Ravens TV broadcast thinks the Redskins have a quarterback controversy


(By John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Joe Theismann created national headlines over the weekend with his comments about the Redskins’ top two quarterbacks during Washington’s team-produced preseason broadcast Saturday night.

“If there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition,” Theismann said during the game against the Ravens. “Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe [Jay Gruden] would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense].”

Theismann’s comments were startling, but the key word was “if” — and with that word, the analyst never exactly suggested that there was controversy in Washington. Baltimore’s broadcast, on the other hand, wasted no time suggesting that there actually was a quarterback controversy in Washington.

On the one hand, these are not people around the team. They don’t talk to Washington insiders regularly, and they likely relish the thought of chaos in Washington. On the other hand, they probably were just being honest.

“Kirk Cousins makes it look so easy,” Qadry Ismail said during Cousins’s first drive.

“Jay Gruden may come out of this game with a quarterback controversy on his hands,” play-by-play man Gerry Sandusky said later.

“I wouldn’t doubt eventually it’s going to come to that,” Stan White added.

“Well, we saw what the Cleveland Browns went through at quarterback,” Sandusky said. “I really think Washington’s gonna have one on its hands, because Kirk Cousins looks far more polished right now than RGIII.”

“RGIII finished the night 5-of-8 for 20 yards, a pick and three sacks,” Ismail said. “Very nondescript.”

“And two of those sacks were his scrambles,” Sandusky added. “Those scrambles that RGIII used to make 30 yards on, tear down the sidelines and get in trouble for not getting out of bounds, he couldn’t even get around the edge tonight on the young Ravens’ defensive backs. You watch Cousins, he’s a more polished pocket passer.”

“Granted, Cousins hasn’t played against the Ravens’s first-team defense,” Sandusky later said. “But we have seen him make better at-the-line adjustments from the fronts the Ravens have put in front of him. And we saw him do that a couple of years ago in a regular-season game. He’s been overshadowed by RGIII — they both came out of the same draft class in 2012. And I have to say, moving forward, I have to believe he’s going to at some point this season be the go-to guy, judging from what I’ve seen from him in preseason.”

“We came into this game, there’s been so much talk about the controversy revolving around the Washington Redskins team name, the Patent & Trademark Office removing their trademark,” Sandusky said still later. “But as we’ve gone through the course of this game, the names that I think are going to create the most short-term controversy in Washington are Griffin and Cousins. Because Kirk Cousins has shown he is a polished quarterback — a more polished quarterback than RGIII.”

“I’m looking at Sonny Jurgensen over here in the broadcast booth, and I’m thinking Billy Kilmer and Sonny Jurgensen all over again for the Redskins,” White added. “Bruce Allen, now the general manager, his dad was the coach that had to deal with that controversy.”

“That dude just makes plays,” Ismail said after Cousins threw his second touchdown pass. “He just methodically moved his team down the football field. Great poise, great accuracy. Sure, they got some calls that favored them as far as pass interference and such, but he took advantage of it. And that’s something that, moving forward, we understand this is the second-team unit and all that, but boy oh boy oh boy, that guy can play.”

“Jay Gruden might have some reconsidering to do,” Sandusky said. “Because Kirk Cousins looks much more September-ready than RGIII did.”

“Let’s not forget, he is playing against the second group as opposed to the first group, so it’s always hard to make that quality assessment in the preseason,” White cautioned. “But he sure looks like he knows what he’s doing out there.”

Man. That’s a lot of Washington quarterback talk on a Ravens broadcast. Also:

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · August 24