Teammates ambivalent, supportive after Robert Griffin III's benching

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While wide receiver Santana Moss thought nothing of the Washington Redskins’ decision to shut quarterback Robert Griffin III down for the year and turn to backup Kirk Cousins, he said Griffin has every right to feel angry about the whole situation.

“No player – and I do believe no player – wants to be in Robert’s situation right now,” Moss said. “You feel for him having to go through it, but at the end of the day, if it’s gonna help him and take a little off him and give him a little more time to say, ‘OK, you know what? This season’s behind me, let’s get ready for next year,’ then OK, let’s do it.”

Coach Mike Shanahan told his players early Wednesday in a team meeting that Cousins would take over for Griffin for the Redskins’ final three games. Later, Cousins assumed the role as the starting quarterback during practice, Rex Grossman filled in as the backup and Griffin, as the third quarterback, was left to run the scout team.

“He was great down there,” said defensive end Kedric Golston, referring to Griffin’s role Wednesday simulating Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. “He brought a lot of energy. He brought a lot enthusiasm down there. You know, obviously, it’s different. In one sense, it’s business as usual, but that’s the NFL. Things change. As players and professionals, you need to focus on your own job and control what you can control.”

Inside linebacker London Fletcher, whose locker is next to Griffin’s, said the quarterback needs to try to be as supportive and understanding of the decision as possible.

“It’s going to be extremely difficult for him having been the starting quarterback and now having to sit and watch, knowing that you’re not going to have the opportunity to play these next three ball games,” Fletcher said. “It’s not something he’s excited about. I think you would be more disappointed if he didn’t want to play. That’s what you’d be more concerned about – if he wasn’t disagreeing with the decision, or whatever. But, you know, he’s a competitor. We’re all competitors. I know it would be difficult for him.”

Wide receiver Pierre Garçon, who leads the team in catches and receiving yards, said the team will have to build upon the rapport with Cousins gained during the offseason, when he filled in for Griffin as the first-team quarterback.

“We have to try not to ease into it,” Garçon said. “We’ve just got to go out there and play. We all know the plays. We all know what we have to do. We just have to make plays for him and Kirk has to make plays for us.”

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