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Kirk Cousins: Don't bench RGIII

Kirk Cousins (right) believes the Redskins should stick with Robert Griffin III at QB. Kirk Cousins (right) believes the Redskins should stick with Robert Griffin III at QB. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

An increasing number of Washington fans have been clamoring for Kirk Cousins to get his shot at quarterback over a struggling Robert Griffin III.

But Cousins himself says that's the wrong move.

He told ESPN.com's John Keim that Washington is making the right call to stick with Griffin, even if it means that Cousins has to ride the pine.

"Robert’s a young player, too, and he’s getting better," Cousins told Keim. "It doesn’t happen overnight. To take him off the field so I can develop, then he’s not developing. It’s a much bigger deal for him to get the reps than for me because he’s the starting quarterback. It sounds nice when you say that but you have to see it from both angles."

Cousins stepped in for an injured Griffin last year and helped the Redskins to an important road win at Cleveland. That performance alone led some to wonder if Washington might be able or willing to trade Cousins for a draft pick to a QB-needy team. But with Griffin's health at least somewhat in question heading into 2013, the franchise opted to hold on to Cousins.

He picked up in the preseason where he left off in 2012, hitting on 6-of-7 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown against the Titans. He completed 2-of-3 attempts the next week against Pittsburgh before suffering a foot injury that shut him down for the remainder of the exhibition schedule.

Despite Griffin enduring a sophomore slump (and Washington plummeting to 3-9), Cousins has seen action just once: in mop-up duty during a 45-21 loss to Denver. He was 5-of-9 with two interceptions in that cameo appearance.

If Washington does have any plans to trade away its 2012 fourth-round pick, such a move could occur before the next draft. Because of their decision to go for broke and trade up for Griffin, Washington does not hold a first-round pick for the second consecutive season.

In trading Cousins, though, Washington would have to find another backup QB it trusts. And if Griffin cannot bounce back to his rookie-season form, Cousins may be able to push him in competition next offseason.

Until then, he's relegated to the No. 2 role -- and he's fine with it.

"I believe if I’m good enough I’ll get that chance so I don’t need to force it to happen today or tomorrow," Cousins told ESPN. "It may happen four or five years from now but if it happens it happens. I’ll be patient and wait and if I’m not good enough I’ll have to live with that."

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