Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, November 26, four days before the Washington Redskins travel to Indianapolis to play the Colts.
—In case you missed the news, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported late last night that the Redskins will bench Robert Griffin III and start Colt McCoy at quarterback against the Colts on Sunday. Other media sources have confirmed the report.
—There was ample foreshadowing for this move. Looking back over the notes from Monday’s conference call with Jay Gruden, he said that he and the staff were looking over the 49ers game film to see what needed to be done to get an offense that had scored just 20 points in the last two games going. At the same time, he praised the play of Alfred Morris, said that the offensive line executed against the run well and although there were protection issues they got something of a pass because of who they were up against and because rookie Morgan Moses was the left tackle. And Gruden said that he understood the frustration of the receivers because they were doing their jobs but not getting the ball. That left just one position, quarterback, that wasn’t holding up its end of the deal.
—Is this the fair thing to do, the right thing to do, after 33 career starts for Griffin and four under Gruden’s offense? That is a fairly small sample size but I think what led Gruden to come to the conclusion to sit Griffin is the lack of progress. It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect Griffin to have mastered the offense by this time. But after having worked OTAs, minicamp, training camp, the preseason, and those four games, I think it was reasonable to expect Griffin to be playing better than he is now, much better. There has been frustration with his inability to execute some of the basic concepts in the offense since training camp.
—Is this the end for Griffin in Washington? Maybe. But he’s going to cost the Redskins $6.7 million against the cap next year whether they keep him or release him. If they can persuade a team to trade for an underperforming quarterback with a $3.3 million guaranteed contract the Redskins would have $3.4 million in dead cap to deal with. Might he be better if he has to push to compete for the job? Or would he be too much of a distraction on the bench?
—Griffin likes to quote Winston Churchill. The British leader once looked at a very different situation, a world war, and said that a particular event may not have been the beginning of the end but it may have been the end of the beginning. That may be what we have here in regards to Griffin’s tenure in Washington. It may not be over but it certainly marks the start of a phase very different from the beginning, the two and a half years since he was drafted.
—My friend Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders sent me this: The Redskins have averaged 1.26 points per drive with Griffin under center. With McCoy and Kirk Cousins, both of whom also have had limited time to learn the offense, they have averaged 1.99 points per drive. To put those numbers in perspective, with Cousins/McCoy the Washington offense is similar to that of the Falcons, who are 12th in the league in scoring. With Griffin, they are like the Jaguars, who are 32nd in scoring.
—One of the reasons that I have been skeptical of making a move like this is that I’m not sure the Colt McCoy will end up being a major improvement. Yes, he has the 107 passer rating in a game and a half and has left the field a winner twice. But I look at his career record with a completion rate of under 60 percent, 21 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions, and a passer rating of 74 and winder if he can keep it up. Yes, he has better offensive weapons here than he had in Cleveland and maybe that will help. But opposing defensive coordinators now have six quarters of film on him in this offense and we will see if knowledge is power in this case.
—Today’s schedule: Practice 1:00; Player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice, approx. 3:00
—Days until: Redskins @ Colts 4; Rams @ Redskins 11; 2015 NFL Draft 154
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it
- Report: Colt McCoy to start over RG3 vs. Colts
- Will Gruden use Jackson as a returner more often?
- Redskins have found sliver lining in punter Tress Way
- Wendy's Q&A: Why does RG3 avoid leaving the pocket?
- Garçon says he will stay focused despite reduced opportunities
- Gruden leaves plenty of wiggle room concerning starting RG3