Report: Jay Gruden thinks Kirk Cousins is better fit for offense than RG3

Kirk-CousinsSince he was hired as head coach of the Washington Redskins, Jay Gruden has remained committed to Robert Griffin III — at least publicly. Despite reports from training camp about New England Patriots officials saying Kirk Cousins looked like the best quarterback at Redskins training camp, Cousins never stood a chance at starting. He does now, and you have to wonder if Washington is better off for it.

After Griffin suffered an ankle injury on Sunday that could keep him out for a significant period of time, Cousins took over and completed 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Mike Wise of the Washington Post, Gruden has believed Cousins is a better fit for his offense all along.

[WATCH: The play where RG3 injured his ankle]

Wise reports that RG3 has had trouble picking up Gruden’s offense, but Gruden knew starting Cousins would create major issues within the Redskins organization. The first-year head coach has been committed to helping Griffin become a better pocket passer, though he has reportedly questioned privately if RG3 is the right man to lead the team over the long term.

Early indications are that Griffin suffered a dislocated ankle and could miss anywhere from a month to the remainder of the season. While Wise was quick to point out that he in no way believes Gruden was rooting for an injury, he did ask a longtime team employee if he had ever seen a team look so happy after its franchise quarterback and top offseason acquisition (DeSean Jackson also left with an injury) had to leave the game.

“No,” the employee told Wise, choosing not to elaborate.

The Redskins did win 41-10, so that’s probably why they were in high spirits. Gruden said he was “sick” over the RG3 injury but expressed full confidence in Cousins.

“I feel like we can win any game with Kirk Cousins … Kirk is a special guy,” he said. “He started four games last year and didn’t have great success, but obviously has a skill set that I feel like is very much suited for what we do. He can handle it mentally, and obviously, physically. I feel that he can make every throw in the book and we are going to move forward with Kirk.”

Again, no one is accusing anyone of rooting for injuries. That said, you can’t ignore the fact that it will be interesting to see how Gruden’s offense operates with Cousins running it instead of RG3. If Cousins plays like he did Sunday going forward, a quarterback controversy is not out of the question.

H/T Around the League

Joe Theismann: Kirk Cousins has played ‘much better’ than Robert Griffin III

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsIf Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins were battling for a starting job in the preseason, Cousins would probably be in the lead. In three games thus far, Cousins has completed 35-of-54 passes for 370 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception. Griffin, who played just one series in the first preseason game, has completed 13-of-20 passes for 141 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Some beat writers have even claimed that Cousins is outplaying RG3 during practice drills, though there has been some dispute there. But on Saturday night, Joe Theismann — who works for the Redskins Broadcast Network — said Cousins is outplaying Griffin and it isn’t close.

“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann during the fourth quarter, per Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.”

[Related: RG3 calls out doubters on Twitter]

While Cousins has had more opportunities, he has made more of them than RG3 has made of his. Cousins looks far more comfortable throwing the football than Griffin, though many would argue that Griffin’s speed makes him more dangerous. Theismann believes head coach Jay Gruden should evaluate the situation carefully.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make,” he said. “Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way.”

The important thing for RG3 is that the preseason means nothing. Cam Newton had an atrocious preseason with the Carolina Panthers his rookie year before lighting the NFL on fire during a record-breaking season. If Griffin struggles through the early part of the season and can’t stop turning the ball over, Gruden will have a tough decision to make.

Kirk Cousins unlikely to be traded by Redskins?

Kirk Cousins RedskinsKirk Cousins is one of the popular names in the NFL rumor mill, and there has been talk that the Washington Redskins were looking and willing to trade him. A report published this week even said the ‘Skins wanted a second-round pick in return for the quarterback. Now reports are saying the most likely outcome is that Cousins returns to the Redskins instead of being traded.

Adam Schefter tweeted Friday morning that Washington has no plans to trade Cousins. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that while Washington may want a second-round pick for Cousins, teams are not willing to give that much up for him, so the most likely scenario is that he returns to the Redskins for his third season.

Not trading Cousins wouldn’t exactly be a problem for the Redskins anyway. They recognize that Robert Griffin III has been hurt in both of his NFL seasons, so they understand the value of having a reliable backup like Cousins.

The way Cousins played last season, receiving a second-rounder for him would be wishful thinking. Cousins threw four touchdowns and seven interceptions in relief of RG3. Washington went 0-3 in the games he started. There just isn’t the allure behind him that there may have been after his rookie season.

Robert Griffin III denies he rushed back because he was worried about Kirk Cousins

Robert Griffin IIIRobert Griffin III denies that he rushed back from knee surgery because he feared Kirk Cousins could take his starting quarterback job.

Cousins, a 2012 fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, helped lead Washington to victory after Griffin got hurt against Baltimore last year. He also won in Week 15 at Cleveland and looked pretty good whenever he got playing time.

There has been speculation the past several months that RG3 hurried back from surgery to repair his torn ACL and LCL because he was worried about losing his job. NFL Network took that speculation to another level when they reported that some with the Redskins felt RG3 returned eight months after having surgery because he was concerned about Cousins.

