In 2014, Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins all started games at quarterback for the Redskins. For the 2015 season, coach Jay Gruden has installed Griffin as the starting QB, but the smart money would suggest at least one of the other passers makes a start, if not both.
Gruden made clear that beyond RG3, there is no depth chart at the quarterback position. Last week, Cousins said that he just wants a chance to compete for a job, and any questions about who is the No. 2 QB need to be directed to the coach. On Wednesday, Colt McCoy reiterated that stance.
"I don't spend my time thinking about the depth chart. I just want to come out here and compete," McCoy said.
The University of Texas legend made four starts last season, and only lost his starting gig due to injury. McCoy impressed in a win at Dallas, and put up big numbers in a loss to Indianapolis. The Redskins QB situation is unique compared to the rest of the league in that all three players likely believe they should be the starter, and a case can be made for all three.
"We’re learning as an offensive group," Gruden said Wednesday. "Overall, I think all three quarterbacks have done some good things."
Griffin has the most accomplishments, but they came in a rookie season made dynamic by his running ability. A new offense, and many injuries later, and it's unknown if RG3 can get back to that level of play. Cousins has shown an ability to win games and make impressive throws, but he has also shown a tendency to turn the ball over at a high rate, a trait that gets QBs benched on any level.
And then there's Colt. The oldest of the three at 28, McCoy has played in the NFL for five seasons; three in Cleveland, one in San Francisco, and last year in Washington. Despite his time in the pros, this will be the first time McCoy plays in the same system for a second season in a row.
"I feel like for the first time in my career," he said, "I'm really trying to benefit from that."
That could mean a lot for McCoy. Last season, he completed more than 70 percent of his passes with four TDs and three INTs. McCoy also moves well in and out of the pocket, and in a way, that makes him a better candidate to back up Griffin than Cousins. Where McCoy can run the same offense that's implemented for Griffin, including any designed QB runs, Cousins is more of a traditional pocket passer.
For his part, McCoy said he is not worried about the depth chart at quarterback. Yet.
"You just can't get into that right now. That's reserved more for training camp," McCoy said. "When you get to Richmond, you're starting to think about the season."
Gruden knows his current stance is not pleasing for Cousins or McCoy.
"They’re not happy with their role but they understand it and they’re just continuing to work and they both know that they deserve a chance to play and they want a chance to play but their also waiting their turn while helping Robert whatever way they can," the coach said. "Those are two great guys to have on your football team and I would feel I have no problems letting either one of them be two or three."
Since it's June, sure, everyone is all right with the waiting game. Once training camp starts in Richmond, and all three passers get chances in preseason games, the feelings may shift. Dramatically.
"Competition everywhere," McCoy said. "I'm excited for it."
Griffin is clearly QB1 heading to Richmond, Gruden reiterated that. But the coach also allowed that once the games start, anything can happen.
"We still have got to play games," the coach said. "We have announced Robert as the starter obviously and we’re going to go from there."
In about a month, the competition gets very real.