Ken and I have been managing Hogs Haven for over four years, and one thing that I see on repeat is the keyboard pounding outcry for certain roster moves. We figuratively and literally bang our heads on the wall on decisions made, and as time passes, we move on to the next big deal and forget the past. I was actually shocked at the outcry on Twitter of Redskins fans disparaging the A.J. Smith hiring. He has no power in any decision making. Come on people. We don't have to be hating something at all times.
With the 2013 NFL draft having one of the worst Quarterback classes in memory, John Beck out of the NFL, Rex Grossman turning 33 this summer, how smart does Mike Shanahan Cousins pick look right now?
It's time we all hop in our DeLoreans and set the date back to April 28th, 2012. The day the Redskins INEXPLICABLY drafted another Quarterback after trading the farm for RGIII.
Let's be clear, I'm wrong on many issues. I thought Santana wouldn't make the team this past year and for the last two years I've been saying London Fletcher is done. However, my goal in this exercise is that we all need to take a sip of the purple drank before letting national media outlets run wild and affect our opinions. I was for the Cousins pick simply because Grossman has more career interceptions than TDs. His ceiling was known and it was time to move on.
A lot of the research for this article was done sweating through Google searches. Dan Steinberg thankfully had a collection of initial reactions as well.
Let's start with the local media who got the Kirk Cousins draft pick wrong:
David Elfin (formerly Washington Times and currently Washington CBS)
I admit that I'm a drafting for need instead of taking the best available athlete guy, but this move was ridiculous. A team that is 11-21 under Shanahan's command and 17-39 over its past three and a half seasons can afford to use a fourth-rounder on a player it hopes will never play a down? Are you kidding me? Suddenly the downtrodden Redskins are the perennially powerful Patriots or Packers, making luxury picks?
Why take a second rookie QB when you're all in on RG3? There is no reason. Wasted pick.
It was "utterly moronic." Cut to the chase. Since ’91 more than two-thirds of all quarterbacks taken in the 4th round have been complete busts; and less than 10 percent of those 4th-rd quarterbacks have had significant careers...there's about a 70 per cent chance Cousins will never even throw 5 TD passes in the NFL. So, where's this mysterious "four-year value?"
Kirk Cousins, eh? Okay. Whatever. I smell Patriots Copycat Syndrome going on. One small point: they ain't the Patriots.
Czabe was very vocal on his radio show against the pick and had this to tweet when fans all tweeted him in October to remind him:
I love all of the "Instant Victory Lap" guys because Cousins threw a TD pass. Hoist that "Told Ya So" banner high, and admire. #dummies
Classic. I do love Czabe and all the DC media for that matter.
OK, so onto the national media:
Redskins draft multiple QBs - Michael Lombardi - NFL Videos
"I think this pick is more about collecting talent, because I can’t see how it’s gonna work. Just say RGIII is what we think he is: Kirk Cousins never gets on the field. Does he get on the field in the preseason? How do they recoup this pick? In four years, he’s a free agent, so what’s the value of putting all this time, money and effort into coaching him if you can’t get something back?
Draft Grades: Redskins B- : NFL - CBSSports.com - Pete Prisco
Questionable move: Why take quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round after taking Robert Griffin III in the first? That's a luxury pick. Third-day gem: FAU running back Alfred Morris came in the sixth round. Mike Shanahan once drafted Terrell Davis in the sixth round. Morris is smaller than Davis, but has the same type of cutting ability. Analysis: Getting Griffin was the right thing to do. They have their franchise passer. But they didn't do much after that. They didn't have a second-round pick, but I also don't like what they did with the rest of their picks.
NFL draft Losers: Redskins qualify as both after taking Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins - Yahoo! Sports : Jason Cole
Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins – I understand the logic behind taking a quarterback prospect you think can lead to more draft picks in a year or two. From that perspective, the selection of Cousins in the fourth round wasn't bad. However, you usually don't do that in the same year you take a quarterback in the first round, especially after you spent so many draft picks to move up from No. 6 to No. 2 for Griffin. You'd think that, of all teams, Washington would understand that best after what it went through with Heath Shuler and Gus Frerotte in the 1990s. Oh well, some teams never learn.
Kirk Cousins' pick a head-scratcher, more Day 3 Snap Judgments - Don Banks - SI.com
I keep trying to discern the master plan in Washington's pick of Kirk Cousins, but I just can't see the wisdom of it. It strikes me as the wrong move, at the wrong time, by the wrong team. That's why puzzling doesn't begin to describe the call. The Redskins simply aren't in the position to take that sort of nonessential gamble at this point in the Mike Shanahan coaching era, and I don't care how highly they had Cousins graded, it's at best sending a confusing and mixed message just when Washington seemed to at last have a clarity of vision. This was going to be RG3's team, RG3's town, and RG3's time. Case closed. Or not. Sorry, but Shanahan tried to be too smart by half this time. It's not even as if Washington was desperate for a decent backup behind Griffin, because as No. 2's go, you could do a lot worse than veteran and onetime Super Bowl starter Rex Grossman.
