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NFL Washington Redskins

Robert Griffin III: No More Mr. Nice Guy?

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is a bright young man and one who understands that with great expectations, comes great responsibility. The reigning Rookie of the Year, has neither forgotten how to play football or how to win, he simply has not been able to execute the Washington offense the way he did last season.

As Griffin gets ready to lead his team against the Detroit Lions at home in Landover, Md., the fans and the players will see a more take-charge kind of RG III. The new Griffin will be more vocal and in charge of his offense.

This is not a role that Griffin sought out, rather it seems to be one that his teammates wanted him to take after a painful 0-2 start to the 2013 season. It is the thought of some of the team’s veteran players that if Griffin can be more forceful, it will spark better play around him and perhaps cure some of the early-game issues the offense has had.

During Sunday’s post-game press conference, he seemed to begin the process of being the team’s offensive leader:

“If I’ve got to do a little bit more to clean up that sloppiness, then I’ll do it,” Griffin said.

He went on to explain what we might see this week that we might not have seen before.

“If [my teammates] want me to go out there and be the stern leader, then I’m willing to do that,” he said. “I got some of that from my teammates on the sideline, asking me to do some more, not necessarily change who I am as a person, but if they want me to be hard on them, I’ll be hard on them.”

But before Griffin and his offense can be effective, the defense needs to start slowing down the other team. After two games, Washington has been outscored 50-7 in the first half, and that lone touchdown didn’t even come from the offense. We have seen very little of the pistol or spread-option offense. In large part, it has been absent because Washington has been playing from behind, and it’s clear that head coach Mike Shanahan is trying to be more careful with Griffin.

Through two games, Washington have used the zone-read option five times, with running back Alfred Morris carrying the ball each time. Of Griffin’s nine runs in two games, he has scrambled six times, run after a botched handoff, taken a knee and been credited with a run and a fumble.

The new Griffin will hopefully have a chance to play from ahead in the next game, and if that is the case, he can be a leader, and the read-option offense can be back driving defensive coordinators crazy.

 

Rant Sports columnist James Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @Wordmandc and join his circle at Google+.