SNIDER: QB competition? No, it was always going to be Keenum in Week 1

Rick Snider
August 26, 2019 - 11:48 am
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In the end, the Redskins choosing Case Keenum as the starting quarterback was easily foreseen. It was his job to lose and did nothing to do so.

That doesn’t mean the Redskins will end the season with Keenum. At some point, Dwayne Haskins gets the nod either through a bad team record, injury or poor performance by Keenum.

This season is all about not how the Redskins start, but how they finish.

MORE: Gruden names Keenum Week 1 starter

Colt McCoy never gained a chance at the job. And really, who figured he was a factor aside head coach Jay Gruden’s eternal like of a backup who fully understands the system. But, McCoy’s seemingly never-ending rehab never made him the right choice after missing offseason camps, much less training camp and preseason games. He’s now No. 3, maybe trade bait if Washington opts to find a left tackle in the next few weeks and if they can find any team desperate for a back-up.

Haskins is the future, but not quite yet. Maybe if the opener was a month away rather than Sept. 8, the rookie might be ready. He has made great strides since selected in the first round some four months ago. But, he’s not quite ready.

Some years, the Redskins would have played him anyway. Heath Shuler wasn’t ready in 1994. Neither was Patrick Ramsey in 2002. Robert Griffin III probably was in 2012, but then again immaturity led to his downfall alongside injuries. Really, the last rookie who was ready to go may have been Sammy Baugh and that was 1937. At least he won two titles en route to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The time will come for Haskins to play, but right now it’s Keenum’s turn. He’s the 28th different starting quarterback since 1992 when Mark Rypien concluded the team’s glory days in 1993. Ultimately, Gruden wanted a veteran to face four 2018 playoff teams in the opening five weeks. We’ll see what happened afterward, but coaches are always slow to replace veteran passers with rookies.

“Experience factor is something that you really lean upon,” Gruden said, “and then, of course, Case has been productive in practice and some of the games.”

And that’s why a quarterback competition was never really one from the start.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks

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