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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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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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