Joe Theismann: Kirk Cousins has outplayed RG3

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Washington doesn’t have a quarterback controversy.

But if you listen to Joe Theismann, maybe it should.

Theismann used his platform on the team’s own preseason broadcast to question Robert Griffin III’s grasp on things, and to praise the work done by backup Kirk Cousins.

“Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann said in the fourth quarter, via the Washington Post. “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way. …”

Theismann even circled back at the end of the game, saying: “I think there’s going to be a lot of conversation after this football game regarding the quarterback position,”

“You can’t avoid it,” he said. “Your eyes don’t lie to you. Robert has struggled in the limited opportunities that he has had. And Kirk Cousins has seized the opportunities that he has had when it comes to playing the position and understanding the offense.”

Cousins did have better numbers, but they all came against reserves. And as much as Theismann might appreciate a traditional drop-back passer, the reality is Cousins has looked average or worse when he’s had a chance to play.

There’s no indication Jay Gruden shares Theismann’s thoughts, but if he did, it would create a controversy in D.C. that pales only to the nickname.

108 responses to “Joe Theismann: Kirk Cousins has outplayed RG3

  1. MeMeMe has struggled. No denying that is there doubters. Bust. If he was a fifth rounder nobody would care and he’d be out of the league already.

  2. Must be frustrating for Cousins. No matter how well he plays he won’t play ahead of RGIII. Washington gave up so much to get Griffin there is no way they will not play him.

  3. As somebody who happens to live in the DC area, I get to listen to the sports talk radio here. Let me just say that there are some people who call in to the shows and believe the Skins should trade RG3 and go with Cousins.

    I don’t know if that’s the right move for this team, but so far, RG3 is making the case for them.

  4. RG3=flash in the pan setting franchise back 5yrs with wasted drat picks used to acquire him and yrs wasted trying to make him serviceable to bad for cousins has to waste 3yrs of his carrier waiting as skins try to save face by sticking with this stiff

  5. Its pretty amazing when 99% of the time JT talks people tell him to shut up and say he knows nothing. All the haters think he his point on now. RG3 looked horrible. Cousins looked great. RG3 faced suggs and Hgata. Cousins faced well I don’t know to be honest. Its pre season. If rg3 had went 10 for 10 and 150 yards . People would say its just pre season it means nothing.

  6. Its pretty amazing when 99% of the time JT talks people tell him to shut up and say he knows nothing. All the haters think he his point on now. RG3 looked horrible. Cousins looked great. RG3 faced suggs and Hgata. Cousins faced well I don’t know to be honest. Its pre season. If rg3 had went 10 for 10 and 150 yards . People would say its just pre season it means nothing.

  7. From RG3 to RG knee but has always been “RG-Me”. Kirk cousins has outplayed Griffen and that’s not saying much. Griffen as of right now is just a bad qb. Nothing more nothing less. He looks terrible.

  8. First off all I am an Eagles fan so I could care less about the Redskins. Anybody that listens to what Theisman says is an idiot. This guy can’t keep his job wherever he goes and your going to listen to him. RG3 played very well his first year. The guy had a MAJOR injury and was sent back in by plastic face and his idiot son last year. I do think RG3 is vs 2 of Vick but a lot smarter. This guy will be alright. Why publish anything Theismann says?

  9. Cousins could start Day One for Oakland, Houston, Cleveland or Buffalo and be in the mix in Miami and Tampa. I feel bad for him.

  10. I don’t often agree with Theismann … but he may be onto something, and I like RG3.

    But as all of us have learned often in life, the best are not always the ones that get to run the show.

  11. Cousins is a better QB. RGIII has made his bread and butter being a track athlete playing football. He can’t read defenses and has always been able to make plays with his feet when his primary receiver is covered. That worked in high school and college. However, in the NFL players are bigger and faster and hit harder. A player his size that doesn’t know how to slide will have a short career. Cousins wont have to wait too long. RG ME is too fragile to last very long.

  12. RG should start this year and be on a short leash. Cousins didn’t exactly light it up during his 3 game run at the end of last year, so I’m not sure he’s that much better than Griffin.

    Depending on how Griffin performs, Gruden has a tough decision on his hands. Cousins, with the proper reps, is exactly what Gruden needs him to be. Griffin may never learn to rely on his arm over legs.

    I say they’ll blame the Shanahan’s for mortgaging their future and move on from RG3, if they have another losing season.

    Gruden can’t let Griffin define his legacy as a a head coach..these opportunities are few and far between.

  13. the media made him the greatest thing since sliced bread. well he isn’t. to bad he believes it. can’t stand being out of the spotlight. to much hype for him to handle.

