(By Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)


While explaining that Colt McCoy was signed in Washington to be Robert Griffin III’s long-term backup, ESPN 980 analyst Chris Cooley also discussed the recent talk that Kirk Cousins has perhaps looked stronger in the pocket than RGIII this summer.

Cooley was asked whether there are any doubts inside the organization about who is the long-term answer at quarterback. Cooley said there are not.

“You do not have doubts in who Robert Griffin is and what he is going to be in this organization and in this organization’s future, and you’re actually willing to build around all of his talents offensively to make him into what you think he can be,” Cooley said. “Now Kirk might be further ahead in the pocket right now. And Jay [Gruden] is such a good coach at letting the players that are in do what’s best to their abilities that yes, Kirk looks better in the pocket in practice.

“But let’s say Robert’s just ‘practicing’ in practice,” Cooley went on. “Let’s say we’re trying to make him better. Let’s say we’re doing things to improve in training camp, and he doesn’t look as good in a position where Kirk is great. Where even Colt might look better in the pocket. Does that mean that that’s what we’re going to do in week one? Nuh-uh. Week One game plan is actually game-planned and will be designed for players to be as good as they possibly can be.

“So Week One game plan will involve Robert bootlegging, him on the move, him in play-action situations. And yes, he will have to be okay in the pocket, at least in third downs. And that’s why we’re making this huge deal out of Robert being able to get to the checkdown, Robert being able to throw the ball away, Robert being able to get to the next guy, because Jay wants him to be able to be there. He wants him to get through his reads. He wants him to be the best pocket passer.

“But does that mean he’s going into the season saying I want the best pocket passer on this team for my offense?” Cooley said. “No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It means that he likes Kirk, he likes Colt, but he wants the team to be best, and that team’s going to be built around what Robert’s talents really are.”

And so Cooley said, strongly, that there isn’t any dialog at all about any future controversies.

“It is not possible they believe [Cousins] a better long-term solution, and even if they had that thought at any point in their mind, it’s completely dismissed based on the fact that you’ve invested your future in Robert Griffin III,” Cooley said. “That you as Bruce Allen were a major part in drafting Robert, in giving up what it took to get Robert, and you said he’s your guy, and you did everything for him. …

“Everyone’s had a part in Robert being here, and so to admit that Kirk’s your guy is an admission of failure among the organization,” Cooley said. “Here’s the only way Kirk Cousins plays himself in any way into a quarterback controversy: Robert’s hurt and Kirk plays for an extended period of time and is very successful. And even at that point, you probably only get better trade value out of Kirk Cousins.”