Washington Redskins players took the switch from Robert Griffin III to Kirk Cousins in stride — at least publicly — on Wednesday and said that nothing changes in their approach for the next three games.
“Get a ‘W’,” wide receiver Santana Moss said, noting that this is just one of yet another twist to an already frustrating season. “Stuff’s been going on all year, and our mind-set has been the same. Get a ‘W.’ At the end of the day, whether we come short or not, we still go out there with every game in focus that we can win this game. We’ve been dealt a lot of losses, so right now, all we can do is get a ‘W.’ ”
Said fellow wide receiver Pierre Garcon, “There was no reaction. Coach made a decision and we just have to live with it, and deal with it. Whatever he decides, we support him 100 percent. After a team loses so many times, you expect change wherever it is: offense, defense, special teams. You expect something will happen and it happened.”
Coach Mike Shanahan said he made the quarterback change because the Redskins had given up 24 sacks in the past five games and he thought it in the best interest of the franchise to shelve Griffin to ensure he survives the season unscathed and ready to work on improving his game during offseason practices.
Left tackle Trent Williams, a member of the line that in part has allowed Griffin to get sacked 38 times (fifth-most in the league), appeared more annoyed by the situation than any of the limited number of players in Washington’s locker room Wednesday afternoon.
“I don’t have anything to say about it,” he said. “Coach made his decision and that’s the way it is. We have to respect every decision that’s made in this building that comes from Coach.”
Wide receiver Josh Morgan, who got benched earlier this season and only reclaimed his starting job because of the season-ending injury to Leonard Hankerson declined to give an opinion on the move. But he did say that he understood Shanahan’s reasoning.
“I don’t really feel like it’s my place to say what’s right or wrong. All year we’ve been making decisions that can be questioned. But, I don’t think it’s my place to say anything,” Morgan said. “I know it’s for the team’s best interest that we have Robert focus on staying healthy and having a full offseason instead of risking something that happened last year. Yeah, injury can happen to everybody, but when you put so much into your franchise quarterback like they did, you don’t want a repeat to happen.”
He added, “I don’t really feel like we paid too much attention to it. Our mentality is winning these last three games, ending the year strong and getting something good out of this season. We’re not worried who the quarterback is. We didn’t focus on who the decision was. It’s not that big a deal for us. They all have enough to make plays for us as a receiving corps. They all have great arms, and all can make great decisions with the football. We’re just trying to go out there on the field and get a win.”
As two of the elder statesmen, Moss and linebacker London Fletcher offered Griffin words of encouragement and advice on how to handle the demotion.
“The advice from a lot of the veterans is to keep it rolling,” Griffin said.
Fletcher said, “It’s a situation where you just try to be there, support him. I understand, you just try to take something out of it, and you just try to support him as you can. I’m sure it’s going to be extremely difficult for him, just having been a starting quarterback and now having to sit and watch and not have the opportunity these next three ball games.”
Moss acknowledged the frustrations that Griffin must be dealing with, but tried to look at the situation in a positive light.
“No player – and I do believe no player – wants to be in Robert’s situation right now. You feel for him to go through it,” Moss said. “But at the end of the day, if it’s going to help him and give a little more time off him so he can say, ‘You know what, this season is behind me. Let’s get ready for next year.’ You have to ask Robert, but I know he’s probably going to be pissed. I’d be pissed. At the end of the day … you have to take a positive out of it if you’re in this situation. Robert knows he’s going to be here. Robert knows that he has time to correct everything that he feels that he wasn’t at his best with. But, right now, he doesn’t have that opportunity, so there’s nothing he can do about it right now, or us at all. All we can do is go out there and continue to play for him and for the guy who is quarterbacking this team.”
More from The Post: