It wasn’t that long ago when residents of the D.C. area were singing praises about their young Heisman winning quarterback’s amazing skills leading the 2012 Washington Professional Football Team (WPFT) to a 10-6 record and their first playoff berth since 2007. It was an easy story to fall in love with; they had the read option, the most explosive QB since Atlanta-Vick, and the best rushing attack in the league.
RG3 was destined to be the face of the WPFT by often criticized meddling owner Daniel Snyder who bet the mortgage, in the form of 3 first and 2 second round picks to move up in the draft and grab him. Placing this much value and stock in a rookie QB, while in hindsight seems like the work of a fool, makes sense in today’s NFL. At the time of the trade, some projected RG3 to be a better prospect than Andrew Luck and if you have the ability to grab a potential superstar QB, that’s the name of the game in the NFL.
Through all the glamour and the highlights Griffin put up in his rookie year, red flags stuck out clear as day, yet Snyder and the fan’s love for their young star blinded them to see today’s foreseeable benching of RG3. If you’ve ever seen that show Catfish where these naïve millennials date, befriend, and even propose to people who they have met on the internet only to find out after a background story, and a few commercial breaks later, that their internet love was actually some fat guy in his basement impersonating a super model, then you can relate to my point about WPFT Nation.
I often find myself lacking in empathy for these people who spend the last 5 minutes of the show trying to cope with their broken hearts. I always think, how didn’t you see this coming?” “Why would you never Skype with them”? “Didn’t you find it strange they would always stand you up”? “Seriously no Skype never, not one time”? WPFT fans, like the “victims” on Catfish ignored the warning signs that said RG3 wasn’t going to be a star in this league long-term, and when you look at it, you scratch your head wondering why:
1. To start, Griffin took a beating like no other, and he’s not the doughiest guy out there. He doesn’t have a Matt Stafford or Andrew Luck type of body, he’s slender and tight, and the constant punishment of the NFL takes out players that are way larger than Griffin, who was to believe he’d be any different?
GOTTA LOVE THE URGENCY OF RG3’S O-LINE HELPING THEIR “TEAMMATE” UP
2. Griffin’s rookie campaign saw only 5 interceptions as opposed to his contemporary Luck’s 18, while that appears impressive, Griffin only attempted 393 passes all year to Luck’s 627. Griffin had the luxury of an elite rushing attack, that to his credit he helped to build, but this rush allow gifted Griffin a super vanilla introduction to NFL passing, in a league that’s moving towards more and more passing.
3. The red flag that probably fooled us all – myself included – was the effectiveness of the read-option and the believe that defensive coordinators, given an offseason and more film than Ron Jaworski can swallow up in a summer wouldn’t adjust.
How could they ever think Griffin could keep taking so many hits? Throwing that many interceptions, and using a fairly new package, that like the Wildcat would eventually get decoded. It was never sustainable, but Snyder loved his asset that he invested so much in, and like those kids on Catfish, the iNEVitable1 was ignored.
We all know the story, RG3 blew out his knee leading to issues with Mike Shanahan, which led to Griffin’s forgettable sophomore campaign, to Shanahan getting wacked, to the other Gruden getting hired, to teammate locker-room issues, to RG3 not producing, to more RG3 issues with his coach, to the announcement that he will be benched for the pride of Texas, Colt McCoy.
Are Griffin’s days numbered as a starting QB? I don’t think so, he’ll get another chance, it’s a tough NFL out there and most places don’t have a solid quarterback. But Griffin will have to prove that he can make real NFL passes, and not take the type of punishment that he’s endured through his first three years, otherwise he’ll fade as a distant memory about how potential falls from grace.
- Yup, I went there, I couldn’t resist. ↩