Updated: Jun 18, 2021
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Mike Tomlin was very candid when asked about his relationship with third-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins following the Steelers' second minicamp practice on Wednesday.
"Really, I’ve been more concerned about Dwayne the person, kind of getting to know him and getting an understanding of what he’s been through and how that’s shaped him, affected him positively and negatively, how it’s affected the growth and development of his game," Tomlin said. "I think, more than anything, Dwayne and I are just trying to get to know one another. I think it starts there, and then we can focus on some things relative to the game itself. I leave some of the minutia and some of the detail about his football development between him and Sully [Mike Sullivan] and [Matt] Canada. I just want to get to know the young man and help him grow in that way."
Haskins is getting a second chance in his NFL career with the Steelers after things ended up being a disaster in Washington. Just two years ago he was the 15th overall pick in the draft, but struggles on and off the field led to his release prior to the end of the 2020 season.
The Steelers signed Haskins to a reserve/future contract in January to compete with Mason Rudolph for the No. 2 quarterback position. Tomlin was reportedly high on Haskins during the draft process and the two also share the same agent, Brian Levy
It was a low-risk, high-reward move by the Steelers, as if things don't work out they can just release him and it won't hurt them cap-wise. And if it works out and Haskins can be a reliable backup or possible replacement for Ben Roethlisberger, then great.
Roethlisberger unprompted during his media session a few weeks ago raved about Dwayne Haskins’ natural ability to throw the football.
“His release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I have ever seen. … I wish I had that,” Roethlisberger said of Haskins. “I joked that he could throw it through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet. He’s learning it. It’s obviously a new system for him. He’s young in the league. It’s fun to have that young energy around. As I said, when he throws a football, it’s pretty.”
Steelers wide receiver James Washington had similar comments about Haskins.
“He throws it pretty hard, I will say that,” Washington said. “He’s got an arm on him.”
Judging by Haskins’ social media posts, it seems like the young quarterback is enjoying his new team and city, and is looking forward to reviving his career.
Maturity issues seemed to be the biggest reason for Haskins’ downfall in Washington, but now that he’s away from the D.C. metro area, which is where he went to high school, having a fresh new start in Pittsburgh could be just what the 24-year-old quarterback needs.
“He’s a people person. Even if he doesn’t know you, he’ll come up to you and introduce himself, try to start a conversation, and get to know people,” Washington said of Haskins. “That’s one of the main things that stuck out to me. I think he’s a great person. He just needs guys that will stick around him and help him out.”