Warner: Too soon to declare RG3 starter

Warner: Too soon to declare RG3 starter
May 8, 2012, 2:58 pm
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Mike Shanahan'sdeclaration on Sunday that rookie Robert Griffin III was indeed the Redskins starting quarterback surprised nobody. The timing of said announcement, thats another story.After a single three-day rookie camp and before veterans report, the coach made it clear who would be the passer taking snaps with the first team. Not the veteran Rex Grossman, but the electric Heisman Trophy winner the team paid a hefty price to acquire.Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up two No. 1s and a No. 2 to move up four spots youve got a game plan in mind, Shanahan said.Whetheranyone previouslybelieved RG3 would start from day one of camp, the regular season opener against the Saints ortake over afew games into the campaign, there was no doubt who was truly atop the depth chart. With everyone in on the secret, there did not appear a reason to formally anoint Griffin the starter.That's why Shanahan's decision to make it official so soon in the off-season process was a bit of a head scratcher, at least to one former NFL quarterback.I wish they would have waited a little bit longer," Kurt Warner said Monday on the NFL Network. "We all understand the pressure that this young man is feeling already with all they gave up to get him, the excitement that he brings to Washington, D.C. But I would have loved for them to hold off on putting more pressure on him. The starter pressure, having to answer those questions, having to go into the second camp, third camp knowing that hes in that position and whats all on his shoulders."The Super Bowl-winning passer starred for the Rams and Cardinals. Warner was also the veteran in camp when the Giantsbrokein the 2004 number one overall pick, Eli Mannning. Warner started early that season before giving way to the rookie. In the Redskins case, add him to the list of those who simply assumed RG3 would get the Week 1 call."But we have to be honest: I dont think anybody expected Rex Grossman to be the starter opening day. We knew Griffin was going to be that guy; they assembled a team around him that they feel can win right now, and so why hesitate? Why hold off for any amount of time? Lets throw him in there, lets let his teammates know that hes going to be the guy and lets rally around him.Warner added that Shanahan's announcement could be curious if RG3 struggles early. However, by backing the new guy now,the coach hasalso made it clear to the team who is the starter should those struggles exist.This leaves little wiggle room at this point," Warner said. "You have franchised everything to get this guy, you have made the moves in the off-season, you have a tough schedule. Everyone believes that even if hes not the best snap-in, snap-out on day one that he gives them the best opportunity to win because of the way that he plays the game. "Thats why coach Mike Shanahan made this decision: He knew regardless of how it played out that he wanted this guy in there Day 1 building, learning, growing together with his teammates in the hopes that even if it isnt Game 1, Game 2 or Game 3, by the time they get to midseason they can be competitive with everybody else in the league.No mention of the Kirk Cousins brouhaha by Warner, which by my ears was the catalyst for the May 6 depth chart reveal. Not that it mattered. Whether it was May 6, July 6 or Sept. 6, we all knewRG3 the starter was going to happen anyway.