Smoke and fire ‒ Volume of noise rises about Robert Griffin III

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III

What in the name of Redskins football is going on around here?

Before training camp, Hog Heaven read a few whispers that some Redskins players weren't that happy with Robert Griffin III. They felt he cost them their best chance for a playoff win by remaining in the Seahawks game in the second half.

Not sure if "they" were unhappy with Griffin or with the coach who kept him in there. There was no depth to the storyline and no names mentioned. Hog Heaven dismissed it.

Donovan McNabb chirped that Griffin Two and Three were too openly vocal about their health updates and their thoughts about the Redskins' offense. McNabb offered to sit with both Griffins and advise about managing the media. What could McNabb teach Griffin about managing the media? Why would Redskins fans want that, anyway. Hog Heaven dismissed it.

Joshua Morgan tweeted during training camp that Kirk Cousins goes through his progressions during games while RG was quicker to run. The tweet had a shelf life of 30 minutes before it disappeared. Hog Heaven made note of it and little else.

Pierre Garcon has been critical of the Redskins' passing game from early in the season up to a few weeks ago when he told WJFK's Grant Paulson that the 'Skins were having trouble with their passing game all season. Garcon did not name names, but did not point to himself as the problem.

"I can only run the routes, try to make separation. That's the only thing you can really try to do. If you suck at passing, you suck at passing. We've just got to figure it out."

Then Redskins legends weighed in and we are starting to pay attention.

Hall of Famer Darrell Green questioned team captain Griffin's leadership chops. We pay no attention when callers to sports talk radio say such things, but when Darrell Green speaks….

Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen thought RG should have been benched after the first half of the Eagles game.

Future Redskins Ring of Famer Santana Moss took exception to Griffin's explanation for the last gasp interception that ended the game and the Redskins' playoff hopes. Moss thought Griffin should own up more to his own role in the play.

RG made a rookie mistake

On that play, Griffin said,

“We had a certain concept with running and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where you get a sack there, it ends the game. I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go.” (Emphasis mine)

Like Moss, I have a problem with RG's explanation.

The first problem is situational awareness. It was third down with one yard to go and 40 seconds on the clock. A sack would not have ended the game. The Redskins would have had one more shot, though a slim one, and the time to run it.

RG may have attempted the pass to a covered receiver to give him a chance to make a play. Receivers do ask for that. An interception would have (and did) ended the game more surely than a sack. Griffin has started enough games to internalize that.

With time and playoff hope fading, you don't throw the ball to the back of the end zone. That's what you do in the third quarter. With the game on the line, the quarterback throws the ball outside the end zone and into the stands.

To be fair, if RG did that from behind the pocket, he risked an intentional grounding penalty and loss of down. So he needed to either get outside the tackles and then throw the ball away, or even to run for a first down and then spike the ball to stop the clock. That would allow time to receive the next play.

The breakdown on that play was more on Griffin than on the receivers. The interior line didn't help. Regardless, coaches charge sacks and INTs to the quarterback for a reason. One ought not avoid sacks by throwing picks.

Do the inmates run the asylum?

The fan atmosphere is choked with calls for a coaching change, with too many calling for a coach acceptable to Griffin. Baylor coach Art Briles is a popular choice.

With the level of noise rising from the locker room about Griffin, who Hog Heaven still sees as the savior of Redskins football, we cannot imagine why he should have a large voice in Mike Shanahan's fate.

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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