Santana Moss says playing Kirk Cousins now is ‘almost like setting a guy up for failure’


Santana Moss says Kirk Cousins, right, with Robert Griffin III in background, faces difficult circumstances as he takes over as the Redskins’ starter. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

Wide receiver Santana Moss said Thursday that Kirk Cousins faces difficult circumstances as he takes over for Robert Griffin III as the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback this week.

“It’s kind of tough to put him into this situation right now and hope for him to be excellent,” Moss said at Redskins Park. “It’s almost like setting a guy up for failure. But you just want him to go out there and be at ease and just take his time, be as efficient as he can because it’s one of those situations that’s like, you know, Catch[-22]. He don’t play as well, then you’re gonna say, ‘Well, should he have been in there?’ But you can’t do that to him because he hasn’t had all this season to go out there and jell with us. But he has been ready enough to go out there and be able to run this offense. So we’re just hoping for the best.”

Coach Mike Shanahan announced Wednesday that Griffin is being shut down for the remainder of the season to protect him from being hurt and Cousins is taking over as the starter beginning with Sunday’s game at Atlanta. Griffin’s benching is the latest controversy in a Redskins’ season full of them and comes with Shanahan and team owner Daniel Snyder engaged in what many observers call a stare-down likely to end with Shanahan’s departure from the organization. The Redskins are on a five-game losing streak and have a record of 3-10 in their fourth season under Shanahan.

Moss said he hopes it all works out well for Griffin.

“I hope he’s handling it well,” Moss said. “He doesn’t seem like he’s bitter or nothing like that. He’s a guy that he’s still coming here doing his work, still has his same look upon himself every day. You never know how a guy really handles it because you’re not with him 24/7. You don’t know what he goes through at home or something. But like I said before, no guy wants to see another guy have to take that. But moments like this make you stronger. Moments like this humble you in a sense to where you prepare yourself on a different level to make sure that you’re not in this situation again.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

●  Coordinators Jim Haslett and Kyle Shanahan and coach Mike Shanahan spoke with reporters earlier.

●  The Redskins practice at 11:50 a.m. on Friday.

More from The Post:

Haynesworth says players couldn’t talk to Snyder under Shanahan

Hamilton: Cousins a silver lining for burgundy and gold

Outsider: A look at what Kirk Cousins does well and not so well

D.C. Sports Bog: Shanahan’s history with his Redskins quarterbacks | More

Wise: Right move, wrong reasons  | Reid: Griffin stands out in a low moment

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.

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Mike Jones · December 12, 2013