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Sonny Jurgensen thought RG3 should have been pulled

San Diego Chargers v Washington Redskins Getty Images

Darrell Green now has some company.

As the criticism of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III continues to mount, another one of the team’s legendary figures has joined the chorus.

Former quarterback and Redskins Radio Network analyst Sonny Jurgensen said twice during the broadcast that Griffin should have been benched in favor of Kirk Cousins during Sunday’s loss to the Eagles.

Why not play Cousins?” Jurgensen said during the third quarter, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.

When his partner Larry Michael described the next play and asked if he was ready to “pull the plug,” Jurgensen continued.

“It’s not pulling the plug, it’s getting a change,” Jurgensen said. “Make a change. Can it be any worse? You get four yards passing in a half? I would look at the other quarterback, see if he can make something happen. It’s not the end of the world. They take out pitchers, don’t they?”

When former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley concurred, Jurgensen went onto say: “Having a bad game. The curveball’s not breaking.”

Jurgensen also advocated on the air for Cousins, and seemed surprised that the move wasn’t made.

The criticism was valid, since Griffin had a grand total of four (4!) net passing yards in the first half.

And while he played better in the late stages, it has become clear that last year’s rookie darling has some work to do to convince his elders of his status as the face of the franchise.

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60 Responses to “Sonny Jurgensen thought RG3 should have been pulled”
  1. bigjdve says: Nov 19, 2013 11:12 AM

    Sunny is old and is going senile. RG3 is having issues this year, however he is only in his 2nd year. He is making plays, but the key thing to remember is that it will take some time for him or any QB to achieve greatness.

    He will be okay. The 2nd year QBs that everyone is still talking about, also have better lines that don’t get them killed almost every play.

  2. indywilson40 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:13 AM

    I love the dysfunction surrounding the leagues biggest diva.

  3. tinbender2000 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:14 AM

    He’s the Bitter Beer Face of the franchise.

  4. assuredmutualdestruction says: Nov 19, 2013 11:14 AM

    Bust…definitely not worth all the picks they gave for him.

  5. logicalvoicesays says: Nov 19, 2013 11:14 AM

    Leave Robert Griffin alone. He’s not the problem. #GoodellandMararuinedourseason

  6. broncobeta says: Nov 19, 2013 11:17 AM

    Not a Redskins fan, but grew up in DC. Hell, I even kinda agree with the statement here.

    However, Sonny Jurgensen has cranky old man syndrome to the max.

  7. bucrightoff says: Nov 19, 2013 11:18 AM

    Sonny is just speaking with a logical voice.

  8. bigd7387 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:19 AM

    I’m a Bengals fan so I don’t have any real concern with this but as an outside observer RG3 needs to be given time. People still keep forgetting that it takes a year to recover from ACL surgery. I was holding judgment on RG3 until next year since Peterson’s recovery from ACL last year was not typical. I believe RG3 was injured in December last year so I pretty much figured he wouldn’t be back to full speed until Kickoff 2014. Just my thoughts.

  9. m3dman3 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:20 AM

    But 260 yards in the second half, yeah pulling the plug would be smart.

  10. scrp2 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:21 AM

    In only what can be regarded as proof of existence of a higher power, Joe Theisman had no comment on the matter.

  11. goskinskg9 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:26 AM

    Why not let your QB just get reps after he has come off an ACL reconstruction and a rookie season in the NFL?

  12. wehrmactblitz says: Nov 19, 2013 11:28 AM

    RG3 is the Anti-Russell Wilson… or if you prefer the Bizzaro-Russell Wilson…

  13. dlr4skins says: Nov 19, 2013 11:30 AM

    In Sonny’s defense he often knows not what he is saying.

    Worst broadcast team in the NFL with Larry “Danny’s Microphone” Michael at the helm and “Sun Downed” Sonny riding shotgun.

  14. footballchic777 says: Nov 19, 2013 11:36 AM

    I agree! They always talk about how fragile the psyche is of QBs and the mental damage you will do if you pull them and then start them again. Hello…….what kind of damage is that psyche taking with all of the boos and dissension from playing horribly? No one is perfect, and the object is to win the game! if that QB on that day doesn’t give you the best chance of winning, you change him!

  15. heisthejuan says: Nov 19, 2013 11:45 AM

    RGIII will be a good player in the league. He needed this season to put his absurd ego/attitude back in check. Being humbled and having another offseason to get the knee back to full strength, should prime him for a big bounce back next season.

