- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ASHBURN — When the Washington Redskins conclude the preseason Thursday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, all eyes will be on Colt McCoy.
Not Kirk Cousins. Not Robert Griffin III.

Coach Jay Gruden and the Redskins are in the precarious situation of having only two quarterbacks active for the fourth and final preseason game, where all the starters typically sit ahead of the start of the regular season.

For McCoy, that means he’ll have the reigns for all 60 minutes on Thursday, which has left him little time to absorb the news that Cousins was anointed the team’s starter on Monday.

“I just come to work man, do the best I can,” McCoy said after Tuesday’s practice. “That’s kind of how I approach every day. Lots of things have gone on the past couple days, but to be honest, my focus is on knowing I’ve got to play the whole game against Jacksonville, so watching tape on them, figuring out how we can go out there and play well.”

With Griffin’s status still uncertain, Gruden would be forced to play Cousins on Thursday should anything happen to McCoy — a situation the team would hope to avoid.

“We’re one of the unique teams where we only have two quarterbacks right now,” Gruden said. “With Robert’s status, unfortunately, we didn’t have time to get a guy in here yesterday and teach him the playbook, and we need all the guys that are able to play to get another roster spot, which we couldn’t do either. We’ll protect Colt. He’ll do a good job staying in there.”

As far as Griffin’s status, Gruden said it’s possible he could be cleared by the end of the week.

McCoy has been efficient in the preseason, completing 79.2 percent of his passes, 19-for-24, for 208 yards and three touchdown. On Saturday, McCoy took over for Cousins in the second half and went 10-for-12 with 95 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins‘ 31-13 win.

When asked if he had any reaction regarding the news that Cousins will be the team’s Week 1 starter, he emphasized his focus on Thursday’s game instead.

“I’m just going to kind of keep my reaction to myself, I just want to show up every day put a smile on my face and be the best version of myself that I can be,” McCoy said. “We’ve got a great team here, the guys in this locker room are awesome and at the same time I respect my coaches. My focus right now again is on doing the best I can to get everyone on the same page and ready to go against Jacksonville.”

If the Redskins‘ plan pans out with Cousins as the regular-season starter, Thursday could be the last time McCoy sees significant playing time for a while. That said, Gruden made it clear that McCoy doesn’t have to necessarily prove anything to change the coach’s impression of him.

“I don’t have any negative impressions on Colt,” Gruden said. “He’s done everything we have asked him to do. He’s a tough, competitive guy and I think he’s going to go out and compete like he always does. He’s not going to have do anything great to change my view on him. Anything he does, if it’s poor, it’s not going to change my view on him.”


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