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OPEN THREAD: Fans or not, it's time to give RG3 some credit

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OPEN THREAD: Fans or not, it's time to give RG3 some credit

Months ago when Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that Washington would start Kirk Cousins at quarterback instead of Robert Griffin III, many fans and media alike expected a firestorm to follow. RG3 won't be able to handle the bench, the thinking went, and will be a disruption to Gruden, Cousins and the Redskins.

13 weeks into the season, and that theory couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, Griffin has been a good teammate and even better person.

In an MMQB.com feature on Cousins, the story of the Redskins QB telling his teammates about his father's battle with cancer emerged. In the story, Cousins explained that Griffin told his replacement that he would pray for his father.

"This is about more than football," Griffin said in the story.

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Indeed, it appears Griffin's 2015 season will go down as one about very little football. The 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year has not taken a regular season snap through 12 weeks, and barring injuries to Cousins and Colt McCoy, seems unlikely to see the field all year. With a potential $16 million injury payment hovering, the Redskins would be foolish to play RG3 unless circumstances completely dictated the move. 

And despite the benching and much talk about his work ethic, his film study and his place in the locker room, Griffin has maintained a calm, quiet dignity throughout the year. He goes to practice, works out and participates in charitable works with the team. Talk to people in Ashburn about Griffin this season, and it's hard to find a negative word. Walk the sidelines on gameday or enter the locker room after a Redskins game - win or loss - and RG3 is hardly visible except for supporting teammates.

The reality is a player that has only been active once in 11 games should be a good, supportive teammate, but consider the baggage and circumstances surrounding Griffin's 2015 season, and it's obvious things could have gone much different. 

A quick look at Griffin's social media accounts, once a source of much consternation, reveal a family man with a penchant for Baylor football. Nothing controversial. And what about those reports earlier this year that Griffin and Cousins could not be in the same room? Based on the MMQB piece, which reveals both QBs attend prayer group regularly, that seems nonsensical.

The Redskins are in first place in the NFC East, thanks in significant part to a solid season from Cousins. Griffin has done nothing to slow that progress, while both visibly and behind the scenes supporting his teammate. When the Redskins fielded a depleted secondary a few games into the season, the former franchise QB ran scout team safety in practice. Prior to a game against Cam Newton, Griffin ran scout team QB to show the Washington defense similar looks as the team would face against Carolina. 

Griffin remains a lightning rod. Undoubtedly, some RG3 critics will read this and refute every word. Regardless of the Redskins improvement this season, some RG3 zealots maintain he still should start over Cousins. Clearly an athlete cognizant of his image, it's possible RG3 has laid low on purpose, en effort to prepare for life after the Redskins. 

What is undeniable, however, is that RG3 has proven himself a good teammate this season. In past years, particularly the end of the Mike Shanahan era and at times in Gruden's first season, Griffin shared culpability in his and the team's undoing. A young man used to nothing but success, Griffin often said too much.

This season, that is not the case, on or off the field. 

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That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

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USA TODAY SPORTS

That time Antonio Brown and Kyler Murray practiced together

Thanks to Antonio Brown, we have the hopes and dreams of a splashy off-season for the Washington Redskins in one tidy four-second video.

Brown, the NFL’s best receiver, is angling for a trade out of Pittsburgh.

Kyler Murray is the reigning Heisman Trophy quarterback and a projected 2019 first round pick.

During the NFC Championship game, the Steelers wide receiver tweeted out a clip of him hauling in a deep pass from the University of Oklahoma product. Yes, that’s going to draw some eyeballs, perhaps especially from fans of a team with quarterback uncertainty and lacking offensive playmakers.

Another OU standout, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown”, joined his cousin Antonio and Murray for the workout. This isn’t the first time all three shared a field.

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The best rolled thru today, appreciate you @ab 📞

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Marquise Brown, a true speed threat, could become the first wide receiver selected in the 2019 draft.

There’s no way for the Redskins to land all three. Even two seems highly unlikely considering the two prospects are projected first-round selections and acquiring Brown would cost a No. 1 and plenty more. It’s still cool to dream. Considering the quarterback concerns with Alex Smith, Jamison Crowder entering free agency and the need for more pieces regardless, even landing one of them would work.

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Report: Dan Snyder was leading Redskins pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams

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USA Today Sports

Report: Dan Snyder was leading Redskins pursuit of Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams

Despite speaking with a number of hot candidates on the job market, the Redskins did not make a change at defensive coordinator. Greg Manuksy will remain in that role.

That doesn't mean the team didn't try, as multiple reports showed that Todd Bowles and Gregg Williams were priority targets for Washington. 

On Sunday, a CBS Sports report from Jason La Canfora said that Redskins owner Dan Snyder was the driver in pursuit of first Bowles and then Williams. The story also points out that the Redskins owner was leading the effort, not head coach Jay Gruden.

The story says Snyder put the 'full-court press' on Bowles and offered to make him the highest paid coordinator in the NFL. 

When Bowles decided to go to Tampa and work with Bruce Arians, Snyder turned his focus to Williams. From the story:

Williams and Snyder have a strong relationship from his years serving as coordinator there under Joe Gibbs, and his previous head coaching experience, in Buffalo and Cleveland, also made him attractive. The team set up a formal visit and interview with Williams after he was let go as the Browns interim head coach, but the sides never met. 

La Canfora also contends that Snyder making aggressive pushes for both Bowles and Williams might not be good news for Jay Gruden in 2020.

The 'Skins head coach has two years left on his contract that pays him $5 million per year. Gruden has been assured he will remain the head coach for 2019, but few NFL coaches work in the last year of their deal. A 'lame duck' year for Gruden would come in 2020 unless the team and coach agree to another contract extension. 

The Redskins have not made the playoffs in the last three seasons, and have not won a playoff game in over a decade.

If Snyder is frustrated, he has reasons for it. 

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