Players in the Redskins’ locker room did not sound as though they were surprised by Monday’s big quarterback news.
“We were going to support whoever the starter was,” said defensive lineman Kedric Golston, the longest tenured player on the team. “No matter if you’re a starter or a backup—no matter what your role is—you’re a part of the team. The coaches made that decision.”
Earlier in the day, Coach Jay Gruden told his players in a team meeting that Kirk Cousins would be named the starter and that Robert Griffin III would be shown to the bench for the third time in three years.
Although controversy has been swirling around the quarterback position for the better part of two seasons, Golston said he’s never allowed the ongoing saga to become a distraction.
“Obviously, you have to answer the questions, but it’s not like I’m worried about a question [a reporter] asks me when I’m out on the field,” Golston said. “At the end of the day, you have to go out there and take care of your responsibility, control what you can control and not worry about the rest of it.”
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He added: “People can make it what they make it what they want to make it. It’s not up to me to try to decipher how somebody is going to metabolize this decision. At the end of the day, the decision was made. Nothing has changed. We still play Jacksonville on Thursday. Miami is still the opener, last time I checked. Obviously, people are going to talk to about it and come up with whatever conclusion they want. But it’s my job to play defensive line here and support all of my teammates.”
Running back Chris Thompson, who was one of the few players on offense who were available to reporters Monday, said he was not caught off guard by the announcement.
“Whatever decision they made, we were good with it,” Thompson said. “Everybody, the ones, two and threes, we’ve all worked with all the quarterbacks before. I just think they finally had to make a decision, and they did. So we have to go with it.”
Asked if he suspected that there was a quarterback competition underway, despite Gruden’s claims to the contrary, Thompson said flatly: “I feel like every single day is a competition.”
DeAngelo Hall, meantime, didn’t have much to say at all. Like many around this organization, it seems that he’s also suffering from RG3 fatigue.
“I don’t get paid enough for all this, man; I’m just employee 23,” the veteran cornerback cracked before saying he would only answer questions about the defense.