Jay Gruden Announces That RGIII Will Be The Starter
Despite constant rumors of a riff between Robert Griffin III and head coach Jay Gruden, it appears the two have finally made up as the Washington coach told reporters that he has named RGIII the starting QB. This is quite surprising after his comments following Washington’s final loss: “I’d like to pick one as soon as I could, so we could try to work and grind on him and develop him. But until that position is earned, you have to have a competition. I anticipate us having a competition at a lot of spots, and quarterback is no different next year.”
However, it seems Gruden has changed his tune. “We’ll go into the season with Robert as our No. 1 guy,” he said. “It’s up to Robert to continue to grow and mature as a quarterback and as a person. Moving forward we want to see improvement. It’s up to us as a staff to get more out of him.” Many expected RGIII to start because of the team’s significant investment made into him three years ago, but everyone also expected some pushback from the head coach: stubborn is such a negative word, yet it boldly fits Gruden.
Over the season, Griffin dislocated his ankle in week two, which resulted in what some deemed the savior, Kirk Cousins, starting. But as the old expression goes, when “a team is playing bad, everyone’s best friend is the back-up QB.” Cousins proved why he does not start, throwing ten touchdowns and nine interceptions — four of which came against the Giants in week four.
This resulted in Colt McCoy getting some time before Griffin’s eventual return in week nine, but the former Browns QB took back the starting spot in late November — a decision that many networks deemed the end of the RGIII era in Washington. Yet he quickly came back following an injury to McCoy: finishing the year with a 68.7 completion percentage, 1,694 passing yards, five total touchdowns, six interceptions and nine fumbles in seven games started (nine total played).
To help with last season’s problems, Washington has brought in quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh. He has spent time with the Bears, Jets and won Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens. On top of this, Griffin plans to work with Terry Shea, he previously worked with him prior to the 2012 draft and last offseason.
Everyone will just has to wait and see how Washington pans out next season: they have only made the playoffs three out of the last 15 seasons and have also had eight head coaches in that time span.