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Need to Know: If Griffin is not the answer at QB the Redskins must act now

Mar 12, 2015, 4:21 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 12, 49 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Depth chart pre-free agency

Now that John Clayton’s report that the Redskins will draft Marcus Mariota if he is still on the board when the fifth pick in the draft has had a day to circulate around Redskins fans and media, let’s take a look at what we have here.

The conventional wisdom is that the whole thing is a smokescreen. The Redskins, many say, have no intention to take Mariota, that the whole thing is being set up to try to drive up the value of the fifth pick in the draft so that they can get a bigger haul in a trade.

That is a logical explanation for it and it’s a very reasonable and it’s likely to be true. But that doesn’t mean that it is true. You can’t rule out the possibility that the Redskins do intend to draft Mariota if he is on the board.

We can’t rule it out because we have no idea what Scot McCloughan’s evaluations of Robert Griffin III and Mariota are. It’s really quite simple. If McCloughan believes, based on his film evaluation, that Griffin will not cut it as an NFL quarterback and that there is a very good chance that Mariota will, it’s a move that he almost has to make.

Why? I’m not sure if this is Charley Casserly’s quote but I’ve heard him say it a lot: “If you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have anything.”

In other words, if the Redskins have a need at quarterback, that trumps any other needs they have. They would almost have to take Mariota if McCloughan believes he can be a franchise type QB.

The best thing for the franchise would be if Griffin works out. But if the GM and coach determine that it just won’t happen for him (or for Kirk Cousins) the sooner they move on the better. And if they think that Mariota is the answer they need to take him should the opportunity arise.


—It’s been 74 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 185 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 39; 2015 NFL Draft 49; Redskins training camp starts 140

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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  1. st4hof - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:06 AM

    I do agree that QB is a need Rich, but is this the draft we need to take one? Why not stick it out with Bob & Kirk for a year. If they tank, they tank… Both would be gone no harm no foul, Washington would then have another top 10 pick in a draft that will surely be deeper at quarterback. IMO this draft is lacking talent almost everywhere.(only clear cut top 5 guy being Williams) In previous drafts these guys wouldn’t even be considered in the top half of the first, Winston clearly has issues and Mariota is another system QB. All in all, bad draft to have a top 10 pick.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:25 AM

      So let’s fast forward a year and say that both QB’s have struggled. Let’s also say that the defense turned it around well enough so the Redskins win six or seven games and are drafting right around No. 10. You then have zero QB’s under contract and you are forced onto the annually awful free agent QB market or you’re forced to take one in the draft.

      Being forced to do anything is not a good way to operate. If McC’s evaluation is that these guys can’t cut it (and that’s “if”, I don’t know if that’s the case) and he’s confident of that evaluation now the time to act is now.

      > > >

      • st4hof - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:51 AM

        I understand that McC may look at Mariota and say “he’s got it”. If that’s the case I’m all for it, and yeah, being under the gun to find a signal caller is never a good situation. That being said, I don’t believe this is the draft to “need” a QB. If Mariota is just the “best of the bunch” does McC still take him if he’s available at five?

      • deepball1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:30 AM

        Rich…just because there are zero Quarterbacks under contract for next year means nothing. THIS is THIS year so the Skins need to build now for that future but not by risk. Play safe and draft an extreme pass rusher with obvious qualities. QB is a position where nothing is obvious until he gets into the NFL.

        At least Shane Ray can obviously rush the QB. Randy Gregory obviously is tall and fast and can bat down passes. Danny Shelton is obviously a run stuffer and immoveable object. But Mariota obviously looks a whole lot like RG3 which tells you nothing about what he will do in the NFL.

        Nobody under contract for next year…draft a 4th round QB, or sign Cousins to a decent extension for 2 years because at least you know what you have in Kirk or sign Colt to a lifetime backup spot if you are so worried about having somebody under contact. don’t draft Griffin part 2 with a pick in the top 5.

      • ET - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        We have two young QBs with flaws and potential. Let’s see what they can do.

        The QBs in this draft are not compelling—even the top two have plenty of question marks. Maybe there’s a diamond in the rough somewhere, maybe not. But I really don’t believe this is a draft to find a “franchise quarterback.” We have plenty of other needs to address.

        • hk2000 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:42 PM

          Not to mention a clueless coach who will make it a lost cause regardless who you draft!

