The comeuppance of Robert Griffin III

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III

Overcoming adversity is essential to growth.

Robert Griffin III is growing before our eyes.

It must be galling for him to see favorable highlights of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, two players who avoided injury last year and have their teams in the thick of the playoff hunt now.

They tie Luck to Wilson they way they once tied Luck to Griffin.

Griffin ran the ball 120 times last season, more than Luck and Wilson (mostly Wilson) combined. More than RGJr said he should run.  

Don't buy Mike Shanahan's canard that Griffin was safer running the read option than play action. Running is running and it's risky. It's why running backs have short careers.

Griffin's running is why the Redskins' offense worked so spectacularly well last season. Running may shorten his career.

Do we care if he leads Washington to a couple of Super Bowl wins?

The numbers confirm what your eyes see. RG rushed 42 times in the first five games last year. For very good reason, he only rushed 27 times in five games this year.  

He's rushing well though, 5.5 yards per attempt. All of the Redskins rushers are running well. That's bound to have an effect as the season rolls along.

Of course, Griffin was hammered for his first concussion in that fifth game last year. Kirk Cousins made his first appearance.

Today the Redskins are running an offense that Mark Brunell could run. In that offense, the quarterback has to read progressions instead of read options. He has to check down and chuck the ball fast. Even if it's to throw it away. Short and intermediate passes are bread and butter. Boring.

Throwaways are better than sacks. Fans blame the O-line for sacks. Coaches blame the quarterback.

Griffin has to grow his pro style skills. Like Brunell. Or, um, Cousins. But Capt. Kirk ran that offense for three years in college. Griffin never ran it in college.

Don't read the above as a call to bench Griffin for Cousins. Griffin is on the learning curve he would have been on anyway. He may be taking it to heart more because of his injury. 

We need Griffin to weave his running skills back into his game while channeling Mark Brunell in the pocket.

Growth under adverse conditions is a beautiful thing to see.

There's another beautiful thing about adversity. It teaches hard lessons, like you are not as good as you think you are.

Griffin III and Griffin Jr. needed to learn that lesson. We are the reason why. It's all our fault.

We fans are guilty of excessive adulation. It was bound to go to a young man's head. RG got rather full of himself. He got to thinking he is more important than the coach.

Griffin has since toned it down, um, like Donovan McNabb suggested. Maybe they should talk. 

Griffin doesn't know it all. He's not perfect. He fumbles too much. We didn't notice that because he rarely lost a fumble. But fumbling is bad. Anyone else would be benched.

Griffin has suggested that he may need to run more and will. Just not 120 times a season. That's a good thing too, because it's pretty clear that the Redskins cannot carry him. Griffin must carry the team still.

And he has to protect himself, like Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Not like that Michael Vick. Griffin says he want to emulate Rodgers instead of Vick. He has yet to beat either of them.

That's why everyone else is talking about Luck and Wilson.

Hog Heaven looks forward to the time when the world again regards Griffin with awe as he beats Cutler and both Mannings … and keeps his head.

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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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