The Silver Lining in Robert Griffin, III's Injury
With the high likelihood that Griffin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season, hope is nowhere near lost for the Redskins or their fanbase. Jay Gruden’s system is based upon the quarterback’s ability to produce from the pocket, to go through progressions and make good decisions. Jay Gruden, up to the point of Griffin’s injury, was making the same fatal mistake that cost Mike Shanahan his job; trying to convert a predominantly mobile QB into a pocket passer. Griffin, by nature, is a runner and someone who is not inclined to simply lay in the pocket and make decisions. But Cousins is just the type of QB Gruden’s West Coast system is designed for: an old-fashioned fundamentalist.
The scenario that played out in today’s 41-10 toppling over Jacksonville was the same we saw during the preseason – that Washignton’s offense was much more productive and put up more points when Cousins was running the show compared to Griffin. This does not indicate in any way, shape, or form that it was a “good thing” that Griffin got injured, as it is never a pleasant matter when a player is hurt. We can’t, however, ignore that Griffin was outplayed by Cousins in the preliminary stages of the season. If the Redskins had not traded away three years of first round picks for Griffin, it would not even be a contest as to who would be deserving of the starting spot. But they would not simply bench the face of a franchise, someone who has taken the league by storm and boasted the highest-selling jersey of all-time during his rookie season, at least not if they could help it.
What we can draw, however, is that things may not even become worse but perhaps better. It just comes down to the fact that Cousins has looked so much better and more well-suited for Jay Gruden’s system than Griffin. Despite Captain Kirk only starting a few regular season games in the previous two years, he’s been fairly good. There have been many that have been beginning to sway in favor of Cousins over Griffin, and now they may just have that chance to see if he will be able to show the same production he did during the preseason. If Cousins does indeed turn in an ideal performance this season and by all means takes the first tier spot over Griffin, oh well, that’s just the way the NFL works. That’s how Brady got his chance and is now set to become a Hall of Famer and among the best of all-time, not that the same would play out for Cousins by any stretch of the imagination. It is just another case of an unfortunate set of circumstances for one QB of which another is just itching to take advantage.