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 12, 2015 at 9:38 AM

      Rich, if Griffin or Cousins are replacement-level QBs, then they won’t be difficult to replace (either from the draft or free-agency). But drafting Mariota to replace them would leave the Redskins in the same position that they were in when they drafted Griffin: a team with a brand-new, read-option QB with needs to be filled elsewhere on the roster. This time, you’d be adding an unproven head coach to the mix (and a head coach who also doesn’t seem to be eager to employ the kind of offense that Mariota is used to). Essentially, the Redskins would be pushing back the development of the franchise for several more seasons. Maybe having McCloughan as a GM will help, but if Gibbs and Shanahan had issues achieving sustained success working with Synder, why believe anything would be different with McCloughan?

      However, if Griffin or Cousins are not replacement-level QBs, then you only wasted a draft pick on one QB while also showing the other QBs that you’re not willing to stick with them at QB — especially a QB who could walk after the season. Talk about a media circus.

  2. gonavybeatarmy - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:16 AM

    McCloughan deserves the benefit of the doubt based on a long track record of success over many years. He is the Skins most credible personnel man since Beathard.

    However, the question shouldn’t be is Mariota potentially better than Griffin or Cousins as that’s a pretty low bar based on even what most of us fans have seen the last couple of seasons. The determing factor should be is it likely that Mariota can play QB in the NFL at a high level for a decade.

    When asked why some organizations seem to have success and others always seem to falter, Steelers’ GM Kevin Gilbert said that short of serious injury an organization must nail its first round selections. He said that if a team starts with focussing very hard on not screwing up in the first round that an organization will eventually turn the corner. That first round selections should be expected to become serious contributors- pro bowl caliber players for 10 years- and if that’s not the case then a team is doing something wrong. And when a team has the chance to pick very high in the first round- Pittsburgh rarely does- it really cannot afford to do anything but hit a home run. The consequences are too great to not make the most of the situation.

    So, the Skins should draft Mariota if it’s reasonable to assume he has the potential to become a pro bowl QB through 2026. If not, they should draft some other player who meets that standard, irrespective of how ugly the Skins current QB situation may be.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:19 AM

      Apologies- Kevin Colbert is the GM.

  3. sidepull - Mar 12, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    If they deem that they need a QB they pretty much do have to take him now because there is no guarantee they will be able to draft one next year or the year after. Its isn’t a good situation for the Redskins if they pass on a QB this draft. And to top it off there is no guarantee that Mariota falls to them anyhow, just speculation. They do have time to mull it over.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Mar 12, 2015 at 7:43 AM

      Respectfully, the notion that a team that needs to address its long-term QB situation MUST use a very high draft pick (top 5) to do so is both irrational and reactionary.

      Just off the top of my head of teams that (there are probably others):
      -Aaron Rodgers, 24th overall
      -Romo, undrafted
      -Brees, 2nd round
      -Wilson, 3rd round
      -Kaepernick, 2nd round
      -Dalton, 2nd round
      -Flacco, 18th overall
      -Carr, 2nd round
      -Roethlisberger, 11th overall
      -Foles, 2nd or 3rd (?)
      -Bridgewater, 32nd
      -Cutler, mid 1st round
      -Brady, 6th round

      • VK - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:11 AM

        Exactly. Talent is talent and can be found everywhere if you know what to look for.

      • renhoekk2 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:37 AM

        Now go back and look over the last 10 drafts of QB’s drafted between the middle of the first round and UDFA (since that is the range you used above) and list how many were either career backups or failed completely and were out of the league. I wonder which list is longer. Yes it is not impossible to find a franchise QB later in the draft, but it’s much more unlikely.

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:01 AM

          Would be much easier to do the reverse (last 10 years, QBs drafted in top 10.) I think you’ll see it’s a crap shoot either way. Especially nowadays with all the spread QBs you have to project how they’ll transition to the NFL game. Bottom line: if a QB doesn’t come from an NFL system; he’s a project and if he does; he’s still a project.

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:33 PM

          Looking at 1st Round Quarterbacks since 2000. Why 1st Rounders because they’re drafted to be THE guy.

