It’s not exactly news, but the Redskins continue their quest to meet any and all drama head on, whether it be hours before a Sunday kickoff, or in the midst of an offseason.
On Tuesday, ESPN980 Redskins beat reporter Chris Russell reported that, according to multiple team sources, quarterback Kirk Cousins recently spent several days working with former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.
Often times when it comes to the Redskins, mountains are made from mole hills and things are typically blown up much more than they should/need to be. But in this particular case — that is, a backup quarterback spending several days working with a former coach who just so happens to also be the brother of his team’s head coach — it’s a really big frickin’ deal.
Why is this a big frickin’ deal?
— While an open competition at the quarterback position makes the most sense, there always seemed to be an underlying feeling of Robert Griffin III being the No. 1 guy heading into next season, which was especially true following Chris Cooley’s “bold prediction” of Griffin being named the starter in 2015 without competition. And when you take that into account, this is the BACKUP quarterback going off to study with Jon Gruden, who works with various young passers leading up to draft time.
— Jon Gruden isn’t just any quarterback coach. He’s the head coach’s KIN. Are we to assume that Cousins was sitting around the house one day when a random light bulb went off and he said to himself, “I should go train with a respected guru like Jon Gruden!” Nah, man. This isn’t coincidence. Someone either encouraged or instructed this offseason hookup.
— What’s Griffin thinking/feeling right about now? While he continues to work with Terry Shea in the offseason (who somehow gave him an above-average grade for the Tampa Bay performance last season), the other guy gunning for the same starting roster spot is down south working with a Super Bowl winning coach who also happens to have a mutual relationship with the Redskins’ primary decision maker (when it comes to the roster) that includes LOVE, TRUST, and FRIENDSHIP.
— If we assumed Griffin had the edge heading into next season, not only does a report like this seem to level the playing field, but you could make an argument that Cousins is the favorite.
— Regardless of Jon Gruden’s track record developing quarterbacks, he’s a guy who knows the ins and outs of every play and facet of his brother’s offense. The same can’t be said for any other offseason coach working with any other Redskins quarterback.
Why is this NOT a big frickin’ deal?
— The report mentions Cousins working with Gruden for “several days” from “8 a.m. to 6 p.m.” a day. But what does “several days” mean in relation to an entire offseason? If we’re talking about a handful of 10-hour sessions amongst the entire offseason, I’m not sure how effective a coaching tool that is.
— Could this just be a ploy by the team to help increase Cousins’ draft stock in a sort of indirect, covert kind of way? Probably not, but still.
— What if we’re all wrong for assuming Griffin and his undeserved status heading into next season? Aside from gaudy physical traits, a price tag equivalent to a king’s ransom, and one helluva rookie season, Griffin hasn’t earned anything. And in that case, perhaps Griffin is comfortable with Shea as his quarterback coach, while Cousins was looking for a solid recommendation from his head coach. It might go something like this…
(Cousins knocks lightly on partially opened door)
(Jay Gruden looks up from his desk)
Cousins: “Hey, coach. Do you have a second?
Gruden: “Sure, Kirk. C’mon in.”
(Cousins pulls the chair away from the desk and settles in)
Cousins: “So, heading into next season, I was thinking of teaming up with a coach this offseason in preparation for what I hope will be a competitive camp this summer. I’m not really gun-ho on anyone in particular and I was wondering if there was anyone you might recomm–”
Gruden: (interrupting) “Hell yeah I do, Kirk! I’m glad you asked. (digs into his pocket and retrieves a flip phone) I’ll call Jon! He’s a quarterback wizard, he knows what he’s talking about, he watches a lot of tape, he’s a fan of yours, and, oh yeah, I LOVE HIM.”
Here’s a link to buy your new Kirk Cousins jersey.
- In fact, his track record for quarterback development isn’t anything to write home about (back)
- Seriously. It’s one of the most absurd cases of delusion I’ve ever heard. (back)
- However, if the frequency changes to say, a month or two with Jon, the discussion then changes too. (back)