Redskins draft Kirk Cousins in fourth round of 2012 NFL Draft - CBSSports.com - Will Brinson
Cousins is not going to compete with RG3. Nor should he, which means the Redskins, in an absolutely critical draft for the gentlemen running their team, wasted a pick on a luxury they don't have...It was an unnecessary pick and fairly nonsensical...The biggest problem with the pick of Cousins by the Redskins is that it unnecessarily generates a quarterback controversy in the nation's capital. Not that there should be any controversy: RG3 is better than Cousins.
Skip Bayless: White Redskins Fans Will Support Kirk Cousins Over Robert Griffin III (VIDEO)
"I'm going to throw it out there. You also have the black-white dynamic and the majority of Redskins fans are white. And it’s just human nature, if you’re white to root for the white guy," Bayless contended. "It just happens in sports. Just like the black community will root for the black quarterback. I'm for the black guy. I'm just saying, I don't like the dynamic for RG3. It could stunt his growth in the NFL."
5 Things I Don't Like - CBSSports.com - Clark Judge
Choosing Robert Griffin III with its first choice was a no-brainer, but why take Kirk Cousins with the third? Look, I like the guy, too, and don't understand why he lasted until the fourth round. But he wasn't "a steal," as Shanahan described him. He was a luxury the Redskins couldn't afford. He should've been "a steal" for someone else. Not Washington.
Mike Florio: So why did the Redskins want Kirk Cousins? | ProFootballTalk
One of the strangest decisions of draft weekend came early in round four, when the Redskins selected former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins. On Monday’s PFT Live, I offered up a theory for the move. Redskins offensive coordinator Mike Shanahan wants his offense to be run a certain way. What if Griffin decides once the snap is taken to do things his own way, ignoring the progression or pulling the ball down and trying to make something happen with his feet before he’s supposed to bail out on the play that was called? With Cousins on the roster, eager to do whatever needs to be done in order to get a chance to show what he can do, Griffin will have reason to think twice about doing anything other than precisely what the Shanahans want him to do.
Dan Graziano: Competition already for Robert Griffin III? - NFC East Blog - ESPN
I just don't think, given their needs, that backup quarterback was the way to go with their first pick in the fourth round....Also, it will be important for Mike Shanahan and the Redskins' coaching staff to establish a clear set of roles here. The fans of the Redskins have been used to finding fault with their team's quarterback play for quite a while now, and if Griffin struggles and starts throwing interceptions, as excited as everyone is about him now, you know there will be calls right away to see what Cousins can do.
Czar's NFL Draft grades per team - NFL News | FOX Sports : John Czarnecki
The Shanahans must be worried about RG3's durability, but it doesn't make much sense to put extra pressure on their anointed No. 1 quarterback. We understand the value in having quarterbacks — former Packers GM Ron Wolf developed it into an art form with Brett Favre on his roster — but this team didn't have the luxury of making this pick.
2012 NFL Draft Grades: Washington Redskins | FanSpeak's : Steve Shoup
C+: Cousins does give the Redskins a very good back-up, but that is too many resources to spend on one position. Particularly a position that you can only play one player at a time.
NFL Draft Grades: Redskins, Giants And Packers Top NFC Teams - SBNation.com : Ryan Van Bibber
Still can't give this one a perfect grade because of the Kirk Cousins pick. Nothing against Cousins, but why take a second rookie quarterback with a fourth-round pick?
Mike Shanahan tries to get cute in the draft - ESPN : Ashley Fox
They need a clear-cut starter. It appeared that they would have that with Griffin, whom they traded up to get. And then Shanahan got cute and took Cousins. Maybe Shanahan can create a clear pecking order among the two, with Griffin the starter and Cousins the backup. According to NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Redskins parted ways with John Beck on Monday morning, clearing room for Cousins. But at some point this season, Griffin will struggle. It is inevitable. And when he does, a fan base that is desperate for a winner will start calling for Cousins. They will want a 23rd starting quarterback in 20 seasons, not the chosen 22nd, and that won't help the Redskins at all.
The Big Lead : Ty Duffy - The Redskins’ Fourth Round Selection of Kirk Cousins is Bizarre
Blonde hair. Mesmerizing eyes. Articulate. A winner. It’s sort of like adding Tebow-lite into the equation. The Redskins might be a play away from relying on Cousins. They are also a slow start from Griffin away from a quarterback controversy that completely undermines the kid worth fourth draft picks. The Redskins seem to be risking a lot of potential trouble for minimal reward. It would have been odd for the Browns to burn a mid-round pick on another running back after drafting Richardson. That would have made more sense.
This ESPN exchange between Jaws, Teddy Bruschi, and Herm Edwards is baffoonery gold:
Jaws: "This is what I thought when I heard the Kirk Cousins pick come up. Leave RGIII alone and let him develop at his pace! Let him be the MAN!!! Here we are talking competition. We know the Redskins will say there is no competition...COME ON...we're not going to buy that!!! "
(ESPN shows screen with four names: RGIII, Grossman, Cousins, Beck)
Herm Edwards: What I'm looking at on the screen...I see FIVE QUARTERBACKS. You can only bring 80 guys to camp. You cannot bring 5 Quarterbacks to camp so one or two of these guys are packing their suitcases. You go up in the draft to draft this guy. He's the face of the franchise. The first time he meets the media in Washington he's talking about Kirk Cousins. You still need offensive lineman and secondary help. C'MON!!!!