Here’s what they wrote:

Redskins coaches have noticed an insecurity with Griffin this season, and some in the organization believed part of his motivation to quickly return from ACL surgery was driven out of fear that Kirk Cousins would make a run at his job.

In comments to CSN Washington, Griffin disputed that notion.

“Me and Kirk have always been good,” Griffin told CSNwashington.com. “That’s not an issue. The way I look at it, hard work, dedication and God’s grace is what helped me come back and play so quick.

“My job during the offseason was to get ready to go and make sure Kirk was ready to go,” Griffin said. “And we worked well together.”

Allow me to call B.S. here and say I don’t believe Griffin. Griffin saying he has a good relationship with Cousins doesn’t exactly answer the question. They can still have a good relationship and he could still be worried about playing for his job. I absolutely think he hurried back in part because of Cousins. He probably hurried back because he wants to be out there and, like any competitor, how could he not be concerned about someone getting a crack at his job?

Chris Canty: Kirk Cousins would give Redskins better chance than Robert Griffin III

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsMike Shanahan has no intention of benching Robert Griffin III. With the Washington Redskins out of playoff contention, the last thing the team needs is to give RG3 less reps and potentially set the future of the team back even further. Having said that, there are plenty of people who feel that backup quarterback Kirk Cousins should be given an opportunity. Baltimore Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty is one of those people.

During an appearance on NFL Network, Canty said he agrees with San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks’ assessment of RG3’s play this season.

“I have to agree with Ahmad Brooks,” Canty said, per Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “It’s clear that RG3 does not have the explosion that he had during his rookie campaign. You know what, much of his game is predicated on his agility, his elusiveness and his ability to be able to separate from defenders. He can’t do that and that knee is not 100 percent healthy. This is his second reconstruction on that same knee. I think it takes a little more time for that guy to develop and get healthy in order to put himself in good positions to be able to help his team win.”

Griffin has obviously been cleared to play. He is probably not 100%, but he has to play and continue to develop if he wants to eventually get there. Given the current state of the Redskins, I don’t think sitting him would be beneficial. Canty disagrees.

“I think they should sit him down,” he added. “It’s clear that he is not able to run the offense at the high level that he did during in his rookie year. I think Kirk Cousins gives them the best opportunity to win football games right now.”

The real concern for Washington is Griffin’s future as a scrambling quarterback. If he is going to have to wear a bulky knee brace for the rest of his career, he may never be the explosive player the Redskins drafted.

Tony Dungy thinks Kirk Cousins would give Redskins better chance to win

The Washington Redskins have fared so poorly in their first two games of the season that people are legitimately questioning whether the team would be better off playing Kirk Cousins at quarterback since Robert Griffin III is nowhere near 100 percent healthy.

Robert Griffin knee braceWashington coach Mike Shanahan was asked on Monday whether he has considered benching RG3 for Cousins, and he gave a big smile and pretty much laughed off the suggestion. But there are people who think they should make the switch to Big Cuz, and former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy is one of them.

Dungy just doesn’t think Griffin is ready to play at the level he needs to be at.

“You always want your big guns out there, and they want to be out there — they want to be out there to help their team,” Dungy told Dan Patrick on Monday. “But I’m seeing a guy who is not doing the same things that he did last year. So you’re saying we’re going to change the offense, we’re going to tailor it, we’re going to keep him safe and let him throw from the pocket, he’s still a good quarterback. And he is all that. But he’s not 100 percent, and he’s not presenting the problems that he did in the past.”

In addition to not being the same dangerous presence that he was, Dungy is concerned that Griffin could get hurt.

[Read more...]

Kirk Cousins does not own a car

Kirk-Cousins-RedskinsWashington Redskins running back Alfred Morris has received a lot of attention over the past year for driving a 1991 Mazda sedan. We’re used to seeing athletes whip around in Mercedes’ and BMWs, so the thought of an NFL player driving around in a beater is highly entertaining. But teammate Kirk Cousins has one up on Morris — the quarterback doesn’t own a car at all.

Cousins was a guest on former teammate Chris Cooley’s radio show on ESPN Radio 890 Wednesday, during which they discussed the former Michigan State star’s frugal ways.

“Every check he treats like he just got 16 dollars in college and he can’t buy a new pair of shoes,” Cooley said of Cousins, according to Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “Tell them about your budget. At what point do you feel like you’re gonna say, ‘Ah, I’ve arrived in the NFL, I can actually afford to do some things.’”

Cousins explained how Redskins players are given per-diem money of about $45 or $50 when they travel, which he thinks is the greatest thing ever. Cooley then turned the conversation to cars.

“Kirk has two cars right now,” Cooley said. “They’re both dealer cars. He hasn’t purchased a car yet. You’ve seen Alfred Morris has his car; Kirk doesn’t even own a car.”

Cousins proudly elaborated.

“Don’t own a car,” Cousins confirmed. “Don’t own a car. I got a great opportunity through Jim McKay Chevrolet in Fairfax, so I don’t have to own a car. And I have one back in my hometown, as well, in Holland. So I’m sitting good with that right now.”

So there you have it. One Redskin rides around in a 22-year-old car that almost didn’t start one day and the other only rolls in cars that belong to other people. We call that being financially responsible.