A few hours before the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin III with No 2 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, I wrote an article questioning whether head coach Mike Shanahan would use RG3 correctly in his current version of the west coast offense. I questioned if the head coach and the offensive coordinator would use the quarterback properly and efficiently enough to allow Griffin III the chance to be completely successful in the difficult NFC East.
A huge part of allowing him to be successful is making the young man completely comfortable. Well I would love to know how truly comfortable Griffin III is after Shanahan and the Redskins used pick 102 in the fourth round to select quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins was viewed by many experts to have early second or third round coverage and possibly be a starter at some point in his career.
Shanahan explanation for the shocking pick was that he likes competition at all positions and felt Cousins was too good of a player to pass up. In some situations that assessment would be right on in my opinion. If it were a different position I would agree with Shanahan. I can see drafting two quality defensive ends to push each other. I can see selecting two good but different running backs to push each other. You want competition at all positions in the game of football. The more depth and quality of play at certain positions, the better that team will perform and be on Sundays. Another huge part of team success is being dialed in to your team at all times. Handling quarterbacks is a delicate issue.
The Redskins gave up a bundle of picks for the opportunity to select Robert Griffin III. Burgundy and gold number 10 jersey’s are going to be going off the shelves over the next few weeks. He is now the face of your franchise. The pressure will be immense and will start immediately. Having your new back be Rex Grossman is one thing. No pressure. Having a guy who many feel can be a viable option someday can stir up a bit of paranoia.
I expect the word out of DC to be that Cousins was drafted to be a developmental prospect and someone the Redskins can use for trade value down the line. What happens though if Griffin III falters or struggles out of the gate? What happens if RG3 gets hurt and Cousins after being called in for duty impresses the Redskin Nation enough to stir up that expected quarterback controversy. Again I’m speaking from what ifs and trumped-up paranoia, but crazier things have happened. Even if he is just a backup and a project, why even make it appear that there is a controversy? Why allow any negativity to creep into a really positive time in the Nations Capital?
Mike and Kyle Shanahan have been drinking too much smart water in my opinion. Even if it was only a fourth round pick that pick could have gone to adding around the player you expect to pull your franchise from the depths of playoff despair and years of misery. You drafted the kid now give him a playbook, build around him, and allow his talents and intangibles lead you to the promise land.
There are to many coaches in the NFL who feel the need to show how intelligent they are at the worst times. Every NFL coach who masquerades as a quarterback guru wants to be the next guy to take a late round draft pick and turn him into the next Matt Hasselbeck.