I absolutely hate Chris Cooley as a media personality covering the Redskins, but he does bring up some good points in his recent breakdown of his 10 players who should not be with the Redskins in 2015, made avaliable on the Washington Post by Dan Steinberg(Dec. 28th). Griffin makes Cooley's list, and below are his comments as to why he feels this way:
"He does not positively influence your organization in any way shape or form," the ESPN 980 host and Redskins Radio Network analyst said. "Develop him or not, he is constantly a negative impact on everything surrounding the Washington Redskins. He’s a polarizing figure to your fan base and to what your team is, and that is not the way to build — with drama — an organization from the bottom up."
"Sorry," Cooley then said. "I like him. But he’s a symbol of what’s wrong right now with this team, or what potentially will be wrong in the future, what our owner does and doesn’t do. And the owner’s not leaving, and I don’t think the coach should leave, and that symbol will remain. And it will remain polarizing [after] any loss in the future if he’s here."
Cooley is 100 percent correct about the drama part. It doesn't matter what Robert Griffin does in the future; his every move, both good and bad, will be scrutinized by the local and national media alike. The losses will be his fault, and the victories will result in him "gloating", and "patting himself on the back" on social media.
This is a situation in which the Redskins just can't win.
Enter Kirk Cousins - the beleaguered, non-polarizing, mundane, signal caller who was drafted to be Griffin's backup. Cousins is the antithesis of Griffin. He doesn't draw attention to himself - actually, he doesn't enjoy the attention at all. He's a quiet family man, who doesn't thrive off the attention of social media, rarely curses, hates to show-boat, and is about as humble an individual as you will find in professional sports. Hell, the man won't even take off his wedding band during games, instead deciding to tape it around the finger he proudly displays it on.
So why Cousins you ask?
Like Cooley so eloquently put it, you can't build a team with all this drama.
Cousins has the intangibles. He is a big, strong-armed, intelligent pocket passer, built in the mold that Gruden desires. He's a leader by example, and is about as genuine as you will find in the league. He had his confidence severely shaken this past season, as he let some games get away from him after throwing some un-timely interceptions, but this has happened to many successful quarterbacks in the past, and if properly coached, they can be built back up, regain their confidence, and go on to become very good quarterbacks.
Cousins has what Griffin lacks - the likeability factor. His teammates like him, the coaches like him, and the media likes him. He's not the type of player anyone would want to throw under the bus. He's the type of player who can rally men, and make those around him "respect" his professionalism. He works hard at his craft, and he doesn't care who takes notice. Linemen WANT to block for him, receivers WANT to make the tough catch for him, and running backs will gladly block for him, even if it means they don't get the glory of touching the football all the time.
So, for a team with more issues than a self-medicating former front man in a popular rock band, the Redskins may be smart to heed Cooley's words, and add Griffin to the list of players who should not return in 2015. The talent may be a bit less, but so will the drama, and for the Redskins, that could make all the difference in the world.