          1 3 Blake Bortles QB Central Florida Jacksonville Jaguars 2014
          1 22 Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M Cleveland Browns
          1 32 Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville Minnesota Vikings
          1 16 EJ Manuel QB Florida State Buffalo Bills 2013
          1 1 Andrew Luck QB Stanford Indianapolis Colts 2012
          1 2 Robert Griffin QB Baylor Washington Redskins
          1 8 Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M Miami Dolphins
          1 22 Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State Cleveland Browns
          1 1 Cam Newton QB Auburn Carolina Panthers 2011
          1 8 Jake Locker QB Washington Tennessee Titans
          1 10 Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri Jacksonville Jaguars
          1 12 Christian Ponder QB Florida State Minnesota Vikings
          1 1 Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma St. Louis Rams 2010
          1 25 Tim Tebow QB Florida Denver Broncos
          1 1 Matthew Stafford QB Georgia Detroit Lions 2009
          1 5 Mark Sanchez QB USC New York Jets
          1 17 Josh Freeman QB Kansas State Tampa Bay Buccaneers
          1 3 Matt Ryan QB Boston College Atlanta Falcons 2008
          1 18 Joe Flacco QB Delaware Baltimore Ravens
          1 1 JaMarcus Russell QB Louisiana State Oakland Raiders 2007
          1 22 Brady Quinn QB Notre Dame Cleveland Browns
          1 3 Vince Young QB Texas Tennessee Titans 2006
          1 10 Matt Leinart QB USC Arizona Cardinals
          1 11 Jay Cutler QB Vanderbilt Denver Broncos
          1 1 Alex Smith QB Utah San Francisco 49ers 2005
          1 24 Aaron Rodgers QB California Green Bay Packers
          1 25 Jason Campbell QB Auburn Washington Redskins
          1 1 Eli Manning QB Mississippi San Diego Chargers 2004
          1 4 Philip Rivers QB North Carolina State New York Giants
          1 11 Ben Roethlisberger QB Miami (Ohio) Pittsburgh Steelers
          1 22 J.P. Losman QB Tulane Buffalo Bills
          1 1 Carson Palmer QB USC Cincinnati Bengals 2003
          1 7 Byron Leftwich QB Marshall Jacksonville Jaguars
          1 19 Kyle Boller QB California Baltimore Ravens
          1 22 Rex Grossman QB Florida Chicago Bears
          1 1 David Carr QB Fresno State Houston Texans 2002
          1 3 Joey Harrington QB Oregon Detroit Lions
          1 32 Patrick Ramsey QB Tulane Washington Redskins
          1 1 Michael Vick QB Virginia Tech Atlanta Falcons 2001
          1 18 Chad Pennington QB Marshall New York Jets 2000

        • brucefan1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:35 PM

          I’d be shocked if the number of failures for QBs drafted OUT of the Top Ten isn’t greater than the successes, but (like bangkokben says) the same may be true of those drafted IN the Top Ten.

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:00 PM

          3/40 (7.5%) being SB champions (Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Big Ben)
          1/21 (4.76%) drafted in top ten (Eli).
          Redskins have drafted 3 (Griffin III, Campbell, and Ramsey) but have used seven #1 picks!

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:17 PM

          4/40 (10%) being SB champions (Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben, forgot Joe Flacco)
          1/21 (4.76%) drafted in top ten (Eli).

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 2:23 PM

          Off the 40 First round QBs drafted since 2000:

          There is only one AP All-Pro – Aaron Rodgers twice

          Fourteen have made the Pro-Bowl including Robert Griffin III, Vince Young, Jay Cutler, Alex Smith, and Michael Vick but oddly Joe Flacco has never made it.

          There are currently 16 starting and those can be broken down into three groups: legit franchise QB (7), not quite (5), starting because we drafted you 1st (3), and Sam Bradford.

          Andrew Luck
          Matt Ryan
          Joe Flacco
          Aaron Rodgers
          Eli Manning
          Philip Rivers
          Ben Roethlisberger

          Blake Bortles
          Teddy Bridgewater
          Robert Griffin

          Ryan Tannehill
          Cam Newton
          Matthew Stafford
          Alex Smith
          Carson Palmer

          Sam Bradford

      • brucefan1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:30 PM

        Good list!

        (Not sure that the jury’s not still out on a few of them, and that they’re ALL sure-fire franchise QBs, but they’re not rotten!)

        • gonavybeatarmy - Mar 12, 2015 at 2:19 PM

          Of the QBs with the top ten passer ratings last year, four played for teams that didn’t draft them and one was undrafted.

