just 23 with one season of starts in college before he entered the NFL. The thought process was he would take time to develop. But if he doesn't show improvement, his time may already be up.