Ryan Leaf calls Dwayne Haskins' actions 'utter ignorance' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
On Tuesday, Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins took to Twitter and apologized for "creating a distraction" after concerning photos of him partying mask-less recently surfaced.
The news surrounding the young passer of course generated reactions on social media as many weighed in on the situation. One of the most strongly worded opinions came from former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf.
"Listen, this is exactly what you think it is. Utter ignorance. There’s something about the brain chemistry of an elite athlete that has everything & feels slighted & hurt," Leaf wrote in a Tweet. "You have zero impulse control, no one will tell me what I cannot do. I swear it’s like looking in a mirror!"
Leaf believes he can personally understand the experience Haskins is going through. The No. 2 overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft, Leaf entered the league with high expectations. Those were never met on the field as the quarterback struggled to perform and stay healthy, limiting his career to just a few seasons and labeling him as one of the biggest draft busts ever.
Off the field, Leaf struggled as well. Facing internal problems with management and teammates as well as a battle with substance abuse. Despite the talent, he was never able to carry himself well in the game of football. His statement that seeing Haskins is "like looking in the mirror" is a strong personal indictment of the young quarterback from someone who wasn't able to handle the incredibly stressful, high-profile life of an NFL quarterback.
Longtime NFL pass rusher Chris Long shared his thoughts as well, calling the move by Haskins "incredibly selfish" and questions whether or not the benching of the quarterback and other past experiences such as him taking a selfie prior to the end of a 2019 game against the Lions taught him any lessons.
Former NFL wide receiver Torrey Smith noted that he feels as if Haskins doesn't quite grasp that nothing is given in the NFL, and every situation can greatly impact the trajectory of one's career.
Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy pondered how Haskins' actions would impact his teammates. With Washington fighting for a playoff spot, it was a move that he viewed as "immature."
Haskins' actions are the second time the quarterback has broken COVID-19 protocols this season. However, the team reportedly has no plans at this time to release him.