Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden hopes quarterback Kirk Cousins returns next season. But, the NFL is all about “next man up,” and Colt McCoy looks the 2018 starter, rather than drafting or signing a free agent, should Cousins exit.
“We’re not appointing anybody a starting quarterback right now,” Gruden said. “I’m not saying Colt is the heir apparent and he’s going to start tomorrow. I just know that Colt’s been in the building and I have total faith that, if he was given an opportunity, he would be ready to produce.
“That’s just how I feel about Colt. We’re not going to give the keys to him right now. We’re still trying to work things out with the other quarterback in Kirk, and hopefully things will work out, but I know Colt is ready to play.”
Ironically, Cousins gained his big chance when McCoy was injured in 2014. McCoy started four games as the Redskins rotated through Robert Griffin III, Cousins and McCoy. He completed 31 of 47 for 392 yards, three touchdowns and a 113.1 rating in beating Indianapolis.
A humbled McCoy stood at the podium teary eyed over gaining a chance three years and two teams since starting for Cleveland. Sadly, he was hurt soon afterwards and Cousins kept the job.
Still, Gruden remembers McCoy fondly, despite him not throwing a pass the past two seasons and only 11 in 2015. McCoy knows Gruden’s system, and the latter is willing to use the passer once more.
“Colt McCoy has done an excellent job here,” Gruden said. “I’ve always been comfortable with Colt.”
Whether Gruden feels the same one year from now if McCoy starts next season is suspect. After all, a bad season by McCoy could end Gruden’s five-year tenure. But for now, McCoy is Gruden’s top choice, should Plan B be needed.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.