Gruden is forced to address one specific question that has lingered for almost two years.
The Washington Redskins were riding high over the first half of the season. They were 6-3, leading the NFC East and heading into a big game against the Texans. Then over the next few weeks, disaster struck. Alex Smith broke his leg, backup Colt McCoy broke his as well and the team has fallen to 6-6.
Now the franchise faces big hurdles and a variety of questions, including one that has been asked consistently for almost two years.
What about bringing in Colin Kaepernick?
The veteran QB has been ready for two seasons, but with a few exceptions, he has never been a consideration for teams who would rather bring in horrendous quarterbacks and deny accusations of blackballing than actually bring in the talented and qualified former 49ers QB.
But Washington has bigger questions to answer, particularly because of the team’s move to claim Reuben Foster last week.
Team management was rightly taken to task about the move. It’s a move that demands an answer for why they would pursue Foster but not Kap, especially now.
This week, head coach Jay Gruden addressed those questions and went all Sunshine Anderson in his response, saying that bringing in Kap had been “discussed for sure”, but his skill-set didn’t match their system and what they need in a QB.
“It’s just going to be a matter of which way do we want to go?” said Gruden. “Do we want to go with a guy that’s familiar with my terminology who we worked out last week . . . or go with a guy and teach, basically, a whole new kind of offense with new offensive linemen with a lot of the zone reads and all that stuff. Not a lot of time to really get a brand new quarterback, a new system installed and taught in a couple days of practice.”
Oh, it’s a system thing. So of course they go with All World back-up Mark Sanchez and target the amazing Josh Johnson, who last threw a pass in an NFL game in December of 2011.
It’s no question that blackballing has been in full effect for two seasons now. The signing of washed up QBs and usage of the tired “it’s a system thing” excuse only add more fuel to the fire blazing around the blackballing argument.
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeague) November 4, 2018
The “system thing” argument is one used historically against Black quarterbacks, where teams constricted their talents and forced them to become pocket passers instead of recognizing their abilities and building systems around their talents.
Smart teams have changed their way of thinking and created systems for these multi-talented players to thrive. Look no further than the Panthers, Seahawks, Chiefs and Ravens for proof.
So now it’s Washington’s turn. Do they want to continue adding backup QBs who lull you into false hopes before making the costly mistake? Or do they want to step up and make the move that would give them the best opportunity to win?
“We wanted a guy with a similar skill-set with Colt,” said Gruden. “Somebody to come in in a pinch and function a little bit. Which Sanchez did. … We just wanted somebody to have a similar skill-set to Colt and had a little bit of familiarity with some of the concepts that we’ve been running.
“Not that Colin can’t do some of the things I’m talking about. But somebody with a little bit of familiarity. Sanchez being with [offensive coordinator Matt] Cavanaugh helped out a lot. Sanchez’s experience in a pro-style offense helped out a lot. But when you have a short week like we had … you had to have somebody in here that had some similar conceptual awareness that we had with Colt. That’s why we went with Sanchez.”
No disrespect to Colt, and we hope he gets better quickly. But why look for someone with his skill set instead of someone with a better set of skills? And by pursuing a player who’s been out of the league for 7 years, what does that say about your system?
We’ve heard it all before Coach Gruden, But your lies ain’t working now. Look who’s hurting now.