ARLINGTON — Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum said he’s ready to go toe to toe with rookie star Dwayne Haskins for the team’s starting job.
Keenum arrived via trade with the Denver Broncos, while Haskins was taken with the No. 15 overall selection out of Ohio State.
“I didn’t pay a ton of attention to the draft,” Keenum said at Monday’s Redskins Charity Golf Classic. “But yeah, I’m excited to get to work with Haskins. I know he’s a great player. I’ve obviously watched a ton of his college games, so this is no new game to me, I’ve been in this situation before. I’m going to come in and compete, and competition makes all of us better.
“I hope I make him better, I know he’s going to come in and make me better, and that’s what helps a team is competition. You’re competing against yourself, you’re competing against the other guys in the room, you’re competing against a defense during OTAs, so I love to compete.”
The Redskins have a third quarterback, longtime backup Colt McCoy, but McCoy is recovering from a late-season injury and surgical procedure. On Monday, coach Jay Gruden said McCoy is “hopefully” ready in time for training camp at the end of July, ruling out his participation in the upcoming OTA practices.
Keenum said he’s happy to work alongside Haskins, but he’ll let the coaching staff groom the rookie.
“I think first of all my job is to help this team win no matter what,” Keenum said. “And that’s being ready to play. That’s being ready to put our offense specifically in the best position to move the ball, get first downs, get touchdowns, score points. That’s my job. That’s what I’m here to do.
“Along that process, different things you learn, we might mention something, but we’ve got a lot of great coaches in that quarterback room, so I don’t need to be a coach in that sense. I learn more just by watching players around me, so there’s that too. But first and foremost my job is to get ready to play and be ready when this team needs me.”
Gruden said he’ll work to split practice reps between the two, and cautioned against bringing Haskins along too quickly just because of his high draft position, adding that Haskins will need to wait to take the field until he’s ready.
For now, Keenum has loved being around Gruden and his assistants, Kevin O’Connell, Tim Rattay and Matt Cavanaugh, all of whom have pro quarterbacking experience.
“I love how quarterback friendly [the offense] is,” Keenum said. “There’s a lot of ex-quarterbacks in the room, and when there are guys who have been in my shoes, who have sat where I sat and know the pressures and what it looks like, through my eyes, and can explain things that way, it’s really, really helpful.
“Jay, Kev, Tim, Cav, all those guys. It’s been really great getting to know this offense and seeing it through their eyes. It’s a lot of the same verbiage I’m used to, but the way they look at it and the way they see the plays, especially as a play caller, how [Jay] calls plays and the intent he has behind it, it’s been good to see that.”
The Redskins will welcome Haskins into the fold this weekend at rookie minicamp and then begin OTA practices the next week.