With all the speculation about RGIII’s injury, some people are convinced he either won’t be the same next year or will take longer than expected to return. We at Hogs Haven thought it would be interesting to ask Joe Lavoie and Mark Voltaire to examine the Redskins from the worst case scenario perspective. Let’s assume that either RGIII is limited next year or even (God forbid) that Kirk Cousins plays most of next year, what will the Redskins look like? Can they still win the NFC East?
Mark V: First of all let’s just stop so every analyst from Washington, DC to Bristol, Connecticut (Hi, ESPN!) can admit what a brilliant move it was for Mike Shanahan to draft 2 quarterbacks last year. (hold for applause) Ok, now look I love RGIII, in fact despite how good he was last year I still don’t think a lot of people realize just how great he is and will be. That being said I think Kirk Cousins can win in this league, he’s got Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon to lean on as well as what I think is a real solid offensive line in front of him. Now we don’t know the schedule yet, though we do know the teams, but I think that when it comes to games we should win (Dallas, Philly, Detroit, KC, Minnesota, Oakland, San Diego) I still trust Kirk Cousins to win us those games. The harder games (Atlanta, Denver, NY Giants, SF, Chicago, Green Bay) were already tough games even with RGIII but I wouldn’t put it past Cousins to win a couple of those, he’s got heart and despite the fact that this is clearly Robert Griffin’s team they like him as well. I have heard people question whether the Redskins would still be able to run the ball effectively without RGIII but I think Alfred Morris is the real thing and Kyle Shanahan knows how to create running lanes and get people open.
Joe L: I’m a Kirk Cousins fan. I think he can start in the NFL for someone, someday. However, Kirk Cousins will not lead the Redskins to a playoff berth. One thing that Griffin does for this team is that he makes everyone that much better. Do I think Garcon is a true #1 wide receiver? No, but a player like Griffin can make him in to just that. An “X Factor” player is terrifying for the defense, because he can beat you in a multitude of ways. Kirk Cousins can only beat you with his arm, and Griffin’s is better. I agree with you, Alfred Morris is the real deal, but there’s no longer the threat of the quarterback torching the defense for 80 yards. With so little money to work with in the offseason, there wasn’t a playmaker brought in (maybe it isn’t necessary with RG3 at the helm). I see the team dropping back, a 7-9 team at best without Griffin.
Mark: 7-9? That’s tough. I do agree that Griffin makes everyone better but I think Captain Kirk does enough to move the offense. In his one start last year he threw for more than 300 yards, Alfred Morris ran for about 80 yards but more important than that he got 27 carries which shows that even when the running game wasn’t churning out yards Kyle Shanahan stayed with it. We saw the same thing in the last game of the season when the Alfred absolutely ran the ball down the Cowboys throats for 200 yards, and the Cowboys couldn’t stop it even when they knew it was coming. I think you’re underestimating the fact that Mike and Kyle Shanahan have 2 quarterbacks they really like and even though Kirk Cousins is no Robert Griffin III, who is? He has his own skill set and all off-season to work with the 1st team offense, I think he’ll be good and if I had to give them a record I’d say 9-7 or 10-6…that 1 win might make the difference between them making or missing the playoffs so it’s hard for me to say if they’ll get in.
Joe: There was a point last season where this team was 3-6. If Griffin doesn’t have the games he had, this team is checking their tee time for the end of the season. Does Cousins have the ability to be a good quarterback? Most definitely, but he hasn’t had the playing time, nor does he have the athletic ability Griffin has. 7-9 with a backup starting the whole season isn’t a bad record to be honest. Look at this team, and tell me where they’ve improved in a position from last year. They haven’t, they’ve simply stood pat where they could, and lost in areas where they couldn’t afford, due to cap penalty. Can Fred Davis help? Yes, but can he be counted on for a whole season? I hope I’m wrong in this scenario, but a reality check is sometimes necessary.
Ok fellas, we’re going to stop here though I’m sure there’s a lot more to be said on this topic and we look forward to reading your opinions in the comments below. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to vote.