  16. l0glcalv0icesays says: Nov 19, 2013 11:47 AM

    As great as Sonny Jurgensen is, I think maybe he suffered a few too many hits to the head if he thinks RG3, the Redskins’ franchise savior, is the problem. The problem is Goodell’s unjust bias against the Redskins.

  17. gpry says: Nov 19, 2013 11:52 AM

    A joke of an owner
    Head coach who has accomplished nothing without a QB named elway
    Equals an inferior substandard franchise, which is why the fan base is eroding. With a model franchise 30 miles away it’s no wonder why purple can be seen throughout the DC suburbs

  18. jpherling says: Nov 19, 2013 11:53 AM

    Looking forward to my Giants playing the ‘Skins in two weeks!

  19. coltssteve says: Nov 19, 2013 11:58 AM

    Sonny has a point, but lets look at the obvious here: Mike Tannahan and son don’t get an extension if they win with Cousins as the starter. The success or lack thereof for RG3 the rest of the way will likely be the best barometer on whether Shanny gets an extension or not.

  20. ryanrockzzz says: Nov 19, 2013 12:01 PM

    I could see pulling Griffin out after the first half, he was playing awful against the Eagles. The second half was a different story, or more accurately, the fourth quarter was.

    The difficult thing is that Griffin is the franchise QB on this team. To me that means you don’t bench him, but occasionally on a 3-6 team, you may have to sit him down if the team isn’t functioning well. He was inaccurate in the first half, and generally all game. He also appears to have lost some confidence due to the Redskins inability to draft well and provide talent around him. (And no the cap thing is not an excuse, – I’m looking at you Garcon and Davis). Alfred Morris looks like a solid running back, but certainly hasn’t been the force he was last year. All of those things hinder RGIII. Give it time and he’ll be okay. Trade Cousins for a 3rd round pick this offseason.

  21. lonespeed says: Nov 19, 2013 12:06 PM

    I think the better approach would be splitting first-team reps between Griffin and Cousins in practice this week.

    That way the message is delivered. ‘Kid, we think the world of you but if you don’t start playing the first 30-minutes better, you’re not going to play the second-half, and if it continues long term we may need to make a switch for the rest of the season.’

    This accomplishes a couple of things.

    One, it’s fair to Cousins because he needs to develop his game as well and you’re giving him a fair shot by preparing ahead of time.

    Two, your probably going to get a positive response out of Griffin and if not, then where were you to begin with anyway?

    Three, it establishes some boundaries and control over your quarterback.

  22. realfootballfan says: Nov 19, 2013 12:13 PM

    Two things are going on here. Griffin is going through the same transition, more successfully I might add, that Steve McNair went through as he went from a running QB into oen of the AFC’s best for a stretch. However, the bigger issue is that Griffin has clearly tuned the Shanahans all the way out and is biding his time until he’s working for his next coach. It’s reminiscent of the passive aggressive behavior displayed by Favre while working under Brad Childress, although I can’t really blame the guy since his coach selfishly put him in harm’s way in that playoff game that everyone knew he shouldn’t have stayed playing in. And for people saying that he should have taken himself out, so it’s on him, how’d that work out for Jay Cutler ina similar spot. He had players ripping him during that game for not finishing that NFC championship game on a bad knee.

  23. reesesteel23 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:24 PM

    I’m not the biggest RG3 fan nor do I hate him just because….

    but its his 2nd year….dude lit the league up before his acl went out last year…

    A new coaching stuff would help him a lot

    Another thing I don’t quite get: Everyone calls players sensitive(especially since the whole Martin/Incognito thing) yet are super sensitive to some of the things RG3 says in the media then decides to hate him because he’s not a robot and is honest during interviews….you guys cry when a player is just confident in his own abilities….don’t say a thing about Martin being sensitive ya bunch of pansies

  24. The Shoeman says: Nov 19, 2013 12:24 PM

    CHEATERS . . never win.

    the Gods smile with every REDSKINs EMBARRASSING LOSS.

    and he has been smiling long time . . .

  25. bigmike7914 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:26 PM

    The same people that crown you will cut off your head, RG3 needed this season as a wake up call and growing experience, he needs to learn how to handle adversity and the media, this step back is what the Skins needed as a franchise in order to move forwar, this is kind of the same situation Cam Newton was/is in….

  26. granadafan says: Nov 19, 2013 12:28 PM

    Sonny Jurgensen is a hall of famer and knows more about football in his left pinky finger then you’ll ever know. He was right about pulling the QB.

  27. The Shoeman says: Nov 19, 2013 12:28 PM

    Look like the 49′ers / Giants / KC are in for an E Z time.

    might as well be bye-weeks for them.

