RGIII Joins Strasburg and Harper as Once in a Lifetime Talents
It was the football version of Stephen Strasburg striking out 14 in his major league debut. Of watching a 19 year-old eclipse just about all records for any teenager in baseball history.
Those who wondered if the Washington Redskins had lost their marbles by trading away three 1st round draft picks for Robert Griffin III are wondering no more.
While several other rookie quarterbacks looked very much like rookies in the first Sunday of football action this season (including #1 pick, Andrew Luck, who threw three interceptions and fumbled once), RGIII left a dizzying legacy after just his first game.
He completed his first 8 passes in a row, including an 88-yard touchdown. He finished the first half with a perfect passer rating- a feat never before accomplished by any first-year player in the history of the NFL. He is one of only four rookies to debut with more than 300 yards passing. And his team won in a huge upset.
He accomplished this on foreign turf, against a New Orleans Saints team that didn’t lose a single regular-season home game last year. RGIII managed to outplay Drew Brees, who set an all-time NFL record for passing yards in 2011.
Beyond the stats, RGIII was cool, calm and collected- displaying a maturity way beyond his 22 years. This kid is the real deal. And he makes those around him play better.
History is replete with Heisman Trophy winners who are total busts in the NFL. Traditionally, it takes a young quarterback about three years to get into the groove of things. And again, history shows the teams they play for take awhile to get in gear too.
But this Washington team may be different.
For one thing, in Mike Shanahan they have a coach who is famous for his work with quarterbacks. He certainly did pretty well with one John Elway. His son Kyle, who when he had some talent to work with in Houston, became one of the top offensive coordinators in the league. The father-son duo are known for their x’s and o’s offensive savvy. They just haven’t had any talent to work with in Washington over their first couple of years.
But boy, do they now. And they are smart enough to build their offense around RGIII’s considerable skills. Watching what the Kid can do with his canon arm, his speed and agility and his smarts and composure- the Shanihan’s may be in for a whole lot of redemption in the years ahead after two disappointing seasons in Washington.
The Redskins are also now in their 3rd year of their 3-4 defense and finally have the personnel to pull it off. They way they handled the Saint’s high-powered offense and future hall-of-fame quarterback was truly impressive.
The team’s success is not all about RGIII. But no matter what side of the ball you play on, it is impossible not to feel good about yourself and your team, when you know you have a guy like that calling the signals and leading your club.
Three 1st round draft picks for Robert Griffin III? A friggin’ bargain. Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper for the Nationals. And RGIII for the Skins. Can we handle all this lightening in a bottle here in the nation’s capital?
Uh, Yes We Can.