Former Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said that head coach Jay Gruden has been too "wishy-washy" with his handling of the team's quarterbacks.
Fletcher, who works as an analyst for That Other Pregame Show on CBS Sports Network, made his comments in the wake of Gruden's decision to bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy, who will start for Washington on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
Gruden had said earlier this season that Cousins could keep the starting quarterback job upon starter Robert Griffin III's return from a dislocated ankle if he played well enough in Griffin's absence. With Griffin's return approaching, Gruden then said earlier this month that the former No. 2 draft pick would be the team's starter once he was fully healthy.
Griffin is listed as questionable for Monday night's game. Gruden said last week he'd expect Griffin to return no later than Week 11.
Fletcher said Gruden shouldn't be so liberal in switching quarterbacks.
"For you as a backup quarterback, your mindset, the preparation is totally different, so Colt has had all week, plus an extra day, in understanding that I’m going to be the starter. Now he has more things to worry about going into this game. He’s concerned about these blitzes, this coverage, getting the ball to his playmakers and things like that.”
“And not only that, [Jay Gruden] flip flops too much as a head coach,” Fletcher said. “One week, when Kirk came in and had his success, they asked him, was Robert going to get his job back. [Gruden said] we don’t know, we’ll see, because Kirk had done some good things. Now Kirk starts to throw a few interceptions, he benches him and brings Colt McCoy in.”
Cousins threw nine interceptions against ten touchdowns in five-plus games after replacing Griffin when he injured his ankle in Week 2. The Redskins lost all four of his starts before last Sunday, when they defeated the Tennessee Titans 19-17 after Cousins was replaced with McCoy.
McCoy completed 11 of his 12 pass attempts and threw one touchdown with no interceptions against the Titans.
Fletcher retired last year after 16 NFL seasons with three teams, including the last seven of his career from 2007-13 with Washington.
- Ben Estes