As the NFL world continues to debate the Redskins’ surprising decision to use their fourth-round draft pick on quarterback Kirk Cousins after already using their first- and second-round picks (and their next two years’ first-round picks) on quarterback Robert Griffin III, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan thinks it’s going to work because he has seen it work before.
Griffin said at his press conference after the Redskins’ rookie minicamp today that Shanahan had told him this situation is comparable to what the Broncos had for nine years, when 1983 No. 1 overall pick John Elway was their starter and 1983 No. 197 overall pick Gary Kubiak was their backup. Griffin said the Redskins told him in advance that they liked Cousins and might draft him, and the situation sounds good to Shanahan, who was a Broncos assistant for six of the nine seasons when Kubiak backed up Elway, because it worked for Elway and worked for the Broncos.
It probably doesn’t sound as good to Cousins, though: Kubiak started a grand total of five games in his NFL career. Cousins surely wants to play more than that.
If Cousins is going to play much in his NFL career, it will probably happen somewhere other than Washington. Shanahan confirmed at his press conference that Griffin will run the first-team offense when the whole team gets together, and he said Griffin is ahead of where the coaches expected him to be right now.
“He’s great,” Shanahan said of Griffin. “I don’t think we had one bust with a play call or coverages the whole minicamp.”
Still, Griffin says he plans to prove he deserves to be the No. 1 quarterback, and not just because he was the No. 2 overall pick.
“Even if you are supposed to be ‘the guy,’ you still start off at the bottom of the barrel,” Griffin said. “Have to work your way up.”