Robert Griffin III: Quarterback, Movie Star and Producer

By James Williams
Geoff Burke – USA Today Sports

When last we saw rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III in a game, it was Jan. 6, 2013 as the Washington Redskins were hosting the Seattle Seahawks in an NFC Playoff game at Fed Ex Field in Landover, Md. The turning point of that game, and the Redskins season, came in the fourth quarter. Griffin went after an errant snap inside the Redskins’ five-yard line on the chewed up turf, and his knee buckled and he went down in a heap, and the ball was recovered by Seattle.

But more importantly, the Redskins rookie, the man Washington is counting on to be their franchise quarterback, was clearly hurt and it was bad.

The  Seahawks winning the game 24-14 was far from the headline that quickly made its way around the country. The big story was that Griffin had partially torn both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and lateral cruciate ligament (LCL) in what quickly had become the world’s-most-talked-about right knee.

Dr. Robert Andrews, the famed surgeon to sports stars, performed reconstructive surgery to repair both the ACL and LCL parts of Griffin’s knee in January. The projected recovery time for such an operation was set at between 6-to-8 months, even for a world class performer like RG III.

He is back with the team and looking as good as new at the Redskins new preseason training facility in Richmond. He is not likely to play in any preseason games, but he should be ready to start the Redskins season opener Monday Sept. 9 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on ESPN Monday Night Football.

How he made his way back to playing at full speed so fast has been documented for football fans nationwide to see.

On Aug. 27, ESPN will air at 7 p.m. EST a film about the recovery of the NFL Rookie of the Year, the man who helped lead the Redskins to the National Football Conference Championship.

RG III: The Will to Win focuses on Griffin’s journey to return to the field for the 2013 NFL season. Divided into six acts, it begins with Griffin’s spectacular rookie season when he led the Redskins to their first division title since 1999. After sustaining a knee injury in Washington’s final game of the playoffs in January, the majority of the film documents Griffin’s offseason, both his rehabilitation and more personal off-the-field moments.

Filming took place over several months in multiple locations and will conclude at the end of the preseason. Steve Trout and Jay Jackson of NFL Films are co-directors. Griffin, an executive producer on the project, also shot footage using a self-cam that will be part of the film.

“I just want people to see me as me,” Griffin said. “Not everybody gets an inside look at who you are as a person. Yeah, I’m RG III; I’m the Washington Redskins quarterback. But sometimes you need to know why people do what they do. I’m looking forward to putting it out there so people can know who I am.”

“ESPN constantly looks for new and unique content to present to fans across our various platforms, and “RG III: The Will to Win” certainly fits that criteria,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. “The film spotlights one of the NFL’s rising stars and most engaging personalities, while providing an inside look at Robert Griffin III’s offseason recovery from knee surgery, one of the biggest storylines entering the 2013 season.”

Rant Sports columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc

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