  4. cmankin2015 - Mar 12, 2015 at 7:32 AM

    We are in a rebuilding decade. So the logic is this. Anyone that say’s grifth is an NFL size and caliber QB Is biased or hopeful. He is not and never was. Decent college qb but that’s the extent of it. Under the Shannahan offence which was a spread offence ” Gimmick” offence. His first year UNHURT he thrived. ” Complete nonsense to think he is a pocket passer” So in that and with us rebuilding yet again. O-line porous, Defense was a stout 4-3 ruined and changed to a faster smaller 3-4. Garbage! So in that, this year you have an opportunity to Pick a true FAST if needed Pocket passer. Proven national Champ and he is in all likelihood going to be available at 5. You take him….. Kirk is not the answer. He proved that. RG is too small and has a runners body. NOT AT ALL BUILT FOR ANY TYPE OF OFFENCE IN THE PRO’s that will require him to run. He is at best a 1 hit wonder. That too shows. They know it. They see it, and there moving to correct it. Its plausible he remains on the roster as a viable backup and that at best. ONLY in dire needed circumstances. Now back to the 5th pick. We have no other option but to take him. Its a rebuilding year yet again so why waste another season on what has not worked for two. You have the delta to which to make a fundamentally sound decision and so be it. SO I applaud the discussion on Mariota and think it a very wise discussion. Look I liked Robert but thought it a horrible move. Almost tantamount to direct and concerted destruction to take him in the draft. Almost as if it was an intentionally bad move to hurt the skins. Shannahan came here for the money thrown at him. No other reason. His never wanted the job. So I am of the opinion he made deliberate bad moves. So yes you take this guy. Yes you begin the process of beefing up the O-line over the next few drafts. You continue to work on the secondary. Horrible as it is. You build threw the draft not old free agents sucking the last bit of milk out of the proverbial NFT Tit. You let this miracle worker Scott do what they brought him here to do and rebuild with depth and win another super bowl or two. RG is not the answer and they know it. THEY WILL DRAFT THIS KID.

  5. Stephfan - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:13 AM

    I hope we don’t get a qb I hope that we contine to bolster the defense..

  6. shermanp79 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:14 AM

    I said it yesterday. They can’t go on without a QB too long or they will never get to where we want to go. I can see how taking Mariota makes sense if you feel he his better than both guys. He will run whatever Gruden asks, maybe he can be more productive. How does he handle pressure and the speed difference. Can he understand where to go with the ball? We don’t know but RG3 clearly has issues and is stuck on doing things his way. He isn’t honest with himself. In the end I think MM has questions and they won’t risk bringing in the same type of guy. If he was a pro style offense kind of guy I think the chances would be greater. I also think Gruden likes Cousins and his visit to Brother Gruden was no accident. I think he needs reps, had he started the last 2 years, this team would be in better shape right now. He can at least be a Fitzpatrick but can he be more? We don’t know. In reality if RG3 had started all the games we would have a clearer answer. We have had a circus with the RG3 saga, he would have to go if they took Mariota, he doesn’t like Cousins being here, another Heisman winner would certainly not sit well with him. They will have issues finding a future QB if both guys fail but maybe the dysfunction keeps the wins down and they are in position to grab one next year. You have to stink or be lucky to find that rare guy. When we needed one before RG3, we had to many wins and missed out. That’s why we got desperate and gave up so much. I don’t know the answer, I don’t know how they feel about Mariota but I can understand if they took him. When will they have a shot again this high in the Draft. They are going to want to win and be competitive each year. If you look at all the QBs taken in the last 5 years, how many are the answer and where were they selected? The sad part is had Shanahan had his way, we have Tannenhill here, a guy who could have a breakout year. Right now we are no better off than when Shanahan took the job. I also said yesterday if both guys fail what are the chances we are hearing about Brees on the trading block next year with the Skins being a possible landing spot. We will be repeating history. We need one of these guys to stand up and lead this team. Right now I think it’s 40% chance Mariota is selected , 35% Cousins wins job leaving 25% RG3 figures things out and is comfortable, to be productive enough while growing in the offense. I think at this point fans don’t care which guy is our QB, we just want one. What year did we let Jason Campbell go??

    • shermanp79 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:20 AM

      oops Cousins and Mariota % should b switched

    • brucefan1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:41 PM

      Uhh.h..could you repeat that? :^}

  7. Stephfan - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:14 AM


  8. deepball1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:21 AM

    LMAO at the prospect of drafting RG3 THE 2ND. Mariota and Griffin are the same QB. numbers in college almost identical. Same street ball scheme. Run down the field if the 1st read is not there. Throw the ball up and let guys play jump ball.

    I cannot believe anybody as intelligent and methodical as Scott M would even consider drafting Mariota but I am not surprised that a lot of fans are jumping for joy at the prospect of making yet another EXCITING mistake.

