If You're Down And Out (3-10), Take A Seat

Going from Rookie of the Year and being the #1 quarterback, to #3 quarterback, in just one season.

They say the only thing that's certain in life are death and taxes.  Add Washington Redskins controversy.

While fans can't always be assured of an 8-8 season, or a yearly playoff berth, a few things they can be assured of:  jersey sale campaigns, disappointment, and drama.

The latter two items come in the form of yet another Redskin quarterback being relieved of his duties. (Remember McNabb and Campbell?).

The same team that drafted the quarterback that rallied fans together in the name of football sister and brotherhood and gave hope to a city where fans thought this time around they finally got the one who could take them to the promised land, has promised another distraction.

The same quarterback that led the team to a divisional Championship just one year ago, has been told to go to the back of the quarterback line.  At least for the rest of the season.

Mike Shanahan informed the world today that Robert Griffin, III would be replaced by #2 quarterback Kirk Cousins who, at times, can complete passes and connect with a receiver for a touchdown a time or two, that is when he too, isn't throwing interceptions. The reason? 

With Griffin being brought down time and again, game after game, is it the sacks?

“----anytime you have 24 sacks in the last five games and you go against a team that’s had two sacks in five games and you give up six, you always are taking a look at what is in the best interest of your organization", coach Shanahan said.

But coach, that's not the quarterback's fault.  That's the faulty offense, isn't it?

While that may be true, and the coach knows it, he's not taking any chances.

"So, the reason why I was hesitant, I always take a look at you’ve got your franchise quarterback, you want to make sure going into the offseason that he’s healthy and that he goes through a full offseason program, and that’s why I didn’t say he was the starter. That’s just something in the back of my mind I’m thinking about right now, and I’ll let you know in the next couple of days exactly what I think.”

Fast forward to 'the next couple of days'.

Doing what the defense won't. Protecting the quarterback.

During multiple press conferences Mike Shanahan reiterates that he just wants to protect his franchise quarterback.

"Hey, is it in the best interest of the Washington Redskins to have Robert play those games?’ Or do you rest him and make sure he’s ready for the offseason?", asked Shanahan.

Telling reporters that Robert's knee isn't a factor and that he thinks it's "100 percent", Shanahan went on to say,   "We talked about going against a team like Kansas City who’s had two sacks in five games and they had six against us. Do we put him in a position of getting injured, and is it worth the risk for the Washington Redskins and the future of our organization? That’s what we’re talking about.”

Griffin's knee may be in a better place, but his feelings are definitely hurt. 

Putting on a tough front for the media Griffin said, "Everybody wants to play. Every player wants to play... any quarterback wants to finish out a season with his team when you’re healthy enough to do so."

Griffin said he was totally caught off guard by Shanahan's decision, but has come to terms with it. 

"But, like I said, it’s Coach’s decision and you have to respect that authority, just like I always have. As a quarterback, you run the plays that are called, you do what your coaches tell you to do and in this instance he’s telling me that it’s time to shut it down. I can’t fight that.”

Shanahan caught heat for not taking Griffin out during the game that caused Griffin's re-injury to his knee last season.  So, we can't fault him for wanting to be cautious.

The question remains though, would we even be having this conversation if Robert was (1) still getting hit the same number of times, (2) his knee was still "100 percent", and (3) the team was (wait for it).... winning games?

Would Shanahan still take the position that he is "protecting his quarterback"?

And what is Cousins' take on his new found opportunity? 

“It is what it is. I’m going to submit to the authorities above me and do what I’m coached to do and try to help this team win, whether as a starter or a backup or whatever role I’m asked to take on", said Cousins. "My role this week is to be the starting quarterback and I’m going to prepare as hard as I can to have success in that role.”

Cousins and the Redskins (3-10) face the Atlanta Falcons (also 3-10) on Sunday. Will the Redskins help the Falcons snap their losing streak (they've lost to bad teams before), or will they 'get right' with Cousins at the helm before facing division rivals: the turned-it-around Dallas Cowboys (7-6) just days before Christmas (12/22), and the never wavering New York Giants (5-8) on 12/29.

I can hear that NFL theme song playing right now.

Watch the entire press conference that as been labeled, the day of reckoning.

In addition to promoting Kirk Cousins, the Redskins also promoted running back Jawan Jamison to their active roster and signed free agent running back Miguel Maysonet to their practice squad. Running back Evan Royster has been placed on the team's Reserve/Injured list.