Jay Gruden: “No-brainer” to trade for Alex Smith

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It has been more than a month since word of the trade sending Alex Smith to Washington first broke, but it didn’t become official until the start of the new league year Wednesday.

That means Jay Gruden hasn’t been able to talk about his new quarterback in anything but the most general of terms. Now that Smith is officially on the team, Gruden is able to share his thoughts about the move and what it means for the Redskins.

Gruden said that the uncertainty involved with going into free agency with Kirk Cousins likely walking out the door made it a “no-brainer” to make a move for Smith before the Super Bowl. The move to Smith has Gruden excited about what the offense will be able to do with a mobile quarterback.

“That’s something you can’t coach,” Gruden said, via John Keim of ESPN.com. “Some quarterbacks are better than others, and Alex is one of the best at it. His off-schedule plays are well-documented. He’s a problem when he gets outside the pocket. You have to be well aware of your rush lanes when you’re playing Alex Smith. You have to be aware of the coverages you play. You can’t have your defensive backers and safety and corners with their backs to the quarterback covering receivers in two-man because he’ll gut you. His movement skills are very, very underrated. He can really, really run. He’s really a good athlete. That’s not to say we’ll run the zone read every time, but the ability to get on the edge and outside the pocket and do some of the college stuff [is appealing].”

Washington has added Paul Richardson to their receiving corps and he should bring more speed to the group. Smith has been criticized for not taking advantage of downfield opportunities in the past, but Gruden said he’s “not too concerned” about Smith’s ability to generate big plays with his arm.

Given the trade and the four-year extension Smith received, one would guess that Gruden and company don’t have too many concerns about Smith’s ability to do the job.

37 responses to “Jay Gruden: “No-brainer” to trade for Alex Smith

  1. Truth be told, yes Alex Smith does have his limitations, and he won’t take you far in the playoffs. But he is a very good QB and could be an upgrade over Cousins.

  2. There may not be enormous talent difference between Smith & Cousins. Cousins is a little better QB, more of a upside to his career right now, partly due he’s also younger than Smith. At this point Alex Smith might not be getting, better where Cousins should still be growing into a better QB.

  3. The Redskins didn’t think Cousins would be THE GUY. So they let him walk rather than give him a big contract. Fair enough. We’ll see what happens.

    But then they trade for Smith, who has proven he isn’t THE GUY either, and they give him a big contract? Makes no sense whatsoever.

  4. Cousins played last year with no rb’s, no wr’s , no o-line and a 40 year-old TE. Good luck to Gruden and Smith. They deserve better!

  5. What a joke. Cousins made that crappy team look decent. What’s smith going to do with no playmakers or defense. Welcome to the basement Redskins.

  6. Enjoy 8-8 or 9-7. Enjoy watching Smith ignore wide open receivers because they are past his comfort zone of three yards downfield. Chris Thompson is going to be a beast catching swing passes.

  7. Have you people even watched Alex Smith? He’s in the top 3 in wins since 2014. He has been to the playoffs 4 out of 5 years. You guys just got a huge upgrade but aren’t smart enough to realize it

  8. buckstalion12965 says:
    March 14, 2018 at 6:26 pm
    The no-brainer would have been you signing cousins 2 years ago to a multi-year deal for the $19m that he was asking for.

    Not sure how much of a no brainer it was to people on here who were feinting at the $19 million per year number. So the Skins decided to franchise him twice and pay $22 million per year.

  9. The Redskins signed Pryor to be their #1 WR last year and already let him go.

    Smith has no running game, no real receivers to throw to and Jordan Reed cant stay healthy.

    The ghost of RG3 still haunting this team. What a sad sack.

  10. I love the way people on here say they should have signed Cousins two years ago to a long term deal after one good season. Then they say other QB’s are one year wonders and they will revert back to what they were before. Did any of these people see Cousins before he had his first good season? At the time 19 million wasn’t cheap and he really had not proved himself. He also had some really good receivers in Reed, Garcon and Jackson.

  11. seeing what cousins got from the queens, the redskins will be vindicated for not backing up the brinks truck for him.

  12. It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a guy who will never take you to the promised land but that you can pay a lot of money to, like the 49ers, Chiefs and now your team is doing.

  13. I wouldn’t be surprised in the least Alex smith wins more gamex than cousins did in Washington. Say what u want smith led the NFL in qb rating last season. Game manager my eye, dude has 88 career wins and is well over 500 as a starter while cousins is 26-30-1. I’m going to laugh so hard this year watching mediocre cousins tank that Vikings team to 10-6 and watch them get bounced outta the first round, then let him do his encore of 8-8 in 2019 and 7-9 in 2020. Then he will be ready to rake the coals over the next suckers and rob them blind. All I hear about was how cousins put up numbers despite his lack of weapons and bad defense. Bull, this guy was in one of the most friendly qb offenses in the league and had a top 5 o-line the entire time he was in dc. Cousins is a fraud.

  14. The problem was managements failure to build a team around Cousins to warrant signing him to a long term deal to see if through. We have so many holes on our team. It would make little sense to pay Cousins his asking price only to lead us to 6-8 wins cause we had no depth, no running game, no WR’s and a pro bowl TE in his prime who can’t stay on the field.

    Some of the roster weakness you can’t blame entirely on management, guys leaving the team, or injuries to up and coming guys. We’re in a bad place as a team, Smith is just a band aid to a team that’s plateaued and theres no light at the end of the tunnel..

  15. Cousins has more rushing TDs than RG3 but it’s good to finally get that mobile guy eh, Jay? Hopefully Alex will be a better run stopper than Kirk too because Kirk just wasn’t the defender you need your 1930s style two-way Wishbone QB to be…
    Cousins also had zero punt and kickoff return yardage.
    Doug Williams pointed that out to me on his way into Dan Snyder’s house.

  16. It’s a team sport. It’s too bad management didn’t think Cousins needed all the offensive and defensive improvements they talk about making for Smith. Smith has a very good record playing for very good teams. To put the team he’s coming to in perspective, remember the New Orleans game. With 3 1/2 minutes remaining, the Redskins led by 15 points and still lost. Don’t forget Gruden’s decision against the Giants to punt on 4th and less than 1 in the last, meaningless for both teams game, at the end of the season. Welcome, Alex.

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