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Redskins' Roster Review: Quarterbacks

Posted Apr 9, 2013

With offseason workouts beginning next week at Redskins Park, Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman takes a look at the team’s strengths and offers storylines to watch. Up next: quarterbacks.

With offseason workouts beginning next week at Redskins Park, Redskins.com’s Brian Tinsman takes a look at the team’s strengths and offers storylines to watch. Up next: quarterbacks.

It’s amazing the difference one year can make.

At this time last year, the Redskins had two quarterbacks on the roster with starting experience in the NFL: Rex Grossman and John Beck.

Fast-forward one year later, and the Redskins have four signal callers with starting experience: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Grossman and newly-signed quarterback Pat White.

Over the last 12 months, the Redskins have aggressively upgraded the depth and talent at quarterback more than any other position on the roster.

In 15 regular season starts last season, rookie Robert Griffin III silenced his critics en route to a 9-6 record, re-writing franchise and NFL record books along the way.

His injury in the Wild Card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks ended the season on a sour note, but his accelerated rehab schedule offers hope for an early return next season.

Kirk Cousins earned the lone start in his place in Week 15, leading the Redskins to a critical victory in his first extended appearance in the NFL.

In three appearances last season, Cousins combined for 466 yards, four touchdowns, three interceptions and a 68.8 percent completion rate.

While all NFL quarterbacks have less mobility than Griffin III, Cousins held his own on the ground, rushing three times for 22 yards.

After a season as the team’s primary starter in 2011, Rex Grossman returned last season in a mentor role for the two youngsters on the roster.

He was active for only two games on the season, but provided a steadying presence in the meeting rooms and sidelines, lending more than a decade of NFL experience and four seasons in the Shanahan offense.

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PERSONNEL LANDSCAPE

Redskins’ quarterbacks currently under contract for next season: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Rex Grossman, Pat White.

Players no longer on the roster: None.

With Griffin III shelved for the foreseeable future during his injury rehab, the reins to the first-string offense have officially been handed to Cousins.

This is a major opportunity for Cousins, who found success last year despite not frequently working with the best players on offense.

Regardless of Griffin III’s availability for the regular season, Cousins is likely to see a sizeable chunk of preseason action, which will help build his comfort in the offense. This is a major asset to the Redskins.

No timetable has been placed on Griffin III’s return, other than to suggest that he is ahead of schedule. Reconstructive surgery to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is generally considered to be a 9-12 month recovery process, but no one is ruling out a faster return.

Shanahan announced that he will not return until he is 100 percent, at which point he is expected to resume his role as the starter.

Grossman was re-signed this offseason for an encore performance of his mentor role last season, a role that was credited and endorsed by both starting quarterbacks and the coaching staff.

He is also available to provide a security blanket, should Griffin III need time or Cousins get injured. If needed, he has four years in the system and 16 games of starting experience in Washington.

Pat White is the X-factor in the quarterback field, a player that may finally find his niche in the league in a mobile, read-option offense.

His long-term role remains to be seen, but he at least provides the Redskins with a mobile quarterback while Griffin III is on the mend.

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NFL Quarterbacks Available In Free Agency

As of April 9, 2013; names listed are in no particular order:

--Kellen Clemens, St. Louis Rams: While the team is unlikely to need further help at the quarterback position, Clemens is a possibility to step in if disaster strikes. Clemens was in Redskins training camp in 2011, so he knows the system better than the average free agent. Remember that time he hit Donte’ Stallworth for a game-winning touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 of the preseason?

--Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs: Quinn’s career production never matched the hype out of Notre Dame, but his talent will always attract one more suitor. Last season, he started eight games in Kansas City, throwing two touchdowns and eight interceptions. The numbers are brutal, but he is one of the best remaining free agents.

--Jonathan Crompton, Washington Redskins: Despite never appearing in an NFL regular season game, Crompton remains an option for the Redskins given his two seasons in the Shanahan system. He likely would not be the first option for the Redskins, but he is available in case of emergency.

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Collegiate Quarterbacks Available In The Draft

As of April 9, 2013; names listed are in no particular order:

-- Landry Jones, Oklahoma: Once projected as a Heisman candidate by the end of his collegiate career, Jones is now seen as a late-round pick. His stock has dropped during the pre-Draft process, as both his performance at the Senior Bowl (three-for-nine, 16 yards, sacked twice) and 5.11 40-time showed he may not be ready for the big time.

--Sean Renfree, Duke: Although his school may be known for basketball, Renfree put Duke football on the map by leading them to a rare bowl game in 2012. His 65 percent completion rating in college speaks to his accuracy and mechanics, and the Redskins’ coaching staff is well-connected at Duke.

-- Collin Klein, Kansas State: Klein could be a perfect fit for the Redskins’ mobile offense. Last season, Klein led the Wildcats to an 11-win season, completing 65 percent of his passes and rushing for 27 touchdowns. Should be available in the late rounds or free agency.


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