    Couldn’t be happier that the E A G L E S put the nail-in-their-coffin.

  28. The Shoeman says: Nov 19, 2013 12:35 PM

    #GoodellandMararuinedourseason

    I think you mean = #GoodellandMararuinedour past 20 years.

    LMAO . . .

  29. zam0854 says: Nov 19, 2013 12:36 PM

    260 yrds passing in the 2nd half?

    RG3 fans, IT WAS GARBAGE TIME! Wasn’t the score 24-0 going into the 4th? Wasn’t this RG3′s 3rd or 4th game “racking up stats” in the 4th qtr? Take 7 td’s off his season total – There is truth to these logical facts!

  30. captainstabbins says: Nov 19, 2013 1:00 PM

    RG3 = Randall Cunningham / Michael Vick

    Can run but can’t read a defense to save their life

  31. operations666 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:02 PM

    Sonny’s still mad because George Allen pulled him for Billy Kilmer!

    RGIII is only in his 2nd year and is coming off major injury. You can clearly see the talent and ability is there. All you haters wanting him to fail are pathetic.

    Plus outside of RGIII, Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, Trent Williams, Jordan Reed, and maybe Ryan Kerrigan, the entire team blows. Really low levels of talent there now. But yeah, RGIII is a bust. Right…

  32. dp4life22 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:13 PM

    wait a second, acccoding to Redskins fans they didn’t even have to show up this year they were automatically in playoffs cause RJ3 was the QB..HAHA same as always skin fans overhyped.

    Cam Newton EVERY YEAR he i the talk of sports TV for about 6 weeks than he goes back to normal. He has nasty skill but immature, still wants everyone to look at him..

  33. natigator says: Nov 19, 2013 1:29 PM

    When RG3 puts up Tebow-esque nubers why isn’t there a nonstop parade of analyst ripping him apart saying he isn’t even good enough to buy a ticket to watch an NFL game?

  34. dcapettini says: Nov 19, 2013 1:35 PM

    All of RGIII’s stats come in “garbage time”. When the game is really winnable, he is less than stellar. Why not let Cousins play? He did very well when RGIII was out last year. He beat the SB champions. Why wait until RGIII is incapacitated to give him a chance?

  35. tinbender2000 says: Nov 19, 2013 1:41 PM

    Sonny was right on the money. He didn’t say RG should be replaced with Cousins permanently, he said if your ace doesn’t have his curveball and is getting shellacked, take him out, let him win another day. RGlll doesn’t need a bunch of cry baby apologist. Hell, that’s why I can’t stand the Washington football club.

  36. myeaglescantwin says: Nov 19, 2013 1:54 PM

    People often forget that this is only his second year.
    this guy isn’t going to come out gangbusters and have a probowl year every time.

    RG3 needs time to mature and develop. The schemes of Shanana need work too. The players and fans all knew what was coming next.

    This is why i criticize the Skins fans so much.
    One week they are calling him the savior HAIL HAIL HAIL.. the next week they are calling for him to be benched..
    jokes.

  37. greymares says: Nov 19, 2013 1:55 PM

    Time will prove that Kirk Cousins will be a better QB in this league than Robert Vick the 3rd. …. Godellandmarascrewednoone.

  38. greymares says: Nov 19, 2013 1:59 PM

    2 acl tears for a “mobile” QB means you better develop you non-mobile skills and RG3 is not capable to do that. this experiment is over same as the Shanahan debacle.

  39. allidoiswin55 says: Nov 19, 2013 2:24 PM

    “Bigjdve” -the Seahawks were missing 4 starting lineman until this last week and Wilson and been hit or hurried more than almost any web in the league with pocket pressure..

    Rg3 had lost his confidence and his team has lost confidence in him too.his teammate kicked his helmet when it came off didn’t immediately pick it up like last season..

    Russell Wilson still developed despite being the most rushed and blitzed team in the league after loosing two all pro lineman and another tackle and guard.

    All I’m saying is don’t make excuses he needs to develop mentally to translate it physically. When rg3 is on it’s amazing when he’s not he’s terrible and this is why so many people see Mike Vick when they see him..good luck rg3 I’m rooting for you but stop making excuses as men they are unacceptable .

  40. earlcampbellrules says: Nov 19, 2013 2:35 PM

    RG3 blows, I would take 20-25 other starting QBs before I would want him. He’s very comparable to Ponder, Pryor, and Tannehill.

