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Robert Griffin III Comments on Being Benched by Redskins HC Jay Gruden

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2014

USA Today

A bad season for Robert Griffin III was made even worse after news broke that Colt McCoy will take over as Washington's starting quarterback on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. Despite that, Griffin remained diplomatic and focused on helping the franchise turn around its fortunes in 2014. 

"Coach's decision," Griffin said of head coach Jay Gruden's choice, per ESPN.com's John Keim. "I'm here to help this team win."

The 24-year-old declined to speak with the media, adding before he left the team facility, "Hey, I'm just focused on helping us win. That's all I can do."

Some have hinted that Griffin's benching loomed on the horizon. NFL.com's Albert Breer confirmed on Wednesday that the former Heisman Trophy winner would make way for McCoy:

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

On conference call with Indy reporters, Redskins coach Jay Gruden acknowledges that Colt McCoy will start over Robert Griffin III this week.

Through five games this year, Griffin's passed for 869 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Redskins are 3-8, which is a game above the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the worst record in the NFC.

Between this season and last, RGIII's winning percentage is the third-worst since 1967 among QBs in their second and third years, per NFL on ESPN:

NFL on ESPN @ESPNNFL

RG3 has the 3rd-worst winning percentage since 1967 among QBs in their 2nd and 3rd seasons http://t.co/vwdrGT2xVk

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While most will agree that Griffin's performed below expectations, Gruden made sure not to heap too much blame on his QB's shoulders, per CSN Washington:

NBC Sports Redskins @NBCSRedskins

Gruden: "I'm not trying to pin the reasons we've lost on Robert. I'm just trying to give our team a spark." #RedskinsTalk

Many are also questioning Gruden's suitability going forward. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller sees this QB change as the coach prioritizing winning right now ahead of trying to make Griffin a better player:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

No inside information here—my opinion only—but it sounds like Jay Gruden is more worried about wins and saving his job than developing RG3

McCoy's played well in Griffin's absence so far this year, winning his only start and going 36-of-42 for 427 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games.

There's no telling whether the plan is to continue with McCoy as the starter going forward or if this move was intended to light a fire under RGIII to help him regain his old form.

Either way, it's a rather damning indictment that Washington, which gave up a king's ransom to draft Griffin in 2012, would rather have McCoy than a healthy Griffin at this stage.

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