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Redskins QB Situation Worth Monitoring Even As Browns Battle Continues Monday

Posted by Stan Simmons on 8/15/2014 9:53:43 PM

The Washington Redskins entered this season with Jay Gruden as their new head coach and Robert Griffin III as the undisputed No. 1 quarterback. Neither of those things has changed but there have been rumblings from the experts that have watched the team closest that RGIII hasn’t been the Redskins’ best quarterback throughout camp. Fellow third-year pro Kirk Cousins has been a standout in camp and had a strong preseason debut against the New England Patriots. Washington is set to host the Cleveland Browns this Monday night, and there could be two quarterback controversies to keep an eye on.

Players We’re Watching

Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins

The Redskins invested three first round picks and a second round pick in order to land the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and select RGIII so you better believe he is the face of the franchise. The problem is that injuries and questionable coaching decisions hindered his development and now he enters his third season with legitimate concerns about whether or not he can one day lead this franchise to a Super Bowl. Griffin spent the offseason working on his body and learning Gruden’s offense and this second preseason game will give us another look at his progress. RGIII went 2-for-4 for nine yards in one series against the New England Patriots last week and will likely see more time ahead of Cousins, who went 9-for-13 for 103 yards and a touchdown in that same game. New England and Washington also went through a couple of days of joint practices leading up to their preseason game and there have been reports that several Patriots and outside observers felt Cousins was the better of the two quarterbacks throughout the week. Griffin knows that he is the starter and a week of preseason work won’t change that but this story is definitely worth keeping an eye on heading in to the next exhibition game.

Johnny Manziel – Cleveland Browns

The quarterback situation in Cleveland is even more complicated as Manziel continues to impress as a rookie. Head coach Mike Pettine named Brian Hoyer his starter from the outset but that was before Manziel turned heads in camp and his first preseason game. Pettine hasn’t backed down from Hoyer as his No. 1 but he has conceded that Manziel has been great and some players have spoken out about how the locker room is split between who should be the starter. Manziel will get another shot to prove it should be him after he went 7-for-11 for 63 yards with another 27 yards on six carries against the Detroit Lions in his first NFL preseason game. Pettine has said Manziel could start against the Redskins and that would give him a chance to show what he can do with the starters.

Preseason Coaching Trend

Pettine is focused on figuring out which quarterback deserves to start and that is a much bigger concern than the final result in this game. The situation is slightly different in Washington where RGIII is expected to start regardless of how he and Cousins perform in the preseason. Gruden knows he is expected to win now and while it might not count in the standings you can expect the Redskins to play with a sense of urgency.

Prediction

Griffin and Cousins will both put up quality numbers in their second preseason game and the Washington defense will do just enough to keep Hoyer and Manziel from matching them. All of the hype heading in to the game will center on the Browns’ quarterback battle but the Redskins’ quarterback situation is definitely worth keeping an eye on even if RGIII is destined to remain the starter heading in to the regular season.

Pick: Washington Redskins - 2

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