  9. 226thebeatdontstop - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:26 AM

    This team has too many holes to worry about getting a so called franchise quarterback in this 2015 draft. I think it starts with the selection of Gruden as the head coach which was a major mistake , I think it was a reach to believe he was a quarterback guru. his play calling and game management amateurish at best and the way he dragged players specifically RG3 under the bus thru the media is unprofessional . He then demonstrates favoritism by sending his boy Cousins to Tampa to train with his brother, really? He needs to worry more about getting two starting safety’s , a nose tackle, right tackle and guards…. Ryan Clarks comments below are interesting

    Ryan Clark is a credible guy and I trust what he said yesterday concerning Gruden and RG3 , bottom line he said “Jay Gruden, as you saw from last year — the media reports where he would say RG3 took a five-step drop where he was supposed to take three, or he looked the wrong way this many times in a game — he showed the world that it wasn’t his guy,” Clark said. “He comes out early in the offseason and says, ‘You know what? Robert Griffin III is our quarterback.’ I think that was to kind of try to show there’s no issues in house, but there clearly is. He’s not his guy. They want to go in a different direction.”

    In Clark’s opinion, Gruden was too stubborn to make changes to his offense to make the most of Griffin’s skill set.
    “When you give up what you gave to get RG3 at the No. 2 pick you make things work for him, you don’t make him change his game to fit what you want to do. And I think that’s where Jay Gruden went wrong last year,” Clark said.

    • deepball1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:43 AM

      well the Gruden twins both have a system and they won’t change for anyone. Its my way or the highway. Just like Chip Kelly. The difference is the Kelly has total control but Gruden doesn’t so he is stuck with RG3 because of the high price paid for the QB and because of the management structure and decision making power being split.

      The GOOD NEWS? All this crap ends in 12 months and a final decision will be made on GRIFFIN by that time.

    • bowlregard - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:46 AM

      The notion that Gruden did nothing to the offense to take accommodate Robert is clearly not true. In the Jags game, before the ankle injury, Robert ran two read options. Then he was injured on a roll out. Clearly Jay was trying to take advantage of Robert’s mobility. When he came back from injury he wasn’t nearly as mobile. One hope for this year is that he’s better physically and can once again take advantage of his mobility. But the notion that Jay is doing anything to undermine Robert is unfounded. That being said, all QBs need to learn to operate from the pocket. Steve Young was quite eloquent on that point.

      • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 12, 2015 at 9:09 AM

        You cited three plays to make your case. Here’s better evidence to the contrary:

        “…But the Redskins have started using more play-action lately, with Robert Griffin III taking a season-high 11 dropbacks from this look in Saturday’s 27-24 win over Philadelphia. So, with 28 dropbacks, it means Griffin used play-action 39.2 percent of the time — that’s more than he used it under Mike Shanahan (30.2 percent).

        The previous week, in less than four full quarters, Griffin used play-action on 10 dropbacks. In his first two years, he surpassed double digits on dropbacks 17 times (and the team did it 19 times during these two seasons). He had not done so under Gruden until the Giants game. And, as a team, the Redskins have hit double digits on play-action throws in only four games…

        …Gruden did not use a lot of play-action in Cincinnati (21.8 percent of the time). He’s called for it on 24.2 percent of the Redskins’ dropbacks this season. The Redskins average an NFL-best 12.44 yards per pass attempt using this strategy. If Gruden wants to make things work with Griffin, incorporating something he’s had success on in the NFL would be a help. Griffin still needs work in other areas — we know that — but there are things he does well.”

        • ET - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:29 AM


          I wonder what the optimal proportion of play action for Robert would be?

        • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:52 AM

          Also, why it is so important to have an effective running game.

    • renhoekk2 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      No respected coach is coming to the Skins unless Snynder backs up the Brinks trunk to the front door. He was still paying Shanahan a lot of money to NOT coach his team. He wasn’t about to go out and pay a lot for another big name coach. Maybe having a real personnel guy for a GM will change the perception a little and make the position a little more desirable if Gruden can’t do it. Choices are always re-tread HC, college guy or unproven asst coach. With college and asst coaches you are always taking a chance with the unproven and unknown.

    • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:10 AM

      While I agree with those that cite evidence for Gruden adapting to Griffin’s strengths, I want to commend you for your correct spelling of the words “too” and “holes.” Being able to do that on this blog seems to be near impossible for most of the commenters here.

