Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday that he thinks Colt McCoy gives his team a "better chance" in Sunday's game against the Colts in Indianapolis.
Gruden reportedly informed his team earlier in the day that McCoy would start over Robert Griffin III, who has struggled this season. Over five games, Griffin has completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 869 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions as the Redskins posted a 1-4 record.
ESPN.com reported that even though Griffin isn't starting on Sunday, he still "appears to be a significant part of the Redskins' long-term plan."
Gruden said Wednesday that Griffin will be the team's No. 2 quarterback, with Kirk Cousins serving as the No. 3, and that it's a "game-by game-league." Gruden added that he thinks Griffin needs more time to learn his system, which will help him be more decisive on the field, according to the report.
"I'm not putting the blame all on Robert," Gruden said. "It seems like that when you make a change like this at the quarterback position. Robert has done some good things at quarterback, but I just think he needs a little bit more time in this system with the verbiage and the plays to sit back, take a step back and learn, and when he gets back in there he'll be a lot more decisive, hopefully, and ready to roll.
"But right now, I just felt moving forward for Indianapolis that Colt would give us a better chance this week." [...]
"A lot of people are making it out me vs. Robert. It's not at all," Gruden said. "I have a lot of respect for Robert as a quarterback and Robert as a person. We just want him to take a step back, work on his craft a little bit more, study the game a little bit more so the next time he's in there he's raring to go and has a little more faith and confidence in what he sees."
Cousins replaced Griffin in the starting lineup after Griffin dislocated his ankle in the Redskins' Sept. 14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,710 yards with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions over five games.
Cousins was benched in favor of McCoy during an Oct. 19 win over the Titans. McCoy completed 85.7 percent of his passes for 427 yards with one touchdown and one interception while leading the Redskins to wins over Tennessee and the Dallas Cowboys.
With Griffin back under center, Washington has dropped three consecutive games to the Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers. The Redskins enter Sunday 3-8 and tied with the New York Giants for last place in the NFC East.
The Colts are 7-4 and in first place in the AFC South.
- Chris Johnson