PALM BEACH, Fla. — Washington Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said here Wednesday he will be open-minded about the possibility that the quarterback the team will draft in April, either Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, will be the club’s starter at the outset of his rookie season.
But that’s not a given, according to Shanahan, who said the issue of whether the prized rookie starts immediately will depend on the young quarterback’s progress during the offseason and training camp.
“You put him in there when you feel like he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said at the NFC coaches’ breakfast at the annual league meeting.
The Redskins obtained the second overall selection in the NFL draft in a trade with the St. Louis Rams earlier this month. It is widely expected the Indianapolis Colts will select Luck, the Stanford product considered one of the best quarterback prospects in recent memory, with the top overall choice in the draft and the Redskins will take Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor, with the second pick. But Shanahan said he doesn’t know what the Colts will do and the Redskins will be happy with either Griffin or Luck.
“When you make a move to the second pick in the draft, you’ve got to feel comfortable with both guys,” Shanahan said.
Either way, Shanahan said, the Redskins believe they’ll have their centerpiece player for quite some time.
“You get someone you feel like can be a franchise quarterback for years to come, that doesn’t happen very often. . . . To have that guy — they’re hard to find,” Shanahan said.
The Redskins re-signed last season’s starter, Rex Grossman, in free agency. Grossman is to help mentor the young quarterback and back up the prized rookie. He also could begin the season as the Redskins’ starter if the young quarterback is deemed not yet fully prepared to play.
“You don’t want to put him in there before he’s ready,” Shanahan said Wednesday.