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If Dwayne Haskins can eliminate the distractions, he could be the long-term answer at quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
That’s the opinion of Washington QB Alex Smith, who beat out Haskins for the starting role this past season.
“The first thing I hope with Dwayne — and I’ve told him this — is you don’t have a chance until you’ve eliminated a lot of the distractions going on in your life,” Smith said, via NBC Sports Washington. “It’s hard as a young player, as a young draft pick, certainly as a quarterback thrust with a lot of weight and expectations.”
Haskins was not very good this past season, and Washington was even worse with him behind center. Smith came in and, when healthy, helped save the day and lead the Football Team to the playoffs.
The WFT released Haskins shortly after pictures of him at a strip club without a mask began circulating in late December.
But the NFL can often be the Land of Second Chances, and for Haskins, that second chance is in Pittsburgh. The team signed Haskins on Thursday. The Steelers are coming off an embarrassing playoff loss to rival Cleveland Browns. Starter Ben Roethlisberger is 38-year-old and struggled mightily in the final six games.
Roethlisberger is widely expected to play one more season, but Haskins will presumably have every opportunity to win the job — perhaps as soon as next season.
“Certainly, there was a lot working against him the last two years that didn’t allow him to reach his potential,” Smith said of Haskins. “He’s a guy who’s crazy gifted. Crazy talented. And, he’s a good kid.”