Coach Jay Gruden Explains Timeout Decision In Final Minute Of Chiefs Game

FILE – In this Sept. 7, 2014, file photo, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talks to quarterback Robert Griffin III before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Houston. Game 1 of the Jay Gruden era with the Redskins looked a lot like the final games under Mike Shanahan. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

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Washington coach Jay Gruden says Robert Griffin III was benched in part because he needs time to learn the offense.

“Robert has done some good things at quarterback but I think he just needs a little bit more time in the system with the verbiage and the plays, to sit back and take a step back and learn,” Gruden said. “When he gets back in there he’ll be a lot more decisively and ready to roll.”

That explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense. Griffin has had plenty of time to learn Gruden’s system since Gruden was hired in January. Griffin got the first-team reps throughout minicamps, training camp and the preseason, whereas McCoy wasn’t even signed until April and spent the whole offseason as a third-stringer and doing scout team work. If McCoy doesn’t need more time to learn the offense, why does Griffin?

Gruden says that what it comes down to is that McCoy has been the quarterback for two of Washington’s three wins this season, and that means he deserves the chance to show he can keep helping Washington win.

“We’re gonna play Colt — he’s done some good things,” Gruden said. “I felt like he deserved a bit of a promotion.”

Still, Gruden insists that he’s not saying Griffin can’t one day be a franchise quarterback.

“Obviously, I’m not putting the blame all on Robert,” Gruden said. “It seems like that when you make a change at the quarterback position. I understand that there are other issues involved here, but we’re 2-0 with Colt as a starter and I just want to give him an opportunity to play well.”

Realistically, it’s hard to imagine any scenario in which Gruden is coaching Griffin next year. If Gruden is claiming he still thinks Griffin can play well, then Gruden is trying to talk up Griffin for a potential trade partner in the offseason. Griffin has had all the time he’s going to get to learn Gruden’s offense. It hasn’t worked, and if Griffin is going to become a great player in the NFL, it will be with some other coach.

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