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Need to Know: Why didn't the Redskins have a quarterback competition?

Need to Know: Why didn't the Redskins have a quarterback competition?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, September 2, three days before the Washington Redskins make their final cuts.

Why no QB competition

One of the questions that came up on Monday when Jay Gruden announced the change at quarterback was why he had stood up at the NFL Combine in February and said that the starting job belonged to Robert Griffin III.

Here was the explanation that Gruden gave:

“I didn't want to come to every press conference and get asked who's starting,” he said. “We put it to bed. We named Robert the starter, gave him the first reps with the guys . . . We just wanted to put all the distractions aside, play football, let these guys go out and compete and they did that.”

You can buy this explanation or not. Many don’t and that’s fine. It is good to be skeptical of what coaches say at the podium. But you can’t deny that it kept the topic of quarterbacks from overwhelming everything else during the offseason program and training camp.

For example, during the first seven days of practice at training camp in Richmond there was not a single question about the quarterback position. Not one. Would that have happened had there been an open quarterback competition with Griffin, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy all splitting the first-team reps? I think it’s safe to say that there would have been multiple quarterback questions daily and it would have dominated the conversation.

Certainly there are disadvantages to not having a more traditional quarterback competition with the quarterbacks who are up for the job getting roughly equal numbers of snaps. Chief among them is that Cousins will go into Week 1 with just one week of solid practice work with the first team under his belt.

But that is the chance they were willing to take and I don’t think it was viewed as much of a gamble. My read on the situation is that they fully intended to start the season with Griffin behind center for at least the first part of the season until the Lions game, where he had trouble eluding pass pressure, was hit six times in eight pass attempts, and ended up with a concussion. This That, along with performances in training camp that looked passable to observers but did not represent sufficient progress in the eyes of the coaching staff, led to the decision to go to Cousins.

Perhaps they would have been better off with a competition and the accompanying media circus. But they can’t undo it now and we will have to see how it turns out.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Walkthrough at Redskins Park, closed to media

—It’s been 248 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 11 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Final cuts 3; Rams @ Redskins 18; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 22

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Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Redskins don't request roster exemption for Williams

Trent Williams’ suspension ended on Monday and the Redskins did not wait to get him back on the 53-man roster.

NFL teams often request roster exemptions for players who return from suspensions that last multiple games. Such requests routinely are granted for the week leading up to the next game. It gives the team an extra player in practice while the formerly suspended player rounds back into shape.

But the Redskins apparently are going to throw Williams right into things. On Monday, they waived cornerback Dashaun Phillips and cleared a spot for Williams right away.

Yesterday, Jay Gruden confirmed what has been widely reported, that Williams will return to his left tackle spot. Leaving Ty Nsekhe, who did a solid job filling in while Williams was out, at left tackle and putting Williams at left guard is something that will remain something for fans and media to speculate on but not something that will happen on the field.

The Redskins managed to go 2-2 during Williams’ suspension. Perhaps one upside is that Williams may be fully healthy down the stretch after having five weeks off, including the bye week that preceded his suspension.