Washington Redskins: Benching Robert Griffin III Is Pure Insanity

By Greg Bradshaw
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

NFL history dictates that the backup quarterback is the most popular guy on a struggling offensive team. It’s been said that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III should be benched after his team’s 0-2 start. The breathtaking runs from scrimmage and deep ball efficiency have not been exhibited by the man known as “RG3”. Washington’s franchise quarterback has looked ordinary at best, as the Redskins’ offense has struggled mightily in the first two games.

Any talk of benching RG3 in favor of reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins borders on foolishness. Let’s not forget that the Redskins are not an elite team, despite reaching the playoffs a season ago. They’re still a rebuilding team looking to take the next step in becoming an elite team. Benching RG3 at this point ruins the continuity Washington is trying to build. He’s a second year player still learning how to thrive in the NFL. Let him play through his struggles in an effort to lead his team. Benching him could shatter his confidence and stunt his progress as an NFL quarterback.

Washington is trying to capitalize on RG3’s abilities as a pocket passer, considering that he has a strong arm and the awareness to thrive in the pocket. This is a sharp contrast from the zone read offense that focused on the dual threat of RG3’s running and passing, as well as running back Alfred Morris. Switching to a more traditional offense has turned RG3 and the Redskins’ offense into shells of the prolific unit from last season. It’s possible that this transformation indicates that the quarterback isn’t fully healed, physically or mentally, from his torn right ACL injury.

No one knows for sure if that’s the case, but in any event, Robert Griffin III is the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback through prosperity and adversity. Detractors calling for his benching forget that the Redskins sacrificed a 2013 first round pick, as well as a first and second round pick in 2014, to obtain RG3’s draft rights. Teams don’t sacrifice that many draft picks to pick a quarterback, only to bench him for inefficiency after 17 career games.

Besides, RG3 isn’t the only reason for Washington’s slow start. Their defense has actually regressed from last season, surrendering over 35 points per game over the first two games. The Green Bay Packers amassed over 600 yards in total offense in their 38-20 Week 2 victory over Washington. It’s not like RG3 gets paid to tackle anyone on the opposing team’s offense.

But I digress. While Cousins proved to be a capable quarterback last season in RG3’s absence, he is not the long term solution for Washington. RG3 provides the Redskins with the best opportunity to win, despite the team’s recent struggles. His supporters hope the team can correct their current issues and get a win as soon as possible.

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