In a bit of a surprise move, Washington Redskins’ rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins will get the start Week 15 against the Cleveland Browns. Sensational rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III was not cleared by Redskins’ team doctors to play; therefore, he will sit out this pivotal game against the Browns. Griffin III suffered a right knee injury late in the Redskins’ 31-28 Week 14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens. He did not return, and was replaced by Cousins.
Griffin III’s absence, while disappointing to Redskins’ fans, will benefit everyone in the long run. He is currently the most dynamic player in the NFL, and he needs to be given all the time necessary to return to the field and electrify fans everywhere. Risking another injury, as well as possible permanent damage to Griffin III’s knee is the last thing anyone wants to see. God forbid, if that were to happen, Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan, as well as the Redskins’ team doctors, would be run out of Washington a split second later.
But I digress. While it’s obvious Cousins isn’t the quarterback that Griffin III is, he has proven to be an efficient signal caller in his two appearances in 2012. Cousins appeared initially in Week Five against the Atlanta Falcons, then against the Ravens. Washington’s record was 1-1 in those games, with the loss coming against the Falcons 24-17. Despite Cousins throwing an interception late in the Atlanta game to seal the Falcons’ victory, the Redskins were competitive in that game. That’s more that could have been said about Redskins’ teams in recent years.
The Washington offense is now Cousins’ offense when the Redskins face the Browns. This means the Redskins will have to rely heavily on running back Alfred Morris to carry the offense. Cousins will have to get all of his receivers involved in the passing game like Griffin III has. Cousins also has to limit turnovers, and occasionally take off out of the pocket if the opportunity presents itself.
No one should expect Cousins to frequently take off out of the pocket for a 20 yard gain like Griffin III can. He needs to play his game and realize that he’s replacing Griffin III at the quarterback position against Cleveland. Cousins shouldn’t try to become “RG3” and imitate what Griffin III has done to get the Redskins into their current position of potential playoff contenders.
If Cousins can play his game, and ride the momentum of his self-orchestrated come from behind victory over the Ravens in Week 14, Washington might be able to continue their winning ways.