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Robert Griffin III is Redskins starter, Jay Gruden says

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Two weeks after the Washington Redskins snubbed Robert Griffin III in a letter to "premium" fans, coach Jay Gruden surprisingly acknowledged the erstwhile face of the franchise as his No. 1 quarterback.

"Robert ended the season as the starter and we anticipate that moving forward," Gruden said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, "and we anticipate both of them with a good frame of mind and eager to get better.

"We'll go into the season with Robert as the No. 1 guy obviously, and it's up to Robert to continue to grow and mature as a quarterback and a person and moving forward, we just want to see some improvement. That's up to us as a staff to get more out of him."

Gruden cited the 2014 game film, which apparently looks quite a bit different in the cold light of February than it did in October and November.

The major shift in Gruden's attitude toward Griffin suggests the decision might have come from above.

The real shock is that it appears Griffin is being handed the job after Gruden repeatedly emphasized the value of competition in 2014.

That stance is indicative of the Redskins' large-scale investment in RGIII, as well as a tacit acknowledgment that there are no viable alternatives in-house or on the open market.

Gruden became disillusioned with Kirk Cousins by mid-season and understands impending free agent Colt McCoy lacks size, arm strength and durability.

As new general manager Scot McCloughan hinted upon his arrival in Washington, Griffin will be under center in Week 1, barring the unexpected curve ball.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down RGIII's appointment as starter and Larry Fitzgerald's new deal with the Cardinals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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