LANDOVER, Md. - There's nothing left to talk about this season but Dwayne Haskins, but that should keep everybody plenty busy for the next nine games.

Haskins had an eventful week, and a memorable soundbite on Friday, but first, let's start here: It's time for him to play football.

That's the thing everybody can agree on, but the good news is, it's also the thing that's going to happen.

Interim coach Bill Callahan and offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell both praised Haskins' development this week, after he spent Wednesday working with the first-team offense. Clearly, they're sending the message to Redskins fans that his time is coming. To me, Case Keenum needs to start on the short week this week, and after that it's Haskins' time - there's not a second to waste. If he doesn't start against Buffalo, he'll certainly be the starter against the Jets coming out of the bye week.

Haskins' week got interesting though on Friday when he responded to reports that he's struggling with the intricacies of NFL offenses.

"That's really a joke," he said. "I pride myself on reading defenses."

The quote rubbed me the wrong way, and unfortunately, it's not because of Haskins - it's because of the franchise he inherited.

The Redskins have struggled with empowering players in the Dan Snyder era. Robert Griffin III famously called his shots with the owner over the head of coach Mike Shanahan, but there are plenty of other instances too. Clinton Portis influenced the run game through chats with Snyder, and Chris Cooley had a team playbook even after he joined the broadcasting side of the operation.

Haskins is indisputably NFL material. He has a cannon of an arm, senses the pocket well, and has better raw tools than many NFL quarterbacks making many millions of dollars this season.

But it's OK for the process to be gradual. Three highly credentialed coaches have now said publicly that Haskins needs more time to learn how to read NFL defenses (Jay Gruden, Callahan and O'Connell). It seems unlikely that all three, who watch him practice every day and have different approaches and mindsets, are lying.

It's OK for Haskins to not be fully ready. It's even OK if he makes mistakes when he plays. Peyton Manning holds the NFL record for the most rookie interceptions. This season isn't about him having success, it's about him learning.

And it's OK for him to admit that he's still learning.

The Haskins pick was reportedly heavily influenced by Snyder. Snyder's input has been one of the problems with the team over the last two decades. Fair or unfair, Haskins carries that baggage. For him to suggest that he needs more developmental time is a "joke" is something that the owner will hear, and something that will color the power structure in Ashburn.

It's time for Haskins to play. And it's time for him to learn and grow for nine weeks under an extremely qualified coaching staff. The rest is just noise.

Other observations:

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan made no secret of his disdain for the Washington organization this week during the lead-up to the game, and after a 9-0 win he took a victory lap in a pointed way.

Shanahan gave the game ball to his father, former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.

"Everyone's a little more sensitive being that things involve your family, so that's why I'm always a little more sensitive to this (playing in Washington) with my dad here, and that's why it was nice to get the win," he said. "It definitely had nothing to do with the game, nothing to do with the score, but you always want to take care of things the right way when you're bothered by how some things have been for a family member."

The elder Shanahan was fired in 2013 after a disastrous year where quarterback Robert Griffin III was returning from injury.

-Redskins safety Montae Nicholson left the game with an ankle injury, and had to be carted off. He was replaced by Troy Apke, the second-year player who came up big with an interception early in the second half. Cornerback Josh Norman also didn't play as he continues to recover from injuries, leaving the team without two starters in the secondary.

-Not sure I've ever seen a locker room clear out as quickly as Washington's did after the game. By 4 p.m., when there were still early games going on, only three players were left. Most of the team declined to talk to reporters.

-Penalties have been a problem all season, but the Redskins didn't have any holding calls last week, leading to hope that perhaps the Bill Callahan era would solve that problem. However, they returned with a vengeance on Sunday.

-It's easy to understand why the crowd was pro-49ers on Sunday. It was a miserable day to watch a miserable team. It's going to be a trend, though, going forward - upcoming home games against the Jets and Lions are unlikely to inspire a big turnout.

-The Redskins haven't won a home game in more than a calendar year.

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​mphillips@timesdispatch.com    (804) 649-6546     

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