TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — So much for the idea there is an unlikely quarterback controversy brewing in Washington.
Backup Kirk Cousins didn’t get a chance to add any fuel to the notion. And for that matter, neither did struggling starter Robert Griffin III
Redskins coach Jay Gruden rested both quarterbacks in Thursday night’s 24-10 preseason-ending victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Coach mentioned it to us that we weren’t playing. We fully go along with that decision,” Griffin said after the game. “When it really counts, we’ll be out there.”
Third-stringer Colt McCoy played the entire night for Washington (3-1), throwing for 321 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of end-zone interceptions that stopped promising drives.
“He told me after the game, he threw one red-zone interception in his career. He had two today,” Gruden said.
“Other than that, I think he played very good, not only in the passing game, but in the running game,” the coach added. “He got out of the pocket, made some plays, showed that he can run. Another great option for us at the position.”
Ryan Grant scored on a 2-yard reception for the Redskins, and Lache Seastrunk turned a short pass into an 80-yard TD that gave Washington a 17-3 lead in the third quarter.
McCoy finished 22 of 29 and was sacked once. He hoped the performance enhanced his chances of making the team.
“For me to get a whole game, I was loving it. … We’ll just let it play out like we’re supposed to,” McCoy said. “For me, I hope it works out because this is my fifth offense in five years, and it fits me the best of any offensive system I’ve been in before. … I like what we do. It fits my skill set, and I feel like I can help this team.”
Mike Kafka played most of the game for Tampa Bay, throwing for 86 yards and one TD — a 25-yarder to Solomon Patton in the fourth quarter. He didn’t throw any interceptions, but was sacked four times.
The Bucs were outgained 443 yards to 157, leaving coach Lovie Smith at a loss for superlatives when he was asked if anyone made a good final impression heading into Saturday’s cuts.
“We didn’t score a whole lot of points. We didn’t really stop them an awful lot,” Smith said. “So, right off the top of my head, I can’t think of anybody that flashed an awful lot.”
Griffin has labored this preseason attempting transition into a more traditional pocket-passer under Gruden, who replaced Mike Shanahan after last season.
Cousins has looked much more comfortable in Washington’s new system, raising questions about whether he might be a better fit for the starting role.
Gruden briefly gave some consideration to playing Griffin for a series or two Thursday night to give his quarterback a chance to end the preseason on a positive note.
Instead, he will have to wait until the team’s Sept. 7 opener at Houston to move past the ugly numbers he posted last week in his final tuneup against Baltimore: 5 of 8 passing for 20 yards, no touchdowns, an interception, three sacks and a fumbled snap.
Washington’s first-team offense did not score a TD in roughly four quarters of work this preseason.
“I feel great,” Griffin said, looking ahead to the start of the regular season. “At the end of this game, it’s Houston Week. We’re all ready to go, we’re all pumped up. Everything we do now is geared toward Houston.”
Tampa Bay also rested starting quarterback Josh McCown, and his backup, second-year pro Mike Glennon, only played one series. In fact, the only regulars who played for either team were Tampa Bay guards Oniel Cousins and Patrick Omameh, one of whom undoubtedly will lose his starting spot with the arrival of six-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins.
Mankins was acquired from New England in a trade on Tuesday. He met his new coaches and teammates after arriving in town Thursday morning and will spend the next few days trying to get familiar with the play book.
“It’s going to be tough. We have a week before the first game, and I’m going to take it in stride. I’ve got all weekend to try and get down some of the mental part of it, and then all next week at practice,” the 10th-year pro said. “I’m sure the guys are going to help me as much as possible, and I’m going to try my best to be up to speed with those guys. I don’t know if it will happen, but I’m shooting for it.”
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