  14. Sparty on!
    This is the point where the censors delete my comment for absolutely no reason.
    Thanks for being such awesome people!

  15. Cousins could start for more then a couple of NFL teams,,tomorrow. Griffin is, #1 going through some unusual growing pains,,,#2 is injured, or #3 he doesn’t get it,,,it being Gruden’s offense. Talk about Tebow’s delivery,,,Griffin winds up from this shoe laces,,exaggeration yes, but,, If you put Manziel and Griffin together, they would appear the same, both are having struggles with the pro game. Some QBs coming out of college are world beaters, Andrew Luck for one, and some cant adapt. How long it takes to adapt is the question? Trading Griffin is out of the question, several #1 draft pks were spent on Griffin and the Redskins are looking at no return on their investment.
    And, who TF listens to joe theismann ?

  16. If this goes into the regular season its going to be one giant mess. The problem with RG3 is his team put all its eggs in the same basket for him. Regarding his abilties, regarding his health and regarding the type of offense he can run effectively.

    From the start it was a given he would have to eventualy become a better all around QB, instead of a read option one. If he cant brake that wall then he will be out of the league in 2 years max.

  17. Cousins could start Day One for Oakland, Houston, Cleveland or Buffalo and be in the mix in Miami and Tampa. I feel bad for him.


    Add the Vikings

  18. I really don’t get the RGIII hate. The guy works hard. All the controversy surrounding him was all hearsay that wasn’t really substantiated by anyone without an axe to grind. The Shanahans ran the guy into the ground. Coming off an injury, of course last year was going to be a down year. As for preseason… It’s preseason. I’ve seen Brady, Brees, and Manning all struggle in various preseasons only to work it out later.

    I am FAR from a Skins fan, and I’m not saying RGIII is going to be great. What I am saying is I don’t understand why dirt is being tossed on his grave after a great rookie year, a down post-injury year , and a preseason working in an entirely new system with a new coach. He deserves a shot.

  19. He’s right. RGIII has clearly regressed for whatever reason. His mechanics are worse than ever, he is holding on to the ball (in some cases) way too long and his decision making (at least in the pre-season) has been very suspect. He should have had another 4 picks this preseason that were dropped–all were terrible, forced throws. As Seinfeld sez…..could be trouble!

  20. Has anyone actually looked at Kirk Cousins regular season stats? He’s not good.

    Comparing him to Dalton is apt, though. All Cousins needs is a top 3 WR, an amazing defense, and a coach whose entire game plan is designed around hiding his weaknesses…

  21. Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent, our 3rd round pick from RG3’s year is getting better and better. He has total command of the offense and is going to have his best year yet.

    Go Hawks!

  22. In a perfect scenario you want a QB who can throw from the pocket and be your starting QB for 14 years.
    RG3 has had enough time to prove that he is not a pocket QB. Throw caution to the wind and go back to the wildcat, run option, college style since that is his best chance to win. He may last the year and get you into the playoffs.
    Although Cousins understands the pocket better, he is physically limited and isn’t the longterm solution either.

  23. i was surprised to learn recently that Cousins has thrown one of the fatestet balls in the combine. He definitely has an NFL arm. He deserves the chance to start somewhere. Washington would be smart to trade him and get back some of the picks they lost in the RGIII deal. Or do the opposite.

  24. while i doubt griffin, those clamoring for cousins must have taken the last three weeks of last season off.

    let me refresh your memory; the skins were going to showcase cousins to build a market for the off-season. but cousins didn’t exactly answer the bell, going 0-3 and regressing each game. and it wasn’t the seattles of the league, but atlanta, dallas and the giants that he couldn’t beat…..

  25. Longtime WR fan.

    RGIII does not look comfortable in the latest HC offensive scheme. The only time he has looked productive was with the limited scheme in his rookie year.

    If WR HC is going to fully utilize RGIII, they need to revert back to that scheme again AND realize that RG3 will not be permanent solution due to the high risk factor of another season (or more than likely career) ending injury.

    RG3 is not a classic pocket passer with necessary talent to quickly execute the correct throw to the correct receiver. Until everyone comes to that conclusion, everything else is a moot point.

    This current regime did not draft RG3, but they are getting those guaranteed salaries and necessary coaching experience to move on to another club down the road. Until they either change the QB, or change the scheme, or change to another HC regime – expect more of the same.

  26. Cousins is in his final year of his contract, right? The Skins won’t pay him and he will go start somewhere else, next year. Then the Skins will be left with a fragile, underachiever, and nothing else. It’s the beginning of the end, Washington. (Not that you had much going, anyway.)

