Robert Griffin III Announced as Redskins' Starting QB After Colt McCoy Injury

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIDecember 15, 2014

USA Today

The 3-11 Washington Redskins are turning back to Robert Griffin IIInot as their franchise savior but rather more by defaultas the former No. 2 overall draft pick's third NFL season winds down.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced Monday that Griffin will get the starting nod under center when Washington takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in Saturday's Week 16 NFC East showdown at FedEx Field.

A neck injury to prior starter Colt McCoy opened up the opportunity for Griffin to reassert himself as the team's QB, per ESPN 980's Chris Russell:

McCoy suffered the neck injury in the first quarter of Sunday's 24-13 loss against the New York Giants. Griffin played the rest of the game as his replacement.

Mike Jones of The Washington Post and CSNWashington.com's Tarik El-Bashir reported what Gruden had to say regarding Griffin's performance versus the Giants in relief of McCoy:

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The Washington Times' Zac Boyer reported Gruden's thoughts on Griffin's future:

John Clayton of ESPN weighed in Sunday, as Griffin spelled McCoy, carried the ball five times for 46 yards and was 18-of-27 passing for 236 yards and a touchdown:

But Clayton also hinted in his tweet that mobile quarterbacks have largely struggled to make a lasting, impactful transition from college to the pros. Griffin had an electric 2012 rookie season, but his reckless style of play and frequent running put him in harm's way. 

Fleeing from the pocket, where the NFL has made a concerted effort to protect its biggest superstar signal-callers, has seen Griffin go from the hottest name in pro football to an afterthought.

It is critical for Griffin to stay disciplined, learn how to make full-field reads and use his outstanding arm talent to be a better pocket passer.

Gruden's West Coast system doesn't necessarily cater to Griffin's obvious athletic strengths, yet it could be a key cornerstone in the young QB's development. Whether Griffin stays in Washington long-term or is destined to play elsewhere, this chance to start late in 2014 is important for his future.

Should he prove capable of operating a more complicated, pro-style offense and demonstrate an improved ability to read defenses, Griffin will position himself for gridiron success wherever his future takes him.

It benefits Gruden and Washington to put Griffin in a position to thrive—whether the Redskins want to trade him or see him realize his full potential as an elite quarterback in the nation's capital.