WASHINGTON (The Fan D.C.) -- Jay Gruden's conference call with reporters Tuesday made national headlines when he revealed the Washington Redskins discussed bringing in Colin Kaepernick in the wake of Colt McCoy’s leg injury.
Gruden said the team ultimately decided to go in a different direction. That "direction" will be journeyman Josh Johnson, who played under Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2008 and Cincinnati in 2013.
Gruden's explanations as to why the team did not give Kaepernick a tryout instantly came under scrutiny. The 31-year-old Kaepernick, who last played in 2016 for the San Francisco 49ers, is renowned -- and in some circles, scorned -- for his protests of inequality and police discrimination during the national anthem.
"I think when you're talking about bringing a quarterback in; I think you have to think of A) what is that quarterback's skill set?” Gruden said Tuesday. “B) How can you implement that skill set to fit your offense without having wholesale changes? Had this been Week 1, maybe he would probably be a greater possibility but since it's Week 13 with four games to go, in order to really utilize somebody like Colin Kaepernick's skill set, you're talking about a whole new group of formations and run concepts and all that good stuff. It's just very difficult.”
Johnson, who had been slated to play in the Alliance of American Football, a nascent minor league, was officially signed Wednesday. He will take over as Washington's backup quarterback behind Mark Sanchez, who himself was signed after first-string QB Alex Smith suffered a brutal leg injury in Week 1.
"We have four games left, and to think we're gonna find another quarterback and put a whole new game plan together – again – is quite difficult," Gruden said. "(Mark) Sanchez has a very minor understanding of our offense. He just got here not too long ago, so we're gonna try to work with him and fit in what he knows and branch off with the Giants, do a little bit."
"But the backup quarterback, whoever it is, we'll have to just give him a small group of plays that he can understand and function with."