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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Griffin III’

Redskins Face the Strasburg Question- RGIII Needs to Heal

December 11, 2012 Leave a comment

NFL- Baltimore Ravens at Washington Redskins

He is entirely too special to risk suffering any long-term damage. Even short-term thinking- one week’s rest, at a minimum, is the least the Redskins should do for their once-in-a-lifetime quarterback.

And it’s a decision the Redskins may need to take out of the kid’s hands because based on what we saw last Sunday at FedEx Field, Robert Griffin is a selfless warrior who would claw and scratch to get back out on the field, no matter how many of his limbs are hanging by a thread.

It’s not just about his health and the “mild” sprain of a right knee. Imagine winning a key playoff-atmosphere game led by your other rookie quarterback. Oh, that’s right- that’s precisely what Kirk Cousins already pulled off last Sunday against Baltimore. But can he lead the team for an entire game and claim a win over the suddenly resurgent Cleveland Browns?

I think so. First of all, the Browns haven’t exactly been beating the elite squads of the NFL. They beat a 7-6 Pittsburgh team without their starting quarterback. Then they edged the 3-10 Oakland Raiders and last week, the 2-11 Kansas City Chiefs.

The Browns won’t be a cakewalk, but any victory by the Skins without RGIII would do the team enormous psychological good. The kid’s will to win has already become contagious. Let’s prove the theory this Sunday in Cleveland without him.

For the short-term, a one-dimensional, pocket-passing, less mobile RGIII may very well win over the Browns- but it’s the two games that follow and potentially the playoffs after that where the Redskins will need his arm and his legs. And considering the intensity with which he plays and that this may not be the last time he sits out a game or two, it cannot hurt to give your back-up QB practice and game time.

And for the long-term, it would end up as the most tragic story in all of sports, if Robert Griffin were to have a career-threatening injury. It is hard to justify risking all that promise for the temptations of the present.

Granted, this doesn’t really compare to what the Washington Nationals decided to do with their young pitching ace, Stephen Strasburg last year. Strasburg was not even hurt. That was a much gutsier decision. But there is a similarity in the basic question of whether the future is worth considering, protecting and nurturing.

Baseball is much more of an annual marathon with its 162 games over six grueling months. The very nature of the sport and its lengthy seasonal slog lends itself more to long-term thinking. The NFL is the polar opposite. It is a sport premised on the future-is-now philosophy of immediate gratification. They only play 16 games. Each contest is 6% of the regular season. It’s a do-or-die each week.

This decision will be quite the test. Go for the brass ring now? Or rest the kid, let him heal a bit and put yourself in a position to reach for a half dozen brass rings over the next ten years- and maybe even one later this year? For this season and for the many more ahead; for the two divisional games that follow in Philadelphia and home against the Cowboys- this is a no-brainer. For this week- let RGIII lead the team from the bench.

RGIII’s Special Skills Wasted on Sports

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

RGIII2

To say Robert Griffin III is an inspiration is a considerable understatement.

He seems to have single-handedly willed what, on paper, is a mediocre football team into a playoff contender. He shows up at the Verizon Center to take in a Wizards game and the doormat of the NBA somehow rises to the occasion and knocks off the defending champion Miami Heat.

I see no reason he cannot pinch hit, pitch relief and run the bases for the Washington Nationals from time to time. I suspect he wields a pretty mean slap shot if the Caps can use a little help and if they actually play hockey this year. DC United could certainly use a forward with blazing speed.

But we’re thinking way too small here.

In his primary job as quarterback of the Redskins, since he is already uniting Democrats and Republicans in Washington D.C., I propose that RGIII be immediately made an honorary member of Congress and the chief negotiator in the fiscal cliff talks. Trust me on this, if you can take something built by Daniel Snyder and make it look good, you are capable of anything- including finding a solution to the debt crisis.

With Hillary Clinton about to step down after four stellar years as Secretary of State there is an obvious void. Oh, the President likes Susan Rice for the post, but congressional Republicans threaten to block her nomination, so it would seem a natural that you-know-who be tapped as our emissary to the world.

Can RGIII mediate a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians? Please.
Could RGIII talk Assad into leaving Syria? Must the question even be posed?

With that smile, that work ethic, that humility and composure, and all the raw skill and talent, not to mention an IQ I would wager is close to Leonardo da Vinci’s, there are many, many more useful things Mr. Griffin ought to be doing than throwing a friggin’ football for Dan Snyder.

All that said, if he does it for just one more decade and ten playoff appearances, I can see RGIII’s first campaign appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire around 2024 or so.

And you can sign me up right now.

RGIII Joins Strasburg and Harper as Once in a Lifetime Talents

September 10, 2012 1 comment

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.

I’ll Never Say Anything Bad about Dan Snyder Again- If He Does This:

Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III- Get Them Both!

If Redskins owner, Dan Snyder wants to finally win the respect of fans- and turn the team into a true contender- it all starts with an audacious strategy that’s finally beginning to leak out as a possibility. It’s not an either/or. Get ‘em both. Sign Peyton Manning and trade up in the NFL draft and get Baylor’s Heisman award-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

Then with Manning under their belt, they can more easily sign at least two of the best wide receivers available in a free agent market that’s packed with them- including guys Manning has been throwing to for years like Reggie Wayne.

With what’s left of your draft picks, you take offensive linemen to protect the quarterbacks and defensive backs which are really the only remaining weakness in what is currently a great nucleus of a strong defense.

I actually don’t think the Redskins are as far off from playoff contention as many think. When they were healthy last year, they got off to a 3-1 start. They then lost 9 starters to injuries and it revealed the team’s really obvious weakness- lack of depth at almost all positions. That’s what you address in the draft and with some additional forays into the free agent market.

The Manning/RGIII tandem is fascinating on a number of levels. Griffin, who has the speed of a wide receiver and ran a jaw-dropping 4.3 second 40 yard-dash at a recent scouting combine- also has brains and a strong arm. And with Peyton Manning, a hall-of-fame quarterback for a mentor. Concerns about Peyton’s four neck operations and overall physical condition is alleviated by knowing RGIII is available, even as a rookie, to take Manning’s place in case of injury.

But wait—there’s more! The Redskins would have to rebuild their offense to accommodate Manning and along the way, they could draw up a few plays where Manning and RGIII are on the field at the same time- a kind of Wild Cat option that would blow people away. If he’s got wide receiver speed- well, by golly- use him as one every now and then.

But beyond the x’s and o’s…think of the public hysteria that would be unleashed by such a move. Acquiring one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history and a Heisman-trophy winning, charismatic kid who runs like the wind and throws a football like it was launched out of a cannon.

This is not akin to signing a lazy egotist like Albert Haynesworth or a bunch of marquis has-beens like Deion Sanders and Jeff George This would take gobs of money- but for once- well-spent. You can never go wrong loading your team up with star quarterbacks.

And as they negotiate with Peyton Manning over the next few days, Mike Shanahan, whom Manning likes and respects for his proven history of managing great quarterbacks, should promise Peyton the moon. Better pass protection? You bet, Peyton—we’ll get two in the draft another two in the free agent market. Wide receivers? We’ll get whoever you want- write up the list and we’ll go buy ‘em. Guaranteed contract? Yes, sir- anything you want, Peyton, sir.

Then give up whatever it takes to get RGIII, make up for some the lost draft picks you’ll have to give up with free agents and then sit back and watch something amazing happen. Winning football and a previously snake-bitten franchise that will once again own Washington, D.C.

Danny- this is it. This is the best opportunity you’ll ever have to take us back to the Promised Land.