Bob Glauber has been Newsday's national football columnist since 1992. He was Newsday's football writer covering the Jets
On and on it goes . . .
Another day, another week, another month, another year of chaos and dysfunction in our nation's capital.
No, not politics in this case, although chaos and dysfunction certainly apply there.
We're talking about Washington's NFL team, a group of misfits who cannot get out of their own way when it comes to generating negative news.
The past week-plus has been particularly mind-numbing, even by this wacky team's standards. And this latest series of missteps didn't even involve the ongoing furor over the team's nickname and trademark.
It started the evening of Aug. 28 when the team announced that starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, who apparently had suffered a concussion in a preseason game against the Lions, had not been cleared by an independent neurologist, Dr. Robert N. Kurtzke. This after RG3 previously was cleared by Kurtzke and practiced the entire week.
The madness continued on Monday when coach Jay Gruden was asked at his news briefing if he had any news about his quarterback situation. Boy, did he. Gruden confirmed reports that had been swirling by making the shocking announcement that Kirk Cousins, not former No. 2 overall pick Griffin, would be his starting quarterback. And not just for the time being. For the 2015 season.
Cue the speculation that the team was about to trade or even release Griffin, its first-round pick in 2012, for whom a king's ransom in draft choices was paid to the Rams.
"When it's all said and done, after all the film we've gone through, after all the offseason activity, all the training camp footage, we feel like at this time, Kirk Cousins gives us the best chance to win, and that's where we're going," Gruden said.
"It's Kirk's team."
It was a dramatic turnabout by the coach, who had announced in February that Griffin would be his starter for the 2015 season and who had proceeded through the entire offseason and almost the entire preseason as if Griffin would be his guy.
The quarterback carousel in Washington had spun yet again, with Cousins as the team's 16th starting quarterback since Daniel Snyder purchased the team in 1999. If you're keeping score at home, that's an average of one quarterback per season. Not the kind of number that lends itself to stability.
Combined with the fact that Gruden is Snyder's eighth coach (an average of one coach every two seasons), the constant turnover at coach and quarterback underscores the team's inability to achieve sustained success. Consider: Washington has been to the playoffs four times since 1999.
Back to the week that was . . .
Two days after the Cousins announcement, a bizarre story involving the wife of general manager Scot McCloughan and a female ESPN reporter unfolded, with McCloughan's wife posting vulgar comments about the reporter. After the story was picked up by several websites, the team's public relations office sent out word that the Twitter account was not Jessica McCloughan's and that the team had notified NFL security about the fake account.
Less than three hours later, however, the team issued a statement that it was, in fact, Jessica McCloughan's account. She offered a public apology to the reporter.
The team received a temporary reprieve from the negative attention when the judge handling Tom Brady's lawsuit against the NFL over his four-game suspension ruled in Brady's favor on Thursday.
But the chaos resumed late Friday when The Washington Post reported that Kurtzke had resigned his position as the independent neurologist handling medical issues associated with the team.
That news struck with former professional soccer player Alecko Eskandarian, son of former Cosmos star defender Andranik Eskandarian. Alecko sent a series of negative tweets about how he had been treated for a concussion a decade ago by Kurtzke, when Eskandarian played forward for D.C. United.
Kurtzke has not commented since resigning his position. He still is working with his successor, Dr. Anthony Casolaro, until Griffin is cleared to resume play.
There was more shocking news yesterday: Despite the persistent speculation that RG3 would be traded or released, neither scenario materialized. The team kept him on its 53-man roster when final cuts were made.
That doesn't guarantee that RG3 won't be traded or released down the road, but it does keep the controversy going. After all, a coach who clearly didn't want Griffin as his quarterback still has him on his roster -- a potentially toxic mix as the season unfolds.
Snyder reportedly was against doing away with Griffin, a stance that's hard to argue with.
After all, when you trade three first-round picks and a second-rounder for a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, it makes sense not to give up on him too soon, regardless of Griffin's stunning regression and injury history since his spectacular rookie season. Besides, Snyder could decide to make another coaching change if Gruden flops this season, so why not keep a quarterback who is still young and still capable of turning around his career under the right circumstances?
On and on it goes . . .