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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

RG3 could be out for season with dislocated ankle

RG3 injury cart

RG3 dislocated his left ankle in the first quarter of Sunday’s Washington Redskins-Jacksonville Jaguars game and could be out for the season according to his doctor.

Dr. Mark Adickes tweeted that a dislocated ankle usually occurs with a fracture, meaning he thinks Griffin will be out for the season.

Tests are being conducted on Griffin to determine his status.

With Kirk Cousins looking so good after coming on for Washington, don’t be surprised if the ‘Skins are in no rush to bring back RG3.

RG3 injury video – Griffin somehow hurts ankle on this play

Just in case there were any questions about Robert Griffin III’s fragility, we present this video.

RG3 was knocked out of Sunday’s Redskins-Jaguars game after hurting his ankle on the play seen above in the first quarter. The injury appeared to be of the non-contact variety, but we cannot be 100 percent certain what went wrong or caused it.

Griffin hurt his right knee in January, 2013, and spent all last season trying to recover. This time it looks like his left ankle.

As if that weren’t enough, wide receiver DeSean Jackson left with a shoulder injury a few plays after Kirk Cousins entered the game.

RG3 injury cart

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.

Robert Griffin III calls out doubters on Twitter

Robert Griffin knee braceAfter an impressive rookie season in which he earned the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, 2013 was not Robert Griffin III’s year.

Griffin hardly looked like the same quarterback from 2012 after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in his right knee.

He had to answer questions about rushing back too soon after surgery. There was also Griffin’s less-than-ideal relationship with head coach Mike Shanahan and a perceived influence the quarterback had over Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

A disappointing season came to an end when Griffin was made inactive for the final three games of last season.

Heading into the upcoming season, Griffin has more than a few people questioning if he can be the same quarterback he was in 2012. Having doubters is nothing new for the former Heisman Trophy winner and Griffin took the opportunity to remind us of that via his Twitter account on Wednesday.

If the Washington Redskins are going to rebound from disastrous 2013 season, they’ll need better quarterback play than they received a year ago. The team gave up quite a bit to draft Robert Griffin III, but that doesn’t mean fans won’t call for Kirk Cousins if he struggles again.

Griffin is no stranger to having to prove himself and it looks like he knows he will have to do it once again in 2014.

Redskins GM: What Robert Griffin III was asked to do last year was ‘disrespectful’ to football

Robert-Griffin-III-Michael-Vick-comparisonsRobert Griffin III had a disappointing sophomore season with the Washington Redskins for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he probably wasn’t healthy. Griffin didn’t play at all in the preseason while rehabbing from ACL surgery and his mobility was limited throughout most of the year. Looking back on 2013, Redskins president and general manager Bruce Allen almost sounds embarrassed.

During an interview with Al Coleman on ESPN 950 in Richmond Monday, Allen said RG3 faced an “impossible” task last season.

“What you saw last year was almost a little disrespectful to the game of football,” Allen said, via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “It’s impossible to ask a player to perform well during the regular season if you haven’t practiced. Last year at this time, he’s still rehabbing his knee, he’s not allowed to practice, he’s not allowed to work in team drills at all because he’s still rehabilitating himself. We put him, really, on the spot by trying to do that.”

Griffin was not shy in voicing his displeasure over being held out of preseason play last year. He took part in very little live action before starting in Week 1, which in retrospect was a recipe for disaster.

While Allen admitted that playing in as many games as possible will probably help RG3 from an experience standpoint, he was quick to point out that the situation should be much more ideal heading into 2014.

“And this year he’s had a full offseason, his knee is 100 percent — knock on wood — and he’s had all of that, and that’s how you get ready to play a football season,” Allen said. “Maybe in basketball you can go out and just play in games, but in football, when you’re trying to synchronize 11 players on every play, you need to practice.”

Allen’s comments almost made it seem like the Redskins are blaming Mike Shanahan for the disaster that was the 2013 season. RG3 has already taken a couple of shots at the Shanahans since their departure, so it’s obvious everyone is relieved Jay Gruden is running the show. We’ll see if that lasts.

H/T DC Sports Bog

Robert Griffin III takes jab at Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinRobert Griffin III is relieved to not be playing under Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan this season. We know that because the former Baylor star has alluded to it a number of times. RG3’s most recent shot at the Shanahans came when he was speaking to reporters on Thursday about his struggles last season.

Griffin had a fantastic rookie season before falling victim to a brutal sophomore slump. He threw only 16 touchdowns passes and 12 interceptions in 13 games last season. He finished 2013 with a passer rating of 82.2. Some blame a slow recovery from ACL surgery, but it sounds like Griffin blames the coaches.

“You don’t go from the ability to read defenses one year and not have that ability the next, so I don’t believe that one bit,” he said, via Pro Football Talk. “And it’s really just a good thing to have two coaches that believe in you. Sean and Jay have done a great job. They’ve given me a lot on my shoulders in that quarterback room and I cherish that. You want to be asked to do more or just to do the bare minimum.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if Griffin has a big year in 2014. The fact that he is healthier than last year will certainly help, but so will having a good relationship with Jay Gruden. As a first-year head coach, Gruden will likely give Griffin more freedom. The confidence RG3 and Gruden have in each other should translate to success on the field.

If nothing else, it seems like RG3 will be much happier heading into the season. That has to count for something.