The Twitter-verse is making much out of nothing again.
The Redskins’ quarterback debate re-emerged after Mike Reiss of espnboston.com wrote that backup quarterback Kirk Cousins was practicing better than Robert Griffin III during the Washington-New England joint workouts last week.
“One of my biggest takeaways from Patriots-Redskins joint practices was surprise that Robert Griffin III didn’t look like the best quarterback on his own team,” Reiss wrote. “In fact, I thought Kirk Cousins was better than him, from the perspective of running the offense, fine-tuned mechanics and how decisively the ball came out of his hand. I wondered if I was alone, and then heard the same sentiment echoed by some others in the Patriots organization.”
So a Boston writer says he thinks Cousins is better and suddenly a quarterback controversy fills sports talk airwaves and social media. It’s not surprising given Redskins fans love nothing more than debating passers, but this is silly.
“Robert’s our starting quarterback,” said offensive coordinator Sean McVay on Monday. “He’s done a great job making good decisions. So has Colt [McCoy] and Kirk for that matter. We’re really pleased where we’re at as a quarterback room right now, but Robert’s our starting quarterback.”
End of discussion. Go back to debating whether Cousins is worth a second-round pick in a trade.
But the debate will continue throughout this season because Griffin figures to struggle at times while he transitions into more of a pocket passer.
No longer will his legs convert first downs when his arm can’t. Griffin will run occasionally, but incoming coach Jay Gruden is making the third-year quarterback a pocket passer because it’s the smarter long-term strategy.
One more knee injury could end Griffin’s career. The Redskins have too much at risk to let him run regularly, especially since he slides worse than Willie Mays Hayes.
Fans need to be patient with Griffin. Sure he was a 2012 rookie phenom who led the team to the playoffs, but adopting a new style under Gruden takes time.
Griffin will eventually play well again, but he has been hit-and-miss throughout the summer. Some days are diamonds, while some days are dust.
“We have a good skill set in mind for what [Griffin] can do,” Gruden said. “Now we’re just trying to expand his skill set in the passing game.”
Griffin’s one and only series against New England in the preseason opener last week was too brief to rate him. Cousins completed 9 of 13 for 103 yards and one touchdown, but that was against second- and third-teamers.
The controversy just isn’t there. Griffin is the starter. At least, until he’s not.
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