      Having said that, what has Gruden proved that we should draft any QB for him? If Griffin is sooo unable to improve maybe the next QB should be the next coach’s choice or shouldn’t we see how this season plays out and then give Gruden his QB if it clearly NOT the coach.

    • hk2000 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      Couldn’t agree more! one smart comment in a sea of idiocy.. Thank you.

  10. redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    Fron the previous blog post:

    “OK, I didn’t exactly say that, said it was a possibility.”

    I know. I linked to your CSN article, and I was simply wondering about one of the possibilities that you brought up.

    “I am confident that McCloughan isn’t looking at numbers in his evaluation. He’s looking at film. The question is not what RG has done in the past, the question is what he can do going forward.”

    Sure. But at the time, Alex Smith didn’t do much of anything in the past at QB (no spectacular rookie seasons, no ORoY, no leading his team to division titles or playoff appearances…nothing); and I can’t imagine that the film favored Alex Smith either, especially after *four* mostly subpar and unsuccessful seasons for the Niners. You can read web articles from 2010 that talked about possible QB replacements for Smith, especially since Scot McCloughan (Smith’s biggest proponent) was not sticking around with the Niners’ front office.

    We only talk about Smith’s success at QB in hindsight, Rich. If he was projected to be a successful QB in 2010, I would like to read the articles or analyst quotes that support this notion.

    “And it’s entirely possible that McC was more invested in Smith since he was his pick.”

    That’s a more believable theory. Because McCloughan’s affinity for Smith can’t (likely) be based on Smith’s *performance* at QB.

    “It’s also possible that he looks back and regrets that he stuck with Smith for so long.”

    Also true. But the NFL has seen Smith since the 2010 season, and Smith has been a solid QB for both the Niners and the Chiefs.

    Putting the “I drafted Alex Smith, not Robert Griffin” bias aside, it would be odd for McCloughan to observe Smith’s career trajectory and then come to this conclusion with Griffin, don’t you think? He watched Smith struggle for *five* seasons on the field before he finally posted an above-average season at QB, but he can’t allow Griffin after three seasons (with one of those seasons being spectacular) to even play a snap under his watch before switching QBs?

    “Lots of possibilities here including the possibility that he thinks that Griffin has a shot at success and the whole Mariota thing is a smokescreen.”

    That’s also a more believable theory.

  11. dcfaninecuador - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Best athlete on the board at the time of your pick. Who’s to say that won’t be Mariota? Read the roto world article comparing Mariota and WINSTON. Marcus may be more ready than all you “experts” think. So, hypothetically, draft Marcus and have him play behind Bob and Kirk. If one of them works out, you’ve got a tradable QB next year in Marcus. If they don’t, let em go and Marcus is your new QB starting in 2016. I really don’t see the downside.

    • deepball1 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:47 AM

      downside is that Mariota is the 2nd coming of RG3 and will take 3 years to develop into something just like RG3 is developing and he has 2 more years of developing to go. Skins cannot continue to take on QB projects and always be 3 years down the road before getting a QB.

      • cmehustle - Mar 12, 2015 at 10:04 AM

        I think he’s more like the second coming of Alex Smith.

      • dcfaninecuador - Mar 12, 2015 at 2:43 PM

        I realize it’s only a comparison to Crablegs Winston, whom just about everybody considers the 2nd coming of Tom Brady or Aaron Rogers or Big Ben or Andrew Luck (character issues aside), read the rotoworld article comparing the two. A lot less downside to Marcus than you might think.

  12. bowlregard - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    One good reason to draft Mariota is it will drive Eagle fans bonkers.

    • cmehustle - Mar 12, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      Thats not a good reason to do anything. Why should anyone give a crap about iggles fans?

  13. colmac69 - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    If they draft mariota u have to get rid of rgiii…..your basically saying to rgiii mariota is the future…..

    This team has too many needs……defense has to b priority….mariota might b the man to lead the team forward but if he flames out what kind of position u gonna b left in?

    If rgiii or cousins can resolve their problems to a manageable level I b happy to go with either to lead offense.

    Regardless if defence cant get to a decent level then it will not matter who qb is

    Lot of water to go under bridge before we get to draft though. ……

  14. troylok - Mar 12, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Maybe the Mariota talk is also about putting a fire under RG3. It would be a shame if they have to do that, but it has been rumored that RG3 isn’t an inspired player.

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 12, 2015 at 10:06 AM

      Griffin was benched last season, played only because McCoy was injured at the end of the 2014 season, called out by the media and his own coach, called out by people on social media, and was left off of a letter to ticket holders for the 2015 season.

