The Washington Redskins' quarterback situation has turned into something of a gigantic mess over the past month. Since Alex Smith suffered a gruesome broken leg (which may end up being a career-ending injury) in November, the team has scrambled to try to find an adequate replacement and stay in the playoff hunt.
In the aftermath of Smith's injury, the team has turned to Colt McCoy, Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson as replacements -- not exactly a list of names that would be considered "ideal" by NFL standards. McCoy also suffered a season-ending broken leg, and Sanchez was predictably inadequate before finding the bench this weekend.
That brings us to Johnson, a 32-year-old journeyman quarterback who has played for 12 different NFL teams in addition to a stint in the UFL. (Also, he was assigned to the San Diego Fleet with the first-overall pick in the AAF Draft last month.) He signed with the Redskins last week and, just five days after putting pen to paper, he was taking game snaps for them on Sunday.
As it turns out, he not only had to take an accelerated approach to learning the playbook, he also had to get creative just to learn the names of his new teammates around him. After the game, he admitted that he utilized the popular "Madden" NFL video game in order to acclimate himself with the Redskins' roster.
While it might be a less-than-ideal approach to preparation for a quarterback, you can't really blame the new guy for doing the best he can.
And, for what it's worth, the video game may have helped him a little bit, considering he wasn't awful on Sunday. Johnson wound up taking over QB duties when he replaced Sanchez during Washington's 40-16 loss the Giants. Despite the final result, Johnson performed pretty well, going 11-of-16 for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception through the air. It was enough for Washington head coach Jay Gruden to name Johnson as the team's starter heading into next week.
Hopefully that will give him enough time to prepare without a Playstation.