Redskins’ GM Scot McCloughan gave some clarity to the Redskins’ quarterback situation during a radio appearance on 1067 The Fan on Thursday. Or did he?
Coach Jay Gruden has said that Robert Griffin III is “the No. 1 guy” and would run the first-team offense during OTAs and in training camp. Host Grant Paulsen asked McCloughan why there wasn’t an open quarterback competition.
“It is open. It is open,” McCloughan replied, apparently repeating himself for emphasis. “But, you know, it’s Robert’s job to lose. It’s definitely wide open . . . I can promise you this, the guy that wins the job is going to be the starter Day One. Right now Robert has the opportunity to walk out there Day One and get the first snaps.”
“Our bottom line is to win football games. That’s why I’m here, that’s why Jay’s here, that’s why Bruce is here, that’s what Dan wants. We have to win football games. The best players are going to play.”
The question here is, how can it be an “open” competition if it’s already one player’s job? That’s not really a “wide open” deal there.
“It’s his job to lose” could be said of any player’s job. In theory, Trent Williams can play his way out of his job as the starting left tackle. But his job is not “open”. They won’t go through training camp and have him take about half of the reps with the first team and have Morgan Moses take the other half and then decide who plays better. It’s Trent Williams’ job.
On the other hand, right guard Chris Chester’ job truly is “wide open”. He will be pushed hard by Spencer Long and perhaps by rookie Arie Kouandjio. There could be some alternating of snaps with the first unit. When the starters line up for the first preseason game it would not be shocking to see Long in there.
Chester is in what most of us would call a competition for the starting job. Williams is not. Is Griffin’s position more like that of Chester’s, where Long has a fighting, very legitimate chance to take away the job? Or is Griffin more like Williams, in a competition in theory only? It's probably somewhere in between but it sure sounds more like the latter than the former.
It should be noted that having a true quarterback competition comes with a price, especially for a younger quarterback like Griffin. He needs all of the snaps he can get with the first team in order to get ready for the regular season. Cutting those in half to determine a winner would not serve Griffin—or Cousins or McCoy if one of them one the job—very well.