  41. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Nov 19, 2013 2:57 PM

    operations666 says:
    Nov 19, 2013 1:02 PM
    Sonny’s still mad because George Allen pulled him for Billy Kilmer!

    Actually, having watched a lot of those games, Allen started Kilmer because Kilmer was his kind of guy (conservative, on the field and off). Also Sonny by that time was hobbled. But come the third quarter, finding himself behind, Allen went to Sonny every time (even the super bowl that billy started). And the dude that said Sonny has forgotten more than any poster on here knows is right.

    The poster who said that RG3 (and seven) has tuned out Kyle and Mike Shanahan is also correct. As with any franchise where the owner fancies himself friends with the players, the stars know they will outlast the current slappy coach. ask Martyball and Jim Zorn.

    So, Danny Boy will be looking for the latest and greatest offensive genius early next year to coax that upside out of young griffin. What sonny said was probably true, and a thirty minute vacation would have conveyed the right message; but in fact nothing either shanny can do now is going to register at all so it wouldn’t make any difference……

  42. realfootballfan says: Nov 19, 2013 3:07 PM

    Also, for the people claiming he had all of his stats in garbage time, do you even know what garbage time means. If you’re driving for a tie at the end of the game, that’s hardly garbage time. Garbage time is if you’re losing, have no chance to win, and then start putting up stats against prevent defenses since the game is out of reach. Learn the difference; it’s embarrassing.

  43. shalakka says: Nov 19, 2013 3:17 PM

    It’s not Robert, it’s Kyle and the style of offense they have him in, once the game gets out of hand, then Kyle opens up to score more, which he should have done all along

  44. mackcarrington says: Nov 19, 2013 3:34 PM

    Sonny’s reference is from what happened back when he was playing. As a poster mentioned, George Allen used to play yo-yo with Jurgenson and Kilmer. Tom Landry also played the same games with Staubach and Craig Morton until he realized that Staubach was better and that platooning 2 QB’s was detrimental.

  45. channer81 says: Nov 19, 2013 3:36 PM

    Completely agree with Sonny, I was thinking put in Cousins in the 4th. Why not have the reverse of Jay Schroeder Doug Williams

  46. thebigcaptain2011 says: Nov 19, 2013 3:40 PM

    I would have to respectfully disagree with the great Mr. Jurgeson on this one. You can’t compare pulling a pitcher to pulling a qb. The reason you don’t pull him is because you believe in him. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson or Tony Romo don’t get pulled at half. You may have a certain opinion about any one of the guys I just mentioned but they all have one thing in common: Their franchise believes in them as their franchise QBs. You have to stick with the guy through thick and thin until you truly believe he is not the guy, then just move on from him.

  47. rcali says: Nov 19, 2013 3:45 PM

    There has to be health concerns about Bob. He’s built more like a world class sprinter then a NFL QB. When the defense gets their hands on him they seem to be able to throw him around like a rag doll and those knees look like they’re going to get torn apart everytime. Cousins better stay loose.

  48. bigjdve says: Nov 19, 2013 3:47 PM

    allidoiswin55 – I’m not making excuses for him. He does need to develop and mature. You can tell he needs maturity by the way that he is dealing with the coaches and his team right now.

    I am just trying to make the point that he is still very young, and is doing pretty well for a 2nd year.

    Your statistics about Wilson are wrong though. Last year he took the 5th fewest hits in the league and this year has only been hit 5 more times than RG3, and he is ranked 8th most this season so while he is taking a beating, it is not nearly as bad as you would state and he has alot more talent around him. Those things would make it easier for him to mature.

    Again not making excuses, RG3 does need to get better, but I believe that he will with time. And benching him because of a bad 1/2 or 2 when the rest of the team is struggling just as badly doesn’t make sense.

  49. tiger2471 says: Nov 19, 2013 4:36 PM

    There is no need to bench RG3, but what should be done is fire Shanahan and his son along with the defensive staff. How in the hell do you expect a QB to do well when he has no time to pass?! Any QB that is doing well in the league has a good line that gives them time to pass, period! Although I do believe that RG3 needs to work harder on his craft if he wants to be successful because some of his passes were bad. Another thing that makes no sense is the benching of Fred Davis, we don’t have enough weapons as it is and you bench a tight end that could be added as a valuable weapon. Mike Shanahan should be fired at the end of the season and we should be interviewing new coaches as we speak, defensive and offensive coordinators. No coach should keep getting paid 7 million a year with a losing record.

