The tradition of announcing starters by NFL teams continues with the Cleveland Browns, letting the world know what everyone knew already: Robert Griffin III is going to be their starting quarterback next season. It doesn’t mean he’ll still have the job when it ends.
That’s life when playing for a bad, perennially bad team. The Browns don’t have any young, up & coming QBs waiting for their chance, so the pick between Griffin, Austin Davis, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler, their third round pick in the 2016 draft, wasn’t very difficult. Obviously, there are two ways to look at this:
- The Browns quarterback situation is so bad that Griffin, who didn’t play a single snap in 2014, can waltz right in and become the starting quarterback. Or…
- Griffin is good again, really good. If someone who knows quarterback as much as Huge Jackson does picks him for his starter, he knows what he’s doing. Griffin is back
And here’s what Jackson, beginning his first season ever as a head coach, had to say:
It’s time. Robert has earned the right to be named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Since he was signed back in March, Robert has made it clear through his actions that he is willing to do everything that has been asked of him to earn this role. Throughout this process he has gained the respect from his teammates, the coaching staff and the entire organization that is necessary for him to lead our offense and really the entire team. Pep (Hamilton) has done an outstanding job with that room to get us to this point so we can make this decision at what I feel is the optimal time which enables us to best prepare for the regular season. It’s now on Robert to show the organization and our fans that this is the right decision. Throughout the offseason program and training camp, Robert has shown improvement every day and we expect him to continue to ascend as he becomes more and more acclimated to the offensive system we will employ this season. I’ve been crystal clear on what we expect from Robert. He fully understands the responsibility and I feel he is ready to handle this role.
Griffin was the 2012 offensive rookie of the year, but from leading the Redskins to the playoffs while posting the best interception ratio in the NFL, he’s stalled. In 2013 he had just 16 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions, his rushing down by almost 50%. In 2013, he started in just 7 games, completing 68.7% of his passes, but threw just 4 touchdown passes to 6 interceptions. He has a career passer rating of 90.6, and it’ll be interesting to see the new version of him, and how much is running ability remains, and will factor into his game.