New Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has stated that Robert Griffin III is the starting quarterback for the team, and that there will be no quarterback competition. And while this decision has been questioned by some, it makes complete sense to me considering the circumstances of the situation.
First of all, it’s as I’ve said before, the Redskins gave up too much for RGIII to justify not playing him. You can’t trade two first round picks and a second rounder for a player, and then turn around and make him a backup. The entire Redskins organization has to be on board with trying to develop RGIII to become as good a QB as he can be.
I see now that former head coach Mike Shanahan may not have been on board with trading for Griffin, as one of the “reports” leaked out last season stated he wanted to draft Ryan Tannehill. But the time for second guessing that trade should have been before it was made, and not a full season after.
And doubt this was that hard of a decision by Gruden, as backup Kirk Cousins didn’t exactly light it up in his three game audition at the end of the season. Against the New York Giants, the rain clearly had an impact on Cousins ability to throw the football, as he had trouble getting much zip on even the short passes.
And that’s not meant to disparage Cousins, but his lack of arm strength was clearly exposed in that game. As your starting quarterback has to have the necessary arm strength to complete passes in inclement weather. Especially when the majority of the team’s games will be outdoors.
And while Cousins remains an intriguing prospect and an adequate backup, there are no questions about arm strength in regards to Robert Griffin III, and his upside puts the balance decidedly in his favor. The only question that remains now is whether or not Cousins will be traded, or if he’ll remain as the backup?
Also, Cousins skill set is much closer to that of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, and the thought coaching a QB with the physical skills that Robert Griffin III brings to the table has to be intriguing to Jay Gruden. So no, it didn’t surprise me at all that Gruden named Griffin the starter, as there was really no doubt about this to begin with.