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Players Continue To Support Robert Griffin III In Midst Of QB Change


After Kirk Cousins was named the team's starting quarterback, players remained supportive of Robert Griffin III as he begins a new role with the team.

"Robert's on our football team, and he's a Washington Redskin," head coach Jay Gruden said Tuesday, shortly after announcing that Kirk Cousins would be the team's starting quarterback for the upcoming season.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 4 preseason matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

"No matter if you're a starter, backup, or no matter what your role is, you're part of the team," defensive lineman Kedric Golston said, reiterating the point later after practice.

And so Griffin III is -- still a member of the team, still a teammate to everyone in the locker room that has rallied and supported him throughout their tenure, long or short, with the club.

None of that promises to change even as Griffin III recovers from the concussion he sufferred against Detroit and reflects on his new role with the team.

"Right now we're just hoping Robert gets back healthy and I know he has to see the doctors to make sure his head's alright, and that's what people should be worried about and not what type of football player he is," defensive lineman Terrance Knighton said. "You have a guy that's down, people are kicking him while he's down, but as his teammates, we're going to support him whether he's our starting quarterback or if he's our third quarterback."

That was the popular sentiment in the locker room just hours after players were told of the switch in starters. Just a locker away, Chris Baker echoed Knighton's thoughts, aware of the publicity and its demanding hold on Griffin III during his career in Washington.

"This is a tough time for him," Baker said. "His face was always in the media -- bad stuff -- so we're not going to be an extra person to do something bad and say something bad to him. So we're going to continue to uplift him and right now we just have to go with Kirk."

Gruden called having three quarterbacks on the team a good problem to have and that they're all "working their butts off."

"I feel like all three of them are capable quarterbacks, but some people say when you have three you don't have one, I disagree with that," Gruden said. "We have three good quarterbacks that I feel good about."

Players are aware of that. They also know any roster demotions are never easy to digest.

Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan says that Griffin III has been a good teammate, that he doesn't anticipate him changing. Baker believes Griffin III will continue to be a professional, because that's how he's always handled his business.

Those qualities are something that Cousins, now tasked with leading the offense, has admired and will undoubtedly attempt to imitate as he prepares for his new responsibilities.

"I can't say enough about the class act Robert has been from the day I was drafted to now," Cousins said. "The way he has treated me, the way he has handled a lot of adversity, I have marveled at his ability as a rookie to never flinch, to compete as a young player in this league and win Rookie of the Year, and taking our team to the playoffs and winning the division. I marveled at that.

"The way that he is a fierce competitor, I've always respected. He's continued to operate that way no matter what has been thrown at him. He has always been a guy who remains classy, works very, very hard, and I've learned from that example."




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