Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will be making his regular season home debut Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. FedEx Field will be rocking with an anticipation not seen since Joe Gibbs returned as head coach in 2004.
Redskin fans have been starving for a long term answer at quarterback for years. The team has not had one play the position for five years straight since Mark Rypien from 1989 to 1993. Since then they have gone through 21 different starters. Needless to say this has not led to much success as Washington has made only three playoff appearances since 1993 and won only two post season games.
It is hoped that Griffin III is the answer. The Redskins traded three first round draft picks to the St. Louis Rams in order to move into the two spot and draft him. There are those who say it was too much to give up for the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner or any player. However, Washington needed a quarterback in the worst way and when it comes to that position a team has to do whatever it takes. Even if it does not pan out, the Redskins made the right move.
I have never seen this much excitement over a Redskins draft pick. Not for Desmond Howard, Heath Shuler Lavar Arrington or Sean Taylor all of whom were drafted in the first round. Everywhere you look around town there are Griffin III jerseys and T-shirts being worn. I even saw a few while on a cruise to the Caribbean in July. Team owner Daniel Snyder has already capitalized financially on his rookie quarterback off of the field.
Now it is time for it to pay off between the lines. What Washington fans will be looking for Sunday is what they have seen on television the last two weeks. They want to see the quarterback who helped put up 40 points against the New Orleans Saints and led a drive which should have resulted in a tying field goal attempt last Sunday against the Rams. They want to see the quarterback who ran well when he had to and connected on long passes for touchdowns against New Orleans and St. Louis.
For their sake I hope the fans get it. Despite what people outside of the D.C. area think Redskins fans are as loyal as they come. With all of the mismanagement they have had to endure over the last decade they continue to support their team. And they do it at a stiff price. It is time for the team to pay them back for this loyalty.
It is hoped by all that it began in April when the team drafted Griffin III.
It can only fully be repaid if he lives up to his potential in front of the home fans starting this Sunday.