There’s no denying that Donovan McNabb has been trying to get under Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III’s skin for quite some time now, and has done just about everything in his power to get a reaction out of one of them. So far that hasn’t happened to the degree he would have liked.
While McNabb has said some questionable things in the past, does the former Redskins quarterback have a point this time?
Robert Griffin III is a competitor, in fact he’s probably much more of a competitor than any other single player on the Washington Redskins team, not to mention player in the NFL. He wants to be on the field at all times, and wants to lead his team to victories each and every game.
The problem with that as we saw during multiple games last season, is that Robert Griffin III takes too many chances on the field which affects his longevity for not only himself, but the team who he thinks he’s the best option for even when injured.
After the Seattle loss, Robert Griffin III made it clear that he should have been out on the field, even though he was unable to walk (before sustaining his LCL tear). “I’m the best option for this team. That’s why I’m the starter.”
Someone you expect to lead a team for many years to come certainly should be able to put their ego aside to escape serious injury, as well as allow the backup quarterback to come in to give the team a chance to win the game.
Most of the trouble started against the Baltimore Ravens, a game the Redskins needed to win, but found themselves on a losing end. After Griffin sustained his knee injury and limped off the field, he would return a few plays lateronly to throw an intentional grounding pass because he had no business being on the field.
Not only did this put the team in a bad spot, but it also put backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in a corner, as he had previously lost a game the last time he had to takeover for Griffin (Atlanta). With that loss on his shoulder, as well as the season, a 2nd and 20 might as well have been a 4th and 10 with 99 yards to go.
Thankfully Cousins managed to hit Hankerson over the middle for 15 yards, and then Garcon on 3rd and 5 for a touchdown — while converting the 2-point conversion himself to tie the game late with just seconds remaining.
The following week he would win against Cleveland, proving to the Redskins that if Robert Griffin III was not ready to play in either the Philadelphia Eagles or Dallas Cowboys games, he could be their go to guy.
The Redskins however stuck with Griffin, who managed to perform well enough for the Redskins to win in Philadelphia with a late touchdown pass to Santana Moss.
Dallas would be another story. Griffin couldn’t run, he hobbled around on the field, and his passes were not