Quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins gained himself national publicity after a dynamic rookie season. As good as his rookie campaign started, it ended in the worst possible way with a serious knee injury that leaked into the 2013 NFL season.
Griffin III didn’t miss any games to start this season, but he struggled mightily. As of today, he is benched for Week 15 and possibly the remainder of the season in hopes of preserving him until next year. Many may believe that this move will bring back the player we saw tear tearing through the league last year. I think that we’ve seen the best of RGIII even though it is only his second season.
Griffin doesn’t stand out to me as a player with potential to be an elite quarterback. The only problem is that he’s receiving elite media attention. Everyone was too quick to hop on the Griffin III bandwagon. Now those same people are jumping off, waiting for the next opportunity to re-board, an opportunity that may never come again.
It’s no mystery how Griffin III gained so much attention in such a short period of time. In his rookie year, he single-handedly rejuvenated a troubled Redskins franchise. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in the process. He finished the season with 3,200 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Griffin III also managed to amass over 800 yards on the ground while reaching the end zone seven times.
Those outstanding numbers gave the Redskins and their fanbase a false sense of hope for the future. I am not saying that he isn’t a skilled quarterback, but he isn’t going to ever be a Hall-of-Fame caliber player. Some would compare his career thus far to that of Cam Newton‘s, who spent his second year in the same boat as Griffin III. Still, Newton had a much more impressive rookie year than RGIII.
Newton is the better all-around player, and he’s currently marching his team into the playoffs while playing the most relevant ball of his career. Newton is proving that he’s the real deal, but he has had an extra year to do so.
Griffin III simply won’t have the same success as Newton. He can’t even make his own mind up about when and how he wants to play. He’s too worried about his image, rather than his production on the field. His passion for the game doesn’t mirror that of an elite quarterback’s. Griffin III may have a solid career, but he’ll never be the superstar he was hyped up to be after his rookie year.
Sorry Redskins fans, the truth hurts, but it’s better than being hoodwinked by your own organization.