    Better draft another QB next year.

  27. Everybody who points to the fact that Cousins didn’t light the world on fire in his few games last season needs to remember, it was ALSO just his second year in the league (as it was with Griffin.)

    Combine that with the fact that he didn’t play much during his rookie season and got very few reps in practice as the backup that season….it was pretty much the equivalent to a rookie playing in their first couple of games.

    It is easy to see that right now he is the superior QB on this team. Now in five years that may not be the case…but right now the Redskins have 1 QB and 1 ridiculous athlete trying to learn how to be a QB.

  28. The same reason cousins can’t start in DC is the same reason he wouldn’t in Buffalo. Which is they just spent a 1st rounder on there qb last year. Also he would have no shot in tampa. Lovie loves McCown and would start him regardless. Plus Mike Glennon has out played Cousins by a pretty large margin. With arguably a much weaker supporting cast.

    Glennon stats:

    59.4 comp. Percentage – 4.6 td% per passing attempt – 2.2 int% ppa 200.6 yards per game – 83.9 qbr

    Cousins stats:

    56.2 comp. Percentage – 3.9 td% ppa – 4.9 int% ppa 165 yards per game – 68.6 qbr

    The only edge cousins has over Glennon is he only gets sacked 3.8% of the time when he drops back compared to 8.8 % of the time for Glennon. But I think that speaks to my claim that Cousins supporting cast being much better the Glennon’s , more then it does about escape ability. Sure it plays a part but just not as much as tampa bay’s lack of an effective offensive line does.

  29. Mike Shanahan’s decision to draft Cousins as QB insurance is looking smarter every day.
    Maybe RG3, for all his athleticism, isn’t as good as they thought and maybe Cousins is a lot better than expected.
    Redskin owner Daniel Snyder, may have to change horses and ditch Bob for Kirk. It’s embarassing but not like it’s the first time he made an expensive mistake. RG3’s special friendship with the owner will only last so long.

  30. RG3 & Out! People go crazy for these new running QB’s but they never can play from the pocket and always get hurt. I knew RG3 would suck after his first tear when he couldnt just run the read option with play action. Same story over and over with these running QB’s who never learned to play from the pocket. Redskins keep there losing was again like the Browns picking Manziel . They just keep setting there teams back. The funny part is that most of there fans were too stupid by wanting either RG3 or Johnny Football. Oh well, better the Redskins or Browns than my team. Hehe!!!

  31. its hilarious to hear the apologists for bob, and now the apologists for cousins. cousins may look good against scrubs, but lets be real. foles came off the bench unexpectedly (without starter reps) in his second year and did pretty well.

    the fact is that neither is very good. sort of like when mcnabb began to throw grounders and everyone thought kolb looked like a pro quarterback….

  32. The problem for the Redskins is every defensive coordinator in the NFL is now familiar with RG3’s bag of college pass tricks and know how to defense them.

    Once you shut down his quick, short passes to the flats, the little hitch routes, and the two step drop before he runs, you force RG3 to become a pure pocket passer and make the medium to long throws into the heart of pass defenses. Now, RG3 is playing to his weaknesses.

    Just like Vick never developed an accurate and reliable medium to long-range NFL level passing skills, RG3 will be forced to re-invent himself or eventually become another Vince Young.

    Looks like its Philly or the Giants who will dominate and win the division again with pocket passers instead of running QBs who occasionally pass.

  33. Ha!!! Joe Theisman may be a lot of things like arrogant & sometimes annoying but at least he calls it like he sees it. Any other Redskin analyst would be making excuses for the overhyped RG3. The excuses are over. He’s healthy & he has playmakers at every one of the skilled positions.

  34. What is more alarming is Baltimore’s top 3 cornerbacks, Webb, Smith, and Jackson did not play the entire game. RG3 went against a very depleted secondary and struggled mightily. Granted Baltimore put a lot of pressure on him and their front seven looked very athletic.

  35. Cousins would have usurped him by now if he didn’t have such a weak arm. Everywhere else, he has been better than Griffin: fundamentals, accuracy, efficiency, etc.

  36. And Johnny has outplayed Hoyer.

    RG3 and his wife better hope they’re making money off their smash hit “Pop Rocks and Tootsie Pops” because the money flow will be drying up soon

  37. It doesn’t matter if RG3 starts. He’ll be on IR by week 5. He’ll try too hard to prove people wrong that he will continue to take unnecessary hits.

