The Washington Redskins lead the league in drama over the past couple weeks, and Mike Shanahan will invite in some more in the form of a controversial quarterback move.
Kirk Cousins will start over Robert Griffin III at quarterback, according to multiple reports including ESPN and the Washington Post. The Post said the plan to start Cousins was "tentative." Fox Sports reported that Griffin will have a chance to state his case and change Shanahan's mind. Because, sure. Only with the Redskins.
Shanahan brought up the possibility on Monday when asked, and said if Griffin were to sit down it would be for health reasons. He has taken a lot of hits in the past few weeks, and Shanahan said he wanted to make sure Griffin gets through the season healthy so he has a full offseason to work on his game. Shanahan said if Cousins starts this week, and it appears that's his choice, then Griffin would be shut down for the rest of the season.
That makes sense, but there's also a valid question of whether Shanahan is doing this now as some kind of final act of defiance or as a passive aggressive way of getting himself fired. Shanahan is clearly on the hot seat after a 3-10 start and it's hard to imagine he's back next year to enjoy the benefits of Griffin's full offseason. However, Shanahan did say Monday that he discussed the possibility of shutting down Griffin with owner Daniel Snyder.
Shanahan does have a point, and one would like to think he's doing this to benefit his young star, the 2012 NFL offensive rookie of the year. Griffin tore his ACL in a playoff loss last year. He spent all offseason rehabbing his knee instead of learning the nuances of the quarterback position, which basically sentenced him to a second rookie season in terms of his progress. He didn't have a chance to improve in areas like diagnosing coverages and making progression reads, because he barely practiced all offseason. That's not his fault, of course, but a full offseason to do that should put him right back on track to being an elite quarterback after a lost 2013. And the Redskins are 3-10, it's not like they're going anywhere this season.
For Cousins, it's a good chance to showcase himself. He played well last year when given the chance, and perhaps some team will be impressed over the last three weeks and try to acquire him in a deal, or keep him in mind when he hits free agency.
That's assuming Griffin doesn't talk Shanahan out of shutting him down. It's the Redskins. Anything is possible.
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