  50. allidoiswin55 says: Nov 19, 2013 5:14 PM

    Russell Wilson has been pressure on more pass plays thank any qb in the nfl ,he’s not always sacked or clobbered bc us extremely elusive and witty .. He has had the most pressure to deal with in the nfl without time to throw you know your passing game will suffer . My point is he’s still finding ways to win and not making bad decisions with the ball except the sack fumbles he has a few of ..

    Rg3 is electrifying but is struggling severely adjusting to relying on his eyes and what he sees as apposed to his super scary athletic gifts . He may put it together but as of now his confidence is broken .

    As a high level football player with friends in the league , the difference between success and failure when everyone is so athletically gifted is confidence and preparation . Right now atleast one of those is lacking . But I agree the circumstances have been against him and that sucks .

    Also keep pointing out garbage time , that only shows he’s always playing comeback bc his defense and that requirement to pass makes what their offend does very predictable.

  51. bigjdve says: Nov 19, 2013 5:27 PM

    allidoiswin55 – Wilson also has a better coaching staff with Carrol. Shanahan was only good w/ Elway a QB that was a veteran when he got him.

    He isn’t very good at grooming new QBs, neither is Kyle. Wilson does get pressure but he has alot of help around him. I am glad that he does, he makes the league a better place.

    RG3 – I don’t know that his confidence is broken, as he is so arrogant, that being stated, I don’t think he has been given the items around him in order to help him make good decisions. Let’s be honest, playing at Baylor meant that a couple games a year they had good opponents BUT for the most part they had easy ones.

    He also has a history of coming alive late, his last Bowl game, Baylor was down by what 21 points at the 1/2?

    He will be okay, it just needs some time.

    I think in response to your statement about something lacking, I believe it to be preparation. Kyle is predictable and he likes to plan based on what he wants not the defense’s weaknesses. It is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole with that guy.

    I am hoping that something changes, as I would hate to see RG3 go down as a bust because he didn’t have the right mentoring.

  52. tory707 says: Nov 19, 2013 5:55 PM

    Merge son is a jerk. That’s why the Eagles let him go. If they would have pulled the plug on him he would have went nuts

  53. seaeagle707 says: Nov 19, 2013 6:09 PM

    For all those that believe that RGIII’s knee is going to magically heal itself to “as good as new” condition, all I can say is, don’t count on it. Two ACL tears and resultant surgeries have left it in marginal condition at best. The pounding that its taking through this season isn’t helping it any. It is very doubtful that a knee, that is down to maybe 75% of its original strength, will ever return to much above that. What RGIII, should concentrate on now, is building up his calves, to make up for the strength lost in the knee. Those “chicken legs” of his aren’t going to serve him well going forward.

  54. umrao1 says: Nov 19, 2013 10:03 PM

    A. Luck and T. Wilson are both in their 2nd year………

    I have to admit: I do like RGIII and what he did last year was just phenomenal with natural talent and ball skills. RGIII did have reconstructive ACL surgery and it will take time, but RGIII will be a force in this league.

  55. macjacmccoy says: Nov 19, 2013 11:52 PM

    Why do Redskins’ fans keep talking about RG3 getting hurt in the NFC Championship game? He never played in the NFC championship game. They didnt even make it out of the wildcard round last year. Tony Romo has won more playoff games since he’s been in the league then the Redskins have.

  56. ninjapleazee says: Nov 20, 2013 5:07 AM

    RG3 = McNabb 2.0… McNabb was never the same player after blowing up his knees.

  57. boyshole25 says: Nov 20, 2013 5:15 AM

    I like the kid but he’s not ready should’ve sat this year. Also his stats are super inflated during garbage time

  58. lorcanbonda says: Nov 20, 2013 10:00 AM

    I never understood why benching a quarterback is such a horrible fate. In the Doug Williams superbowl year, Gbbs went back and forth between Williams and Schroeder all year long.

    Unless your name is Brady or Payton, you should be benched when you are having a bad game. That will give him a chance to watch defenses with his quarterback coach all game. It’s a win-win — young quarterbacks have never leared well in desperation mode.

  59. bigblackanvil says: Nov 20, 2013 10:03 AM

    Why not play Cousins??? Because he sucks !!!!! Does anybody watch the games??? I mean really. I respect you Sunny but No !!!! HTTR

  60. buckhorn2013 says: Nov 20, 2013 12:35 PM

    None of the Redskins or anyone affiliated with the team has the self discipline shut up. Too caught up in the moment. RGIII is gonna be fine. Will be a better quarterback going forward for having gone through this. He’ll have more of an edge next year and people will complain about that.

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