  38. RGme has a solid front line, running backs,TE and WR group… This is his make or break year. No more excuses about coaching, injury etc..
    He of course will fail because this is the NFL and coaching is no longer surprised by the read option. He will never develop into a true franchise QB both because he is too arrogant and also knows too much to listen to coaching. But I predict he will be blown up in week 1 and hobbling around all season due to injuries. Skins will make a mistake and let Cousins go via FA and they will be drafting another QB next draft.

  39. I’m not a Washington fan at all! But, I’m Rooting for the kid! I think he’s a good kid at heart! Andrew Luck holds on to the ball to long as well. That can be easily corrected. I’m a little concerned he does look confused staying in the pocket and going through his reads. I usually rate a QB By there 3rd year, so it is concerning!

  40. washington stinks. rg3 stinks. desean jackson stinks.

    rg3 came out of college with injury history. then in 1st nfl season he gets concussed and blows knee out in playoffs. then in 2nd nfl season he had bad yr because knee wasn’t healthy and he was in recovery mode.

    he is 1 hit away. cousins just needs to be patient.

    harsh but true.

  41. Seahawks fans in here talking about Russell Wilson need to get a life

    Maybe, but he is the best QB out of that draft.

    If Luck or RGIII had done the same things Wilson’s done, they’d already be molding their bust for Canton.

  42. RGIII is Kaepernick on a far worse team. It’s funny how winning changes people’s perception. Don’t believe me? Check the stats. They’re both one-read pistol QBs. If they traded places, you wouldn’t see much difference.

  43. Cam Newton looked like crap in the preseason last year and every Panthers fan was calling for Rivera’s head. He didn’t finish out the season too shabby… Remember people, the season in a marathon not a sprint. I’m sure some of you guys wives wish you knew that 🙂

  44. Just remember what everybody was saying about Eli & Cam and many others as they were about to start their 3 rd year. Fair judgement will be after year 4. And I’m a Cousins fan, but a realist as well. Just sayin’

  45. FYI: is Cousins and RG3 were in a real QB controversy, that wouldn’t “pale in comparison” to their nickname. It would actually be a story, unlike this whole nickname dead horse the media keeps kicking.

  46. I hope Griffin gets a nagging type injury like a hamstring that just keeps him out a while so we can finally retire this Cousins myth. He’s not that good or he wouldn’t have looked so bad at the end of last year when, you know, he was playing with the starters with a potential trade on the line to another team. He kind of stunk up the joint. Washington’s problem is still that offensive line, but the defense looks much improved, and the special teams had no where to go but up.

  47. It’s really an insult to Andy Dalton to have him mentioned in this article. It’s roles reversed. Andy Dalton is the most underrated QB and RG3 is the most overrated

  48. I remember the last season and a half that Theisman played… and how, we all, wished he would have been replaced….

    RG3 has looked “bad” but the talent is there and he will be fine; Cousins is a solid backup

  49. Unfortunately rg3 will never lose the starting job. And he had one of the best rookie seasons we have ever seen by a qb. Cousins should just demand a trade, he has skills and could start on a team like Houston

  50. I am sick of the excuses of those who defend Griffin as to why he’s a starter.

    First, in NO SEASON has he EARNED a starting job based on performance. He has BEEN GIVEN a job based solely on the cost to acquire him. He has never had to compete to start.

    Second, Griffin has been given three years to develop – he has had three years to start with all the starters and has had to play precious little in preseason. Suddenly Cousins doesn’t have the experience and is judged because he cannot beat first stringers. I would like to point out that Griffin has a losing record against starters in regular season and never has had to have a possible tie turned into a loss by his head coach like Shanny did to Cousins.

    Third, it is blantantly unfair to slam Cousins for being a pocket QB – if Griffin has the traits that befit another offense, then that is not Cousin’s fault. And since Griffin has intentionally ignored coaching on many points, Griffin put himself in harm’s way and thus now has removed any ability he had as a runner – he has thus intentionally put himself into a system that calls for a pocket passer.

    Fourth, if Griffin continues to underwhelm as he has done in preseason and all of last season, then will the Griffin suckups allow Cousins to have three years of on-the-job training just like their precious Griffy has had?

    Face it Griffin suckups, your guy has no tangible skills to run a pro offense – he’s ruined the only one he had. Why are you so indignant that a backup would dare to improve each off season and to have skills that your guy will NEVER possess. Your guy is still not listening to coaching on the basics.

  51. RGIII has proven injury prone so far. He has yet to start a full season for the ‘skins. Cousins well get plenty of chances to prove his worth this year.

