The man in DC
What the hell is everyone talking about? I usually can see the value in opinion pieces penned by most members of the media. The manufactured crap around the “horrible” and “controversial” nature of Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins joining the Redskins simply baffles me. It started when I read the following SEO headline a few days ago from Ashley Fox’s ESPN story on how the Redskins “missed the mark” in the draft: “Mike Shanahan tries to get cute in the draft.” I read on, waiting for the punchline. It never came. What did come was a ridiculous argument that Shanahan did some massive disservice to the Heisman Trophy winner. Then, I made the mistake of listening the world’s biggest blowhard pick up a similar argument.
The only comfort was in knowing that if Skip Bayless was pontificating that the Kirk Cousins draft selection was asinine, then I felt much better about my stance on the opposite side of the fence. Here’s a few of the reasons that picking Cousins makes logical sense despite the seemingly growing group of pundits have panned the pick:
Competition is good
Call me simplistic, but why is two young quarterbacks competing to show off their wares a bad thing? I’ve heard folks insinuate that RGIII is somehow “owed” an unobstructed and peaceful strut directly to the starting job. News flash. When you’re picked #2 overall after a blockbuster trade to move up, the team that’s selected you intends for you to start. If you feel undue pressure from a fourth-round pick, you may not be ready for the job.
Washington, you’ve had a (quarterback) problem
Rex Grossman. John Beck. Donovan McNabb. Mark Brunell. Jason Campbell. Patrick Ramsey. It’s not been a good run of consistent, quality signal callers in the nation’s capital. Do you blame them for snatching two promising prospects when they could get their hands on them?
Cousins was there when you didn’t expect him
Most draft projections had Cousins going in the second or third rounds. Available in the fourth was too good to be true for the ‘Skins. And, while I don’t purport to know their system, I found it interesting that Pro Football Weekly had this to say in their Cousins pre-draft profile:
Has the intangibles and intelligence to develop into a highly efficient, dink-and-dunk, rhythm passer. Resemblance to 49ers QB Alex Smith and must continue developing physically to survive the toll of an NFL season. Could thrive with crisp coaching and confidence-building play-calling in a precision passing game such as that of the Texans, Redskins, Patriots or 49ers.
So. let’s quickly recap. You’ve had a dearth of good quarterbacks in recent years, preventing your team from any real relevance. You can bring in a second or third round talent for fourth round value to back-up the future of your franchise. Two young arms in camp to develop. Worst case, you find out you have two bonafide starters and Cousins becomes a short-term quality back-up and great trade bait in the very near future.
Did the Skins have more holes to fill? Sure. Everyone does. Maybe Shanahan is crazy. Maybe RGIII will wilt under the pressure. I don’t see a controversy. I see what was a glaring and consistent weakness now with the promise to become a strength…at the most critical position in football. And if RGIII is the man so many think he is, any grumblings of controversy will disappears in about 4.38 seconds.