Robert Griffin III on benching: 'It was coach’s decision'

0:49 | NFL
Report: Redskins plan to start Colt McCoy over Robert Griffin III
Thursday November 27th, 2014

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since being benched in favor of Colt McCoy.

Griffin spoke briefly about how he is trying to help the Redskins win and answered only four questions in less than a minute, according to a report from Tarik El-Bashir of

Coach Jay Gruden announced Wednesday that McCoy will start over Griffin in the the Redskins' game against the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday.

Griffin has struggled over five games this season, completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 869 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions as Washington posted a 1-4 record.

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From the report: 

“It was coach’s decision,” Griffin said, not breaking stride. “I’m here to help this team win.”

Asked how disappointed he was with Gruden’s decision, Griffin responded: “Like I said, it was coach’s decision. I’m here to help this team win.”

In explaining his decision to sit Griffin, Gruden said he thinks McCoy gives his team a "better chance" against the Colts and that he thinks Griffin needs more time to learn his system, which will help him be more decisive on the field.

Gruden added 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."

A report from Jason Reid of The Washington Post said that Griffin is "highly unlikely" to return to the team next season.

Griffin, whom the Redskins selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft after trading three first-round picks and a second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams, is set to earn $6.7 million in 2015 under the terms of his rookie contract. 

The Redskins have until May 3 of next year to decide whether to pick up his fifth-year option.

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In the report, Reid writes that Gruden convinced team officials that "change was necessary."

Owner Daniel Snyder and team president and general manager Bruce Allen believed Griffin could regain the form that earned him a Pro-Bowl appearance in 2012, but they noticed in recent weeks the same shortcomings that were apparent in the preseason, the report says.

Griffin's emphasis on spending time in the weight room instead of working on other aspects of his game, as well as his social media activity, were other contributing factors, according to the report. reported earlier this week that even though Griffin isn't starting on Sunday, he still "appears to be a significant part of the Redskins' long-term plan."​  

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Cousins replaced Griffin in the starting lineup after Griffin dislocated his ankle in the Redskins' Sept. 14 victory 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.

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- Chris Johnson

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