I’m Speed on the Beat, as always, and I’m here to review the crap so you don’t have to. This is, truth be told, probably the first time WIRTB Review has dabbled in sports (versus, of course, sports entertainment). But, new year, new moves and all those other “new year” cliches people spout off because reasons. Today, we’re talking (probably former) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, more colloquially known as RGIII, to figure out the question: was his time at QB really that bad?
To understand why RGIII was once heralded as a savior of the Burgundy and Gold–and why he now appears to be Fallen Angel #1, 2016 Edition–you need to look no further than his draft day. Drafted second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, Griffin almost instantaneously became Sam Bowie to Andrew Luck’s Jordan (in reverse, since RGIII was drafted after Luck, of course). The Redskins hadn’t had a set QB for more than maybe a year at a time, RGIII was a quarterback, and he was one of the best QBs of the draft–just as Sam Bowie was one of the best college players going into the 1984 NBA Draft. However, he wasn’t Andrew Luck. Their rookie seasons both met expectations.
But, Luck exceeded expectations, especially in post-Manning Indianapolis, with better stats (albeit with a lower QBR) and a better record. And that’s where the hinges started to fall off RGIII’s luster, it’d appear.
In 2013, that’s when we got Poppa RG as a mouthpiece, a three-win season, and injuries out the arse. Plus, ya know, a good old-fashioned coach/player “feud” with Mike Shanahan. Meanwhile, just like Jordan, Andrew Luck excelled. However, unlike Sam Bowie, RGIII seemed to have a problem with not keeping his mouth shut (or, in some instances, keeping it shut for too long). Add in the fact that RGIII’s abilities were muted by a combination of new coaching, injuries, Griffin’s inability to read defenses–or sometimes, even his own players on a Colin Kaepernick tip, and the fact that Kurt Cousins was a better player, and here we are.
The ‘Skins are 9-7 this year, Cousins started every game and threw for over 4,000 yards, and RGIII is probably going to be in another uniform next year. But, was RGIII’s time as the signal caller for the Redskins really that bad?
When you go from being a playoff team to being a laughingstock in a couple months and your “star” quarterback is doing more running off at the mouth than he is on the field, you’ve got a problem. But, I don’t full-out think that RGIII is that bad as a player. Do I think that RGIII will recover? Eh…perhaps.
It sure as hell cannot be in Washington. As with players such as the aforementioned Kaepernick, RGIII excels when he’s not being fed BS from every direction and is in a system that extensively covers up his flaws (he’s still more of a runner than a QB at times, he’s better suited as an option-QB versus a pocket passer, his ability to read defenses is still shoddy, etc.). If he can find something along those lines, he’s gol–err, silver-ish. If he can’t, a position change may be the next step.
I mean, as wonky as his reads can be, Griffin isn’t stupid by any means. Nor is he really a completely unwarranted mouthy dude. His feud with Shanahan stemmed, to a degree, from the latter’s decision to leave RGIII in during the 2012 Wild Card Game. Other times, yeah, he sometimes says crap he doesn’t need to (or doesn’t say anything when he needs to). But, the bigguns? Nah. He was on point to a degree…
…either that or he just goes the Tebow route and becomes an analyst.
But, as always, this is just my opinion. Feel free to retort below or via Twitter. Just don’t be surprised if I want to engage in legitimate conversation.