Theismann backtracks on his Cousins-over-RGIII talk


Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann recently sparked a firestorm by suggesting that, if his old team had an open competition at quarterback, Kirk Cousins would win the job over Robert Griffin III.

Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann, a color analyst working for the team, said during Washington’s third preseason game, via Dan Steinberg of 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.”

Per Steinberg, Theismann later revisited the topic during the game.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of conversation after this football game regarding the quarterback position,” Theismann said.  “You can’t avoid it.  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.”

Given a chance to revisit the topic again during Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Theismann did a complete and total about-face.  And then acted like he didn’t.

“Who gives this team a better chance of winning for the entire season?” Dan Patrick asked.

I would say Robert does,” Theismann said.

Wait, what?

“The element that we haven’t seen in preseason and the element that Robert brings is like Colin Kaepernick, is like Cam Newton.  They have incredible ability — and Russell Wilson — to make plays with their legs that nobody else has.  If you look at the 20 throws that Robert has made, most of it has been out of the pocket, which is a learning process for him.  I’m sure that — and Jay has said this — he’s never had an athlete like Robert.  So what’s gonna have to happen — and will happen, I’m sure — is this offense will morph into something that complements his skill set, as far as being able to break the pocket and get outside.  In the preseason, because of the way it’s been constructed, there’s no question.  Kirk has played and looked better.  Robert continues to work hard . . .  And I said it in the telecast, there’s no competition here.  Robert Griffin III is the starting quarterback.”

There’s no competition because the team doesn’t want one.  But during the game, before Theismann was perhaps talked to by someone who may decide not to renew his deal to work for the team in 2015 during the preseason or otherwise, Theismann’s point was that, if there were a competition, Cousins would be the guy.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make,” Theismann said during the game.

Theismann didn’t say the offense will evolve or Griffin will get better or Griffin gives the team the better chance to win or any of the stuff that now tends to take the sting out of Theismann’s real-time, unfiltered comments.

He said Cousins would be the better option.  Period.

Chances are someone with the team told Joe to shut up about that.  Exclamation point.

28 responses to “Theismann backtracks on his Cousins-over-RGIII talk

  1. Joe Theismann: the one person on earth who can suffer a compound fracture with grass and mud-covered bones blasting through skin, sock and tape —- to actually offer something even more nauseating than that. His personality.

  2. Theismann is a joke. My favorite Theismann moment came when Phil Simms had just retired and got his first TV gig on ESPN.
    Joe asked Phil “How’s the shoulder doing?” and Phil shot back with “Pretty good. How are those alimony payments working for you?” I never have seen someone shut up so quickly.

  3. I can’t stand Theismann or his Super Duper Beta Prostate pills.

    That said, I don’t see this as backtracking in the slightest. He first stated who performed best in the preseason and then stated who gives Washington the best chance for success. I see no contradictions whatsoever.

    Bottom line: Kirk Cousins is nobody’s savior.
    Matt Flynn 2.0?
    Kevin Kolb 2.0?

    …it doesn’t mean he’s as bad as a…
    Christian Ponder 2.0 or a
    Blaine Gabbert 2.0

    But come on. People really see him as a starter? That’s wishful thinking.

  4. Joey football just likes to call attention to himself…has nothing to do with football… He was is and always be a clown

  5. Theismann……….a strong arguement for the lingering effects of taking to many hits and suffering too many concussions during a NFL career. How else do you explain his comments?

  6. Griffin is a year removed from being the reigning offensive rookie of the year. Kirk Cousins is 1-3 as a starter. Given the investment there is no QB controversy- even if both QBs are bottom 1/3 starters.

  7. Is he an employee of the team?

    I thought all his answers sounded like he was trying to be a spokesman for them.

  8. Yes, Joe, RGIII looks bad because — in the pre-season — the starting QB goes against the starting defense. This also explains why Russell Wilson has looked terrible. Oh, wait….

  9. Theisman makes his money at the behest of the Washington team and Daniel Snyder. Since money is more important than his pride, he will lie cheat and steal to keep receiving his funds from Snyder. Face it, any guy who will change his name to win a silly college trophy won’t have any issues changing his opinion if it means making more money.

  10. Translation: I’m yet another player who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Please give me a seat next to Cris Carter and Warren Sapp.

  11. Why do people put so much stock in what these team talking heads say? They aren’t REALLY allowed to have their own thoughts, because as soon as they do someone pulls them aside and the next time we see them they are recanting, flip flopping. I wish at least some of them had stones to OWN IT.

  12. Losing games is nothing new for the Redskins. With or without RGIII.

    Heck, Joe Gibbs couldn’t do much with this team when he came back.

  13. Did Theismann not see Cousins play last year? Ratahan tried to put him on display to get some trade value and it blew up in his face. RG3 looks like crap right now, but I don’t think Cousins is the answer.

  14. Well, clearly Joe does what The Boss tells him too. He completely spouted Snyder’s company line on the Washington Racists nickname too.

    ‘We’ve already agreed on what you are, Joe – now we’re haggling over the price.’

  15. Thiesmann caved like a sissy-lala! Joe is weak. He called it right when he said “RG3Knees” has been outplayed by Cousins. Which is really bad when you consider Cousins ain’t all that good anyway. Too funny. The Redskins are about as dysfunctional as the Cowboys these daze! But at least the Cowboys do have a good QB. Geaux Saints!

  16. Cousins is the better pocket QB. Griffin is the better athlete.

    When you are running the plain jane offenses in the preseason, the standard dropback passer is going to look a lot better. Once the regular season hits and the wrinkles start coming out, you’ve got an electrifying athlete at the head of the offense.

    The real controversy will be if/when Griffin, on his second healthy season and first in a new offense, struggles with a (red shirt) sophmore slump.

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