For the first time in his professional career, Dwayne Haskins is playing for a head coach who is willing to advocate for him. And so far it’s bringing out the best in him.

I’m not here to relitigate his brief-but-troubled time in Washington after being a first-round pick in 2019. Suffice to say he quickly became a human pawn in an ugly game of tug of war between owner Dan Snyder and then-coach Jay Gruden. Gruden’s staff weren’t fans; he was viewed as the owner’s pick. Haskins made more than his share of missteps and immature mistakes, but by the time Ron Rivera took over – with sweeping control – he’d already heard plenty about Haskins to start hedging his bets.

Plenty of blame to go around. It wasn’t going to work there.

But things are totally different in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers took the ultimate low-risk proposition of signing the youngster who did throw 50 touchdown passes in a season at Ohio State. And the primary reason why Haskins is there is that head coach Mike Tomlin went to bat for him.