Gruden: Give Cousins a shot before season ends

November 27, 2013

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Author’s Note: In honor of Thanksgiving week, I’m only posting silliness for the next few hours. Or things that could be accused of being silliness. Enjoy.

Jon Gruden was asked on the radio Wednesday morning whether he thinks Kirk Cousins should get a chance to play this season.

“I like Kirk Cousins,” Gruden replied. “And I obviously like Robert Griffin, too. Now, I think being 3-8, at some point here in the next five weeks, you probably want to see what Kirk Cousins has. He came off the bench in a dire situation last year and beat the world champion Ravens. He went on the road and threw for 300 yards against the Cleveland Browns. And I think his style of offense is probably a little different than Robert Griffin’s, for sure. So I do think in the next month or five weeks, you’re gonna want to probably see what you have in Kirk Cousins. And to do that, you’ve got to give the kid a week of practice, and you have to commit to him. But I also think you need to let Robert Griffin play out of this slump, get a good taste in his mouth as we head into the offseason. They do have two quarterbacks. Griffin is dynamic, they need to regain his confidence, and hopefully at the same time see what Kirk Cousins has before the season’s over….

“They have two young quarterbacks that can play,” Gruden later said. “And they both need to figure out which system suits them, because I think they’re totally different in their abilities. And that’s a challenge for any coach.”

Luckily, the situation in Ashburn is calm enough that the team could make such a move without causing any ripples.

Here’s Gruden, when asked about Griffin’s play against San Francisco on Monday night.

“First of all, people need to remember that the 49ers defense can make a lot of really good quarterbacks look bad,” he said. “And certainly Robert Griffin didn’t play his best game. Number one, the 49ers are really good, and they outplayed the Redskins offense. But that’s not the Robert Griffin that I remember seeing last year, and I think a couple things go into that. It’s not a new offense anymore; I think teams have seen it, so certainly they have a chance to prepare for some of it. And he did miss the entire offseason, he missed training camp, I’ve heard that as well. And it really stymied his growth, I think, as a pocket passer, and it probably put him behind at some of the things that Kyle and Mike Shanahan wanted to see him do to get better in the offseason.

“But the bottom line is he didn’t play very well, either,” Gruden went on. “He fumbled the football, he made a bad decision on an interception in good field position early in the game, he missed a hot throw versus a blitz in the red zone. And when you play a great defensive team like the 49ers, you’re gonna have to have great play from your quarterback, for sure, to have a chance to win. I think it’s a combination of things. Their defense is struggling a little bit obviously covering the forward pass, their special teams don’t generate a lot of field position. But Griffin hasn’t played his best football this year for a lot of reasons.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · November 27, 2013