Baltimore – Last night the Baltimore Ravens were hosting the Washington Redskins in their annual “Battle of the Beltway,” and it was a tough night for quarterback Robert Griffin, III.
The game here at M&T Bank Stadium ended with the Ravens winning 23-17 and Griffin went 5-for-7 for 20 yards in the first half and still has yet to lead Washington to a touchdown after three preseason games.
RGIII is the starting quarterback for first year head coach Jay Gruden but he is on a very short leash. But Redskins TV Network broadcaster Joe Theismann stunned the audience last night when he told his on air partner Kevin Harlan,
“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann said.” 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.
“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. 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 Redskins will play their final preseason game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium at 7:30 pm. Gruden remains committed to having RGIII as his starting quarterback in his “pocket passing,” based offense. The first year head coach feels that in the long run that the skill set of RGIII will be able to grasp the new offense.
Meanwhile, the former Redskins quarterback was clear that right now it is the other young quarterback that understands Gruden’s offense the vest.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of conversation after this football game regarding the quarterback position,” Theismann said on the broadcast.
“You can’t avoid it. Your eyes don’t lie to you. Robert has struggled in the limited opportunities that he has had. And Kirk Cousins has seized the opportunities that he has had when it comes to playing the position and understanding the offense.”
Cousins went 14-for-20 for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens.
“Kirk Cousins did a very good job tonight getting the ball out of his hands,” Theismann said. “Decisive with the ball, very accurate when it came to throwing it, and his decisions were very good as well. So it was a very complete second half for him. And you can say it’s against the second team, you can say he’s with the second team. It doesn’t matter. He did a heckuva job tonight.”
During the post game press conference RGIII addressed the offensive inconsistencies.
“I think just going through the learning the new offense process, having a bad outing tonight, will help us in Game 1,” Griffin said. “I know people can’t see that right now. There will be overreactions all over the place. But it’s our job to make sure we stay cool, calm and collected and keep fighting on.”
So we will see after the game in Tampa if RGIII and the Redskins offense will handle things better.