First-year Browns coach Hue Jackson has a history of getting the most out of his quarterbacks, and the hope was that he’d be able to do exactly that with reclamation project Robert Griffin III, who signed this offseason and was named the starter last month.
After a forgettable debut that ended with Griffin suffering a shoulder injury and landing on injured reserve, we may never know. It’s possible that he doesn’t start again for the Browns this season — or ever.
And while this isn’t great news for Griffin, it could be for the Browns.
According to ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, Jackson had become too focused on making Griffin great again. Now since that is no longer a priority, the team can move forward with Josh McCown, the 37-year-old who was under center in Week 1 of the 2015 season and finds himself back in the starting lineup.
In August, before the Cowboys knew what they had in rookie Dak Prescott, there were reports that they were interested in trading for McCown. The Browns were hesitant, and Jackson spoke highly of the veteran.
“He’s done a tremendous job and what a good football player,” Jackson said at the time. “I’m really grateful to have him here and be around him. I think all of the quarterbacks are, too, because he’s been outstanding.”
Perhaps more grateful now than ever.
Meanwhile, Browns rookie third-rounder Cody Kessler isn’t close to being ready and, Schefter writes, “expectations for him aren’t particularly high” — at least not at this point.
Kessler’s selection in the draft was met with understandable skepticism from long-suffering Browns fans, but Jackson has been preaching patience since the spring.
“[Kessler] guy has had a tremendous [college] career, Jackson said in late April. “I understand where everybody is coming from, but you’ve got to trust me on this one. This is a guy that we feel very comfortable with, and we think he’s going to have an opportunity to ascend.”
Just not yet. Put another way: The Browns will go as far as McCown’s arm takes them in 2016, and perhaps that’s farther than anything Griffin could have managed. Whether that’s to impress a beaten-down fan base is another matter.
Source: CBS Sports / Browns’ Hue Jackson reportedly became too focused on trying to fix RG3