Redskins QB Non-Controversy? Leader Already Emerged From Mix

Case Keenum

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images Washington Redskins QB Case Keenum

Over the past few weeks, several media outlets have pushed a budding quarterback controversy between Washington Redskins quarterbacks, Colt McCoy, Case Keenum, and rookie Dwayne Haskins.

To make matters worse was when McCoy was named the starter on the team’s first official depth chart.

McCoy has since been a scratch in each of the Redskins first two preseason games with a leg injury.

Keenum has looked the part of the starter for the Redskins going back to minicamp. Several of my colleagues and I have stated numerous on numerous occasions that Keenum is the starter regardless of McCoy’s injury.

Washington’s offensive line was a mess at one point with injuries to starters and the acquisition of a few new players to the unit at the start of training camp. The now longtime holdout of Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams didn’t help either.

It appeared obvious that McCoy was placed as the starter on the depth chart because of his familiarity with coach Jay Gruden’s offensive playbook. By having McCoy start the team’s opening preseason game against the Cleveland Browns seemed like the safe and proper decision based on the aforementioned issues.

That shouldn’t have swayed public opinion the way it did.

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What About the Redskins’ Quarterback Controversy Chatter?

Was there ever a true QB controversy?

If so, why would the Redskins trade for Keenum and then follow that up by drafting Haskins in the first round?

The team’s that make moves normally don’t do that and not play one of the two players acquired.

This is not a knock on McCoy who is the ultimate competitor and leader, but the time for him to capture the Redskins starting job may have passed over. The injuries the former Texas star has dealt with don’t seem to go away.

His play on the field hasn’t warranted a sure starting spot either.

Last year when the Redskins were winning games early in the season, Alex Smith was under center before suffering a gruesome leg break that ended his season and took the air out of any postseason chances.

Smith excelled in not turning the ball over which was a different contrast to McCoy who is more of a gambler. Keenum fits the mode of somewhere between Smith and McCoy. The seven-year veteran from Houston will take chances but also has proven over a full season that he can keep his turnovers down.

Last year in Denver, Keenum threw 15 interceptions to go with 18 touchdowns. Back in 2017, however, Keenum led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC Championship game. That season he threw for 22 touchdowns and only had seven interceptions.

Case Keenum Looks Like Starter for Redskins

A Redskins coach I spoke with said he didn’t understand why there seems to be a controversy and that Keenum looks more like the starter every day.

Keenum is getting more comfortable in the Redskins offense which also bodes well for his chances as the starter.

“I feel really good,” Keenum said. “I really do. I think it’s been really good with [Head Coach] Jay [Gruden] and [Offensive Coordinator] Kevin [O’Connell] and just the communication there. It has continued to get better and better and were past certain points and were able to talk more in-depth on certain plays and I love the way they look at defenses and I love their philosophy. So, I think the more on the same page I can get as them, the better and I think every day we’re taking steps in the right direction.”

Keenum talks and sounds like a player who’s expecting to start Week 1 of the regular season and understands what lies ahead.

“.. We don’t want to be at our best right now,” Keenum said. “Going into games I want to be perfect and I want to make all the right checks and all the right reads and all the throws and go score touchdowns every time, but this is a process. That’s what training camp is about, its about learning, learning your guys and we’ve got a lot of guys that can do some special things. I feel like we haven’t even tapped into even a portion of our potential that we have as an offense.

At this point, it appears that Keenum is in line to be the Redskins opening day starter against the Philadelphia Eagles and that Haskins will be the No. 2 quarterback.

Gruden when asked about McCoy’s injury and the timeline for a return, wasn’t certain about a factual date.

“Oh man, it might not be the end of camp, it might be two or three weeks into the season,” Gruden said. “We don’t know yet. Like I said, there’s no timetable for him until he feels like he’s 100 percent to push off that leg. Until that time comes, he’s going to be rehabbing.”

Unless the Redskins feel the need to rush out Haskins which would generate a tremendous buzz and media story, the safe bet is that Keenum is already the team’s starter without it being made public.

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