Robert Griffin III received The Dreaded Vote Of Confidence™ from head coach Jay Gruden today, who declared that the embattled QB will be his No. 1 guy to start the season. Just saying, I don't see the Colts or Dolphins or Seahawks having to make announcements supporting their respective Class of 2012 signal-callers.
"We'll go into the season with Robert as the No. 1 guy, obviously," Gruden told reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. "And then it's up to Robert to continue to grow and mature as a quarterback and as a person."
This isn't going to please Kirk Cousins, who declared that if he didn't get the chance to at least compete for the No. 1 job, he wanted a trade.
Gruden said he wants to see "some improvement" out of Griffin, which is not unreasonable. But there's really no one pressuring him for the job in the short-term. (Things would be very different had the Skins drafted Russell Wilson to back up Griffin, as Mike Shanahan says they considered.) Instead, this is about Griffin's NFL future. Unless Washington wants to commit $18.4 million to keep him around for another year, Griffin will be a free agent after next season. He'll be playing for his contract, and for any contract, really, but at least he'll get playing time.
Because this seems like the place for it, how about a Robert Griffin story that makes everyone look bad? Former coach Mike Shanahan was on ESPN Radio in D.C. today, and recounted how, two days after the Super Bowl in Griffin's rookie season, the QB requested a meeting with his coach to tell him which plays he liked and which were "unacceptable." A ballsy move, one Shanahan assumed Griffin only felt empowered to pull because he had Dan Snyder in his corner.
"Yeah, he did ask for a meeting. He did talk about, number one, he wanted change...He actually [mentioned] what plays were acceptable and unacceptable, and when he started talking about what plays were acceptable and unacceptable, and that he wasn't a rookie anymore and wanted to voice his opinion, the term unacceptable is used by Dan, the owner, quite often. So [I had] a little bit of a smile when I heard some of these complaints."
Shanahan said Griffin was determined to throw more and run less, and that he didn't want to be associated with running quarterbacks.
"He wanted to be more of a drop-back, Aaron Rodgers-type guy," Shanahan said. "He did a few more things, and basically what I did is I went and talked to Dan, and I said, 'Hey, Dan, for a quarterback to come to me, a veteran coach, and share these things, number one, he can't be the sharpest guy to do something like that, or he's got to feel very good about the owner backing him up. And since you have been telling me from Day One that he's a drop-back quarterback and we should do more drop-back, and you guys have spent the last couple months together, I would think, or at least the last month, that this is an extension of you.' [Snyder] said it wasn't."
Also, just gonna draw your attention to this Jason Reid Washington Post column from a couple of weeks ago, in which he called Griffin "one of the least self-aware people you'll ever meet, and his ineptitude in the pocket the past two seasons was outmatched only by his ego."
One more thing to drop in:
This season's going to be wonderful. I don't know how anyone gets out alive.