Down the Atlantic Coast from the Quarterback Competition That Isn't in East Rutherford is a legitimate signal-caller showdown near the nation's capital.
With Alex Smith out for the season (and potentially his career) following his significant leg injury, Washington is moving forward this year with a QB room featuring longtime Redskins player Colt McCoy (who is fully cleared to practice after his own leg injury), journeyman Case Keenum and first-round rookie Dwayne Haskins.
When Washington begins training camp practices on Thursday, each quarterback, given his health, will have an equal opportunity to win the Week 1 starting job, or so says Redskins coach Jay Gruden.
"We have time to give these guys ample opportunity as we do every position," Gruden told reporters, per the team's transcript. "We got to give these guys opportunities to make plays. Which one's the best? It might come down to the wire. It might come down to Saturday before the [season opener against the Eagles]. Who knows? But I feel confident in every one of our quarterbacks."
When asked if each of the three QBs will have an even amount of reps in practice, Gruden added, "Yes. It will be close."
With McCoy cleared, Washington has a true three-way race for the starting QB job with no clear favorite. McCoy has easily the most experience playing under Gruden and is most familiar with the offense and team culture. But Keenum has started more career games (54) than McCoy has played in (38), and Haskins is the first-round QB with unlimited potential, a cheap and valuable commodity if he starts sooner rather than later.
Gruden hasn't showed his hand this offseason as to who he prefers running his offense come Week 1 against Philadelphia; he's had equally positive and critical things to say about Haskins. For what it's worth, the Redskins have indicated that the decision to name a starter will be a group decision, i.e. one made with football and business in mind.
Injuries and circumstance can change expectations a whole lot during training camp; that's certainly been the case with Washington over the past few years (see: Guice, Derrius). For now, the Redskins are heading into the summer with a clean slate at QB, an open mind and three potential starters.