The hype surrounding Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has officially disintegrated. Redskins’ fans thought RG III was going to be the man to lead the woebegone franchise out of its longtime doldrums. After RG III became the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year it only seemed fitting that he would help Washington take the next step.
The 2013 season has been wracked with massive underachievement for the Redskins as evidenced by their 3-7 record. While there’s plenty of blame to go around, most of the blame lies at the feet of RG III. Simply put, he isn’t progressing as an NFL quarterback. It’s disappointing for me to write the preceding statement, considering that Washington gave up future high draft picks to obtain the rights to draft RG III. But after the Redskins’ 24-16 Week 11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the statement is fitting.
While his physical skills are the basis of his great talent, the fact remains that Griffin is nowhere near the transcendent player the Redskins were hoping for. His passing has been erratic, missing open receivers more often than he should. RG III hasn’t made an impact carrying the football either. He’s rushed for 345 yards but has yet to reach the end zone.
Against the Eagles, RG III gave his team a chance to tie the game late. Unfortunately, he threw a horrible interception off his back foot that ended any chance the Redskins had. It’s the kind of throw that makes Redskins’ fans ask “What in the world is he thinking?” It’s also the kind of throw that gets a quarterback benched.
That’ll never happen, considering the heavy price Washington paid to draft RG III. Many fans forget that Washington also selected quarterback Kirk Cousins in the 2012 NFL Draft. Cousins is capable of starting for Washington if necessary. But that won’t happen, and it shouldn’t happen. There’s no doubt that Griffin is the man in Washington, but it’s getting harder to quiet the whispers that maybe Cousins should become the full-time starter.
RG III’s play this season can’t be attributed to injury or inexperience as a second year player. He looks fully recovered from the torn right ACL he suffered last season. The bar has also been raised for young quarterbacks, considering the play of other quarterbacks in RG III’s draft class like the Indianapolis Colts‘ Andrew Luck and Seattle Seahawks‘ Russell Wilson.
Supporters of RG III could say the Redskins don’t have as much talent as the Colts or Seahawks, but that doesn’t matter. The 2013 Redskins are virtually the same roster from last year’s playoff team. With a year of experience under his belt Griffin is expected to improve, but if the Eagles game is any indication that improvement is not happening.
Washington should not regret drafting RG III because he has energized a franchise that has been devoid of excitement for years. He should be given the time to develop into an efficient quarterback. If that happens, the Redskins’ decision to select RG III will be justified.