Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston offered up an after meal fortune cookie to follow the Redskins joint-practice sessions versus the visiting Patriots. It essentially reads: Cousin better than brother.
Reiss’ opinion refers to his own witnessing of how well RGIII and Kirk Cousins practiced, and how Cousins seemingly proved to be more prepared to run Jay Gruden’s offense. Later he would seek and find support from some agreeable Patriots coaches, a.k.a. undisclosed sources.
At least this jargon hasn’t surfaced in Washington, though it could, with three pre-season games still to be played. While the author of this recent appraisal is considered an unbiased observer, I don’t fully buy into that. There’s no place better than America to find an affinity for the underdog and this is on rendition. To me, a truly unbiased observer would be writing about next weeks opponent, not scanning the rearview mirror for a parting glance at a week-one preseason meeting.
To the point, Cousins has played superb as a backup, most notably when assisting RGIII in defeating the Baltimore Ravens two years ago in an overtime thriller. It’s old news now, but Baltimore did end up as Champions by seasons end, and not before being thwarted by a pair of rookie quarterbacks.
Recently, however, there’s much to be desired when trying to compare the two quarterbacks, other than they both wear the same color jersey. One is 0-5 in his last streak of games started, and the other is 0-3. It’s sad to say, but last years numbers for both quarterback would have been effected even more drastically had they not had Pierre Garcon to throw to.
What Gruden has is two healthy quarterbacks who can score points. Moreover, the first year head coach has this upcoming season to meet the goals he has set for the team from within his own office. The media sensationalization can skim over the Redskins, and onto their opponents, for all Gruden cares.
For the critics sake, another micro-crucifixion will await somebody entering next weeks Browns game, as Griffin will be taking the field against his offensive coordinator of two seasons, Kyle Shanahan. Adding to the hype, his starting opponent will likely be none other than Johnny Football.
Johnny Manziel, as he is formally known, is himself standing squarely in line to inherit a Robert Griffin sized dose of unabashed adoration mixed with bitter scrutiny. Then again, he’s already kind living in that whirlwind, only without the speed of the NFL game. He did show well in his only action to date.
So herein lies one of footballs greatest attractions, the things that aren’t coached and can’t be simulated in practice. Certain players have special abilities that go beyond being described as merely clutch. Coaches love these guys, talk their performances down as much as they can and keep a good backup nearby for when things go wrong. Griffin will be Gruden’s guy here in year one, and I’m sure it’s to the chagrin of the defenses that line up to face the Redskins.
In Griffin’s two years as a starter the Redskins went 10-6 (in 2012), and 3-13 (in 2013). One of those seasons was anomalous, and the decision is split on which one. For me it was 2012, when Griffin essentially reversed the fortunes of what very well could have been just another sub .500 season, and he did it with the kind of plays that nobody else in the biz can make.
Follow Aaron Maddox at @Wordamaddox
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