  52. It’s obvious that when Snyder/Allen hired Gruden that one of the caveats was that he was to develop Griffin. Most QBs coming off of a three win season and losing overall record are not handed the starting job when a new coach comes in. There is usually some sort of competition for the job. Gruden went out of his way to make it clear Griffin was the starter, period. He didn’t give Cousins one series all preseason with the starters. Probably so there could not even be a hint of controversy. Why would a first time head coach do that with a three win QB? Because that is what the owner/GM wants. I hope Gruden realizes at this point that he will be back offensive coordinating for a mediocre team after next season.

  53. They call him “Joey Sunshine” in D.C. because he is usually an unabashed homer who paints the rosiest of pictures for the Redskins. Theisman is on Snyder’s payroll, so I doubt that he would say something controversial like this without Snyder’s approval. My guess is that it’s either a motivational ploy to light fire under RG3, or possibly a signal that they will go to Cousins early in the season if RG3 struggles. Either way, it’s put up or shut up time for RG3 this season. His knee is healed, he got the coach that he wanted, and he even had one of the most explosive receivers in the league fall into his lap. If he doesn’t get it done this season, there is no one to blame but himself.

  54. I love the guy comparing these two to Frerotte and Shuler, lol. You do realize that both of them stunk, don’t you? Griffin leading this team to the playoffs almost singlehandedly his rookie year already busts that comparison. In addition, I’d get off the injury-prone talking point when he hasn’t missed a game in the NFL yet because of injury, unlike a guy the Rams chose to hold onto instead of drafting him (and continue to suck in spite of all those picks received for him) in Bradford, who is about to miss another season. We’ll see how it shakes out this year, but the guy has some good tools, especially his deep ball, to work with.

  55. There is no QB controversy because the Redskins will not bench RGIII unless he is injured. The gave up too much for him.

    It doesn’t make sense from a W-L perspective, but that’s the way it works in the NFL…it always has.

    All this talk of a controversy is basically trolling. Practically speaking, there is no chance that RGIII gets benched.

  56. Just keep this in mind:

    The backup QB is always the most popular man in Washington. Remember when Colt Brennen was going to be the next big thing?

    Cousins has performed as a good backup QB, coming in and giving them a chance to win when Griffin was injured. However, when given the chance to start the last four games of last season, he actually was quite disappointing. Those last four games was his opportunity to launch his career to the next level — whether in Washington or somewhere else — and he didn’t seize it.

    Let’s not annoint him a “great” QB yet on the strength of outplaying reserves.

    I think, in the end, Kurt is a very good back up QB but likely an average starter.

  57. Not only does RG3 suck Trent Williams hasn’t blocked anyone since last season. He’s a casual observer on every play.

  58. I normally consider Theismann to be a blowhard (after all, in college he changed the pronunciation of his last name from ‘theesman’ to the way he insists it be pronounced today [to rhyme with Heismann, the post-season award he wanted to win].)

    In this case, he may not be a blowhard. The Baltimore Ravens announcers were stating that the Washington NFL team, if it doesn’t already have a QB controversy, could soon have one (such as the end of Saturday’s game). And that was at the end of the third period/early in the fourth.

    And that was not stated because of a potential future game this season – if the Ravens play the Washington NFL team this season, it would be at the Super Bowl, and not many expect such to happen. The two teams are only about 40 miles apart, but they play in different conferences, and their respective divisions don’t play each other this year.

  59. Did any of you watch Cousins play when the games really mattered last year??? He was horrible. Why everyone is in love with him is beyond reasonable thinking. I know why. Because you are not real Redskins fans and you don’t have a clue beyond Sports Center highlights. I am going to be here after game 1 of the season and trash talk all you cats.. Let’s see how many of you will man up and be here to take it. #HTTR

  60. This is my honest opinion, people may argue or disagree and that’s ok but here we go. Kirk cousins is hands down a better pocket passing qb. RG3 is not a pocket passing qb. He has never played as a pocket passing qb. He is a scrambler. You guys may rant on cousins last season but think about it. They had one week to put together a different offense for him. Yes cousins make stupid mistakes but so does every one else! Cousins has the mentality and experience of a pocket passing qb. Since now the redskins offense is running that type of offense cousins is the better qb. I will say I would choose rg3 any day over cousins before his injury. Look at what cousins did at Michigan State! He broke almost every record for a qb to break. Why? Because once he learned the offense and he knew how to ran it they worked like a gem! Give cousins a starting job for one year and I think he will develop into a solid starting qb. The game coming up this Thursday is a good chance for him to show a little bit more. He already proved he deserves it this pre season. But hey that’s my opinion. Agree or disagree.

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