The glowing offseason ESPN profiles featuring Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III rehabbing his right ACL injury seem like ancient history now. The Redskins currently dwell in the NFC East basement with a 3-6 record. The Redskins had high hopes for 2013 with their franchise quarterback returning to action after last season’s playoff berth.
Those hopes have been all but dashed after Washington hit its lowest point of the season, a 34-27 Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. This loss can’t be pinned on Griffin, who threw three touchdown passes without an interception. In fact, this game was RG3’s best game of 2013. It would have been sweeter if the Redskins could have left Minnesota with the victory.
There have been NFL fans that think RG3 is a flash in the pan, an overrated diva of a quarterback who doesn’t make his team better. Granted, RG3 struggled early in the season with passing accuracy and ball-control issues. He also hasn’t been running with the same efficiency as he did last season. Some say Washington’s poor record is mostly RG3’s fault because he set the bar so high with his great rookie season that earned him the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Factor in the current trend of rookie players expected to contribute right away, and it’s easy to see why RG3’s expected to lead the Redskins to great heights right away.
However, the Redskins should exhibit patience with their young quarterback. Remember, Washington traded two first-round picks and a second-round pick to select RG3. Simply put, the Redskins are mortgaging their future for a quarterback they feel is a one in a lifetime player. They need to be patient with him and realize that there’ll be ups and downs with RG3 under center because he’s still learning the NFL game.
In addition, RG3 is one of the Redskins’ few playmakers on the roster. His offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL, looking overmatched against blitzing opponents. RG3’s been hit an awful lot this season, including the four sacks he suffered against a one-win Vikings team that has trouble defending the pass. Not helping matters is the fact that wide receiver Pierre Garcon is the only true target RG3 has on the outside. His other wide receivers have distinguished themselves as nothing more than mediocre targets.
Washington’s defense has been the perennial scapegoat for the team’s misfortunes in 2013. This unit has given up almost 32 points per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. It’s asking a lot to expect RG3 and the offense to average 33 points per game. But since RG3 had been anointed NFL royalty, he’s expected to do so.
Unless RG3 regresses towards epic inefficiency at quarterback, Washington should continue to stand by him because he’s their future. Washington’s in a rebuilding phase that will take a while to complete, considering their limited draft choices and even more limited talent on their roster. If Redskins fans can remain patient with RG3, things will be all the better for the Redskins when and if they return to prominent status.