Five questions with: Rich Tandler, Redskins blogger, CSNwashington.com
Each week going forward during the NFL season, Ben Standig will pose questions to an NFL Insider, team blogger, fantasy football analyst or enthusiast. Information rules all and the idea is to provide our readers with more of that 411 from those on the ground or those that passionately study the ins and outs of the gridiron game.
Up first, friend of the podcast Rich Tandler, who covers the Washington Redskins for CSNwashington and Real Redskins.com. Follow Rich on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN. Yes, he's spoken with RG3. No, they don't go clubbing together, not that I know of anyway...
1) Ben Standig, FFToolbox...Guess we have to start with that RG3 guy. Based on your observations, what's the primary issue with Robert Griffin III's struggles?
Rich Tandler: He's playing on a new right knee and he has to get used to it and get comfortable with how it performs. Add to that not only the lack of preseason action, but also his extremely limited participation in OTAs, minicamp, and training camp and you have a quarterback who may have been all in for Week 1, but he was not all ready for Week 1.
2) Two games is a small sample size, but do you think this season we'll see the dynamic, running version of RG3 that made him an NFL and fantasy dynamo and if yes, when?
RT: I think we will. I'll go with the Adrian Peterson timetable. Last year in his first six weeks back from his late-season 2011 ACL tear, he gained over 100 yards just once. Then, in Week 7 he started on his historic roll. It might happen a little earlier for Griffin, say after the bye week. Or it might take until midseason. But at some point Griffin's rust will be all gone and he'll be the RG3 of old.
3) I heard Jon Gruden say during the preseason that he thinks backup QB Kirk Cousins is worth a first-round pick. Even if that's a bit high, should the team have looked harder at moving Cousins this offseason considering: 1) their two-year salary cap limitations thanks to an NFL penalty (in other words, another pick could have gone toward a potential starter) and 2) the team passed on using him to start the season despite Griffin's current limitations?
RT: Absolutely not. I am always amused by fans who talk about the "value" of someone like Cousins only in terms of what he could fetch in a trade. There is plenty of "value" in a backup quarterback who can win you a game or two. Even if Griffin's knee had not been injured last January, it still would have been a bad idea to let him go. Griffin's style of play requires a top-notch backup. Given Griffin's injury, there really was no decision to be made. I would look for them to develop a backup QB next year (Pat White?) and then look to deal Cousins in 2015.