The quarterback futility of the Washington Redskins has been well documented. Since their last Super Bowl title after the 1991 season, the Redskins have used twenty one different starters under center. The most notable starters were former Indianapolis Colts number one pick Jeff George in 2000, former Jacksonville Jaguars signal caller Mark Brunell in 2004, and former Philadelphia Eagles All- Pro quarterback Donovan McNabb.
Needless to say, those eras ended in abject failure, with a combined one playoff win between the three as starting Redskins’ quarterbacks. Obtaining a franchise QB was in order.
The Redskins hope they have addressed that need by drafting Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor University, with the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. Griffin III, or “RG3”, possesses the speed and big play ability the Redskins have lacked on offense since obtaining running back Clinton Portis, who recently retired, from the Denver Broncos in 2004.
Thus far, Griffin III has provided functional play at the position. Through three preseason games, he has completed 20 of 31 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. He has also lost two fumbles, and was sacked three times. Griffin III seems to have established a good on field rapport with free agent wide receiving acquisition Pierre Garcon, as evidenced in his opening preseason game stat line reflecting three catches for 58 yards and the game’s only touchdown against the Buffalo Bills.
While Griffin III can take off running if the opportunity arises (he rushed for 699 yards during his Heisman Trophy season), that isn’t a sight that Redskins’ fans want to see often. If Griffin III takes off running, that usually means either the offensive line isn’t doing a good enough job in pass protection, or that the receivers aren’t getting enough separation.
The sight of him running for his life opens him up to injury, and if that happens, the Washington faithful will be treated to another rookie QB, Kirk Cousins, or the great Rex Grossman. The prospect of Cousins or Grossman trotting onto the field during any critical game situation has to make Redskins’ fans across the globe cringe.
I doubt Redskins’ fans have anything to worry about. Most likely, Griffin III will sit out the final preseason game Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Redskins’ home stadium, Fed Ex Field. On September 9, the Redskins will open the 2012 NFL season in Louisiana to face the New Orleans Saints, who are led by prolific quarterback Drew Brees.
For the Redskins, to see their dynamic rookie signal caller in Griffin III in live action against top flight defenders for four quarters will provide a sense of clarity.
At best, Redskins’ fans have hope for an exciting season with RG3 under center.