No current quarterback has experienced a steeper fall from grace than Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. The concern evoked by those ESPN specials that documented RG III’s recovery from a torn right ACL injury has long evaporated. In addition, Subway and Adidas commercials that contain a quarterback who led his team to a 3-13 record in 2013 aren’t a good look either.
The Redskins’ abysmal plight of 2013 dictates that they would have received a high draft selection in the 2014 NFL Draft. Oh, that’s right … Washington forfeited that pick to the St. Louis Rams for the right to select RG III in 2012. The Rams selected left guard Greg Robinson, who definitely would have solidified the left side of the Redskins’ offensive line if they still had the pick.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bemoaning Washington’s decision to forfeit future draft picks to obtain Griffin. However, the NFL is a league that focuses on immediate results. RG III has proven he has the talent to lead the Redskins into the playoffs. Now it’s time to for him to put his disastrous 2013 season behind him and start fresh.
RG III has everything going for him right now. He’s had a full year to recover from the injury. He won’t have the perceived albatrosses of former head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan around his neck. Instead, RG III will work with first-year head coach Jay Gruden and first-year offensive coordinator Sean McVay. If they have any sense, Gruden and McVay will do everything in their power to get RG III on the same page without ruffling any feathers.
RG III will also have a lot of help behind him. Redskins running back Alfred Morris and wide receiver Pierre Garcon are the team’s most consistent offensive performers. Tight end Jordan Reed is becoming an efficient target for RG III over the middle. Newly signed wide receiver Andre Roberts brings under the radar speed and big-play potential out of the slot.
But the coup de grace is Washington’s biggest prize: wide receiver DeSean Jackson, regarded as one of the NFL’s most dangerous receivers. RG III has a penchant for throwing the deep ball, and if anyone can snare RG III’s parabolic passes, Jackson certainly can. He’s victimized the Redskins several times in his NFL career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, reaffirming the aforementioned claim.
The Shanahans are gone, RG III has had time to let his injury heal properly, and his offense will have some added firepower in the passing game. There are no excuses to make. The time for RG III to show continued progress and produce is now. If he doesn’t, Redskins fans could see reserve quarterback Kirk Cousins sooner rather than never.