Theismann questions RG III's role

Robert Griffin III's role as Washington's clear-cut starter has been called into question by former Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.

Theismann, now a sportscaster for the Redskins Broadcast Network, said during Washington's loss Saturday night to the Baltimore Ravens that backup Kirk Cousins has been a better quarterback than Griffin.

"Let's stop beating around the bush," Theismann said during the broadcast, according to The Washington Post. "Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has. Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket. He doesn't look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football. I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.

"It's going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make. Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn't be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a dropback quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way."

Griffin went 5-for-7 for 20 yards in the first half of Washington's 23-17 loss and was sacked three times. He returned in the third quarter and threw just one pass, an interception deep in Washington territory. He also dropped a snap and gained 3 yards on three impromptu runs.

"I think there's going to be a lot of conversation after this football game regarding the quarterback position," Theismann said on the broadcast.

"You can't avoid it. Your eyes don't lie to you. Robert has struggled in the limited opportunities that he has had. And Kirk Cousins has seized the opportunities that he has had when it comes to playing the position and understanding the offense."

Cousins went 14-for-20 for 122 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens.

"Kirk Cousins did a very good job tonight getting the ball out of his hands," Theismann said. "Decisive with the ball, very accurate when it came to throwing it, and his decisions were very good as well. So it was a very complete second half for him. And you can say it's against the second team, you can say he's with the second team. It doesn't matter. He did a heckuva job tonight."

For his part, Griffin acknowledged he and the offense need to make improvements.

"The offense goes as I go, so personally, I have to play better," he said. "But I think we shot ourselves in the foot too many times, had too many mistakes. Whenever we can get 11 guys working in one direction, we're going to be something special. That's something we'll continue to work on. We'll get it fixed."

First-year coach Gruden also addressed Griffin's performance.

"He's got to move on," he said. "We've got to do a better job of getting in rhythm, get some completions early, get some first downs. We were so bad on first and second down, I think, it kept us in some third down-and-longs."

Gruden said Griffin and most of the Washington starters would not play in the preseason finale at Tampa Bay. Washington opens the season Sept. 7 at Houston.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.