      I don’t think that motivation is the issue.

      • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:51 AM

        Well no on is kissing his ass like 2012, so maybe he needs some motivation. I thought he was a student of the game and had a blue collar work ethic. He held a clip board and came back looking like a deer in the head lights. The film room should be his new home.

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:04 PM

          “Well no on is kissing his ass like 2012, so maybe he needs some motivation.”

          This comment makes no sense.

        • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:45 PM

          I will elaborate, he was motivated to make the people of DC and even Texas proud. Now that he has critics he is not very motivated from what I have seen as of late. Good enough for ya richmond!

  15. cmehustle - Mar 12, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    What people dont realize is there is more than two QBs in this draft. There is no reason to draft a QB in the top five, unless its a guarantee that he is a franchise QB. There is not one of those in this draft. Since no matter which QB you take its going to be a project, why not take one in rounds 3 or 4? That way we give Robert this season to make or break, and if falters we have a backup plan going in to next season. Or we can always move on one of the pocket QBs coming out then. Still Im totally against drafting a QB with first or second round pick, we have too many needs.

    • gonavybeatarmy - Mar 12, 2015 at 10:05 AM

      Well said.

      • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:52 AM

        Bryce Petty

        • st4hof - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:37 PM

          Bryce Petty… Really, another “Art”project at QB?

          I’m LOLing right now.

        • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:47 PM

          I am guessing as you are laughing you havent reflected on any of Bryce Petty’s game film and you are assuming which makes you an ass, that he is another RG3. Remember its just a saying about assuming but a lot of truth in a joke on this one.

        • st4hof - Mar 12, 2015 at 3:13 PM

          He’s another “system” QB from a one read spread offense. Just because YOU watch a few highlight videos on YouTube, doesn’t mean your watching FILM.

        • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 5:39 PM

          No youtube, just lazy sat afternoons watching a competent Qb standing tall in the pocket with a better than 4th round release. He doesnt run around like a system Qb does either. Do some home work before you come to class.

        • st4hof - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:27 PM

          NFL.COM (scouting report)


          Scouts concerned he could be product of Baylor’s one-read system. Mistakes happen when forced to come off of first read. Yards per attempt declined in 2014 and screens were a much higher percentage of his passes. Struggles to pull himself from the doldrums when having a poor game. Must learn to read defenses and get through his progressions when he joins the NFL.

          I’m not “assuming” anything chum… Petty, standing tall in the pocket? Hmm, maybe the fact he was constantly in shotgun had something to do with it? How many times did you see him preform 3, 5 or 7 step drops? Probably not much, because the “system” he is in doesn’t call for it. Read a Book for once.

        • alextwrs - Mar 13, 2015 at 9:04 AM

          Never said he had to start, but this is the same assessment from
          NFL evaluators felt like Petty’s senior season was disappointing, but those same evaluators love his size, leadership and intangibles. He needs a year or two of practice time and camp work to learn how to get through his progressions, but has the intelligence to do that. Petty must have a structured offense that won’t ask him to make plays outside of the pocket.

        • alextwrs - Mar 13, 2015 at 9:05 AM

          Does that sound like another RG3 or a Gruden style QB?

  16. Jgd2016 - Mar 12, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    Rich, any word on the safety position? Maybe since they haven’t signed anyone in FA, they’re trying to raise the value of the #5 pick so they can trade back and pick Collins? Or is there a FA safety on the way?

  17. wildbill1952 - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Remember when the Lions drafted WR 3 out of 4 years and everyone was a bust until they got Calvin Johnson? And how stupid everyone said the Lions were for selecting WR again? So, even if the Redskins strike gold with their umpteenth try at QB, it’s still stupid because of the players they would surround their new QB with. It’s the same thing they did with RG III and Kirk Cousins, putting the proverbial cart ahead of the horse.

    We’ve seen what happens when you get a QB, especially one that is not Pro-ready, and put him in a new offense where he has little protection and no running game to keep 7 defensive players out of the pattern. Do it the right way. If this approach is wrong then you can get next year’s model. Basically, draft OL in the first and second rounds this year, and then draft a QB next year.

    Otherwise, the Skins just add one more promising QB to the QB’s graveyard in DC.

  18. bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:54 AM

    I’ll be pissed if we select a QB at #5 or the 2nd round. Here are my reasons:

    First, because it will be the 8th pick the Redskins will have used on a QB since Shanahan became President of Football Operations.