Teddy Bruschi: The draft picks you had to give up, now your draft picks are at a premium because you don't have as many so you need to use each pick to better your team. Not make luxury picks. Kirk Cousins. Everything spoken about him. It's all about intangibles...it's all about leadership. He's a dynamic leader. Do you want that strong leadership type at the backup Quarterback position???
Jaws: No you do not! You're absolutely right, Teddy. The backup Quarterback...no matter how good he is as a leader, he's BACKING UP the starter. The face of the franchise is the leader that everyone looks to. The backup Quarterback has to suppress that leadership skills. If you try to supersede the #1 QB, it's going to be a difficult decision to manage.
Herm: You created competition with the face of your franchise with another rookie QB. It doesn't make a lot of sense....the Redskins turned in the wrong card...that's all!
And last but certainly not least, all the media local and national that got it right:
Jason Reid: Redskins buy insurance picking Kirk Cousins to back up Robert Griffin III - The Washington Post
This doesn’t have the feel of another Rex-Beck debacle. For anyone who has worried, "Uh, oh, Shanahan is making another team-crippling mistake at quarterback," get that out of your head. This was forward-thinking: In addition to getting a superstar prospect, the Redskins definitely could use a young backup considered to have better-than-average skills.
Rich Campbell: After RG3, Redskins' draft objective was addressing depth - Washington Times
The Redskins have suffered from instability at the position for years. Considering how erratic the quarterback play was last season, it’s hard to fault Mike Shanahan for gutting the depth chart.
Rich Tandler's Real Redskins: May 2012
The conventional NFL wisdom is that picking a quarterback in the top five who busts is a death sentence for an NFL franchise. It is supposed to set a team back for years. But a funny thing happened to the Redskins when Shuler’s career cratered. They got better. While nobody was forgetting the glory days under Joe Gibbs, they were in contention for the playoffs until the last weekend of the season in both 1996 and 1997. They were able to remain competitive in large part because they had drafted bust insurance. They had a young quarterback ready to go when Shuler demonstrated that he couldn’t get it done.
Chris Russell - Why Kirk was a good call & RG III's $$$$ - ESPN980
How can anybody argue that a solid, bright, competitive quarterback that the Redskins brass had ranked as a 2nd round prospect (from what I've heard) is a wasted pick, when Rex Grossman is only under contract for one year, and John Beck was going to be released right after the draft.
John Keim: Five thoughts: Redskins draft | WashingtonExaminer.com
Look at it this way: The Redskins might have solved their quarterback situation for the next several years. While Griffin starts this season, Cousins can learn the offense and take over the No. 2 job (if he’s ready) in 2013 from Rex Grossman. No more seeking veteran solutions. Was it a wasted pick? Again, here’s a different way to view it: The Redskins added two more picks giving them nine for the draft and 21 combined the past two years (their highest two-year total since the draft went to seven rounds in 1994).
Draft 2012: NFC Grades - Rotoworld.com : Evan Silva
A-: Cousins projects as a quality long-term backup.
ESPN's Mel Kiper
Kirk Cousins, obviously created some curiosity. I can see a plan: Washington develops an asset it can deal in a year to regain some draft picks. Is Cousins worth a second-round pick in a year? He could be. It was smart to get a couple of guards, because the offensive line is a weakness outside of Trent Williams.
Albert Breer: "People questioning the Skins' Cousins pick...I mean, seriously? Really asinine. Saw a good player. Took him. Why is it even an issue?"
Rich Eisen: "Let's be honest, if RGIII's not on the field taking snaps for the Washington Redskins, something is seriously wrong. Either with him physically, or something has happened with his development to the point that it is such a Code Red situation that they have to go in a different direction. And is that person Kirk Cousins?"
Mike Mayock: "To me it's an insurance policy that you develop. And if he puts the baseball cap on for four years, and never gets to the field, that's great. However, year three, if [Griffin] goes down - and he's gonna take a lot of hits, RGIII's gonna take a lot of hits - if he goes down year three, you've got a developed quarterback behind him ready to go....There's no greater depth need for me on any team than the backup quarterback."
Ken Meringolo: 6pack - Drafting Multiple Rookie Quarterbacks Is Not Like Kissing Cousins - Hogs Haven
When the Washington Redskins selected quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round of the NFL draft this past weekend, talking heads around the country got the scratching of a lifetime. This just confirms what we all suspected over the last few years: nobody but us is watching the Redskins.
JimmyK: NFC East Round 4 Recap – Blogging the bEast
The Redskins can now groom two rookie QB’s… simultaneously… and be set at that position for at least the next 4 years. Cousins can push RG3 (not that there’s any threat to take his job), and vice versa. Cousins is outstanding value at this stage in the draft.
Analysis: Defending the Redskins' pick of Kirk Cousins : Nate Davis
4 reasons why it was a good move...which all played out.