Battista: End of an all-too-brief era?
According to Mike Wise of The Washington Post, Gruden himself has wrestled with the same conundrum since taking over the team.
Wise reports, via a person with knowledge of Gruden's thinking, the rookie head coach realized this summer Cousins was better suited to run the West Coast offense even if the exorbitant draft-pick investment in Griffin mandated staying the course.
Rather than washing his hands of a uniquely talented quarterback who just two years ago authored the best rookie quarterback season in NFL history, Gruden was resigned to taking a few early-season lumps as he transformed Griffin into a legitimate pocket passer.
Now that Cousins is doing his best Andy Dalton impression in Griffin's stead, Gruden can concentrate on winning games as opposed to holding his quarterback's hand through an arduous developmental phase.
"I feel like we can win any game with Kirk Cousins," Gruden said after Sunday's win over the Jags. "Kirk is a special guy. He started four games last year and didn't have great success, but obviously has a skill set that I feel like is very much suited for what we do. He can handle it mentally, and obviously, physically. I feel that he can make every throw in the book and we are going to move forward with Kirk."
It's a telling quote, especially the "very much suited for what we do" part.
Two years later, the Redskins are coming to grips with the tepid reality that their dynamic quarterback might never inspire those giddy feelings again.