    2015 1st Round: Marcus Mariota?
    2014 1st Round: Robert Griffin III
    2013 1st Round: Robert Griffin III
    2012 1st Round: Robert Griffin III
    2012 2nd Round: Robert Griffin III
    2012 4th Round: Kirk Cousins
    2011 4th Round: Donovan McNabb
    2010 2nd Round: Donovan McNabb
    That’s six starters and two backups, folks!

    Secondly, if Gruden really wants a pocket passer; select a pocket passer! Not another spread quarterback. BTW, any QB is a project.

    The reason this team has so many needs is because of the resources wasted on the position. Seattle wasted resources on the position as well (Charlie Whitehurst, Tavaris Jackson, and Matt Flynn) but built well in the draft. In fact they didn’t even draft a QB until Pete Carol’s third draft and hit on Russell Wilson. McCloughan was Senior Personnel Executive from 2010 – 2014. Those first two drafts, Seattle got Russell Okung, Earl Thomas, Golden Tate, Walter Thurmond, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell, and Richard Sherman. That’s what this team needs.

    • alextwrs - Mar 12, 2015 at 11:55 AM

      I agree w Gruden having his opinion being the biggest factor in “his Qb” system.

  19. hk2000 - Mar 12, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    Didn’t read all the comments, but the ones I did and the author are all ignoring the firkin elephant in the room!!!!!!!
    Our coach is clueless and no matter who we have at QB,he will fail miserably- especially a young QB who needs coaching and mentoring, not an idiot who points out to the reporters what his QB is doing wrong- I will never get over that. SO essentially everyone is wasting their breath talking about this tam as long as this idiot is the head-coach.

  20. kenlinkins - Mar 12, 2015 at 1:07 PM

    IMO Rich hit the nail right on the head. The $64 dollar question is “How does new GM McC evaluate the development chances of both RG3 and Cousins in 2015 AND what (if any) insurance is required at the QB position with having TWO QB’s with contracts that end at the end of this year”.(And where does that fall on his “To Do List”.) Neither RG3 or Cousins have to win the Super Bowl this year, but GM McC must use what he believes are the odds (after rating both QB’s) for either of them to become the required starting QB for a team looking to start it’s march to becoming the NFC East Champs and working on a Super Bowl win, plus how would Mariota (or Winston) fit into the rebuild if he believes that the required QB is not already on the roster!(you do not skate to the puck, you skate to where you think the puck will be). Now if anyone posting on this web site can answer that question and be 100% sure they are right, well, then you have missed your calling and should be running a NFL team. This equation has so many unknowns (adding the gamesmanship of having the 5th pick in the draft and a new GM) that even a super computer would give the answer of Insufficient data! The Redskins are in a very interesting place and the less data the new GM can allow to hit the market and keep everyone guessing, the better for him. You have to admit that this is the first time in a long time that most of us could not be 85% sure what was going to happen next and maybe that is a first step to turning the Redskins into a winner again. How GM McC rates players is the key and that seems to be marked “TOP SECERT” for now!

  21. hk2000 - Mar 12, 2015 at 2:03 PM

    If Scott M is really in charge, then he should know the upcoming season is going to be a waste with this coach, and that’s not just a wash b/c the result is detrimental to the QB development, so if he knows whats goo for the team, he needs to move from this idiot coach and find his replacement NOW.

    • bangkokben - Mar 12, 2015 at 2:24 PM

      It’s way too late for that.

  22. Stephfan - Mar 12, 2015 at 8:04 PM

    I called the dline! Hacther, pot roast and pea

    • st4hof - Mar 13, 2015 at 12:07 AM

      Who’s pea?

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 13, 2015 at 1:25 AM

      Clears up that 1st pick from Shelton.

      • Stephfan - Mar 13, 2015 at 1:27 AM

        Yea never know, pot roast on a one year deal. Why draft Shelton

  23. gasngo14 - Mar 12, 2015 at 10:39 PM

    RG3 better figure it out fast!

  24. Wil - Mar 13, 2015 at 7:50 PM

    Yall are crazy rg3 will be fine give him a chance too be healthy again…smh like wow all the years we had the worse qb and you can’t give the man who almost brought us a championship in year one a chance.. You all are buggin

  25. mr.moneylover - Mar 15, 2015 at 2:19 PM

    I dont think redskins gonna pick him with that fifth pick we still got holes to fill…I think redskins got a good chance to get dante flower jr if titans trade with the eagles the jags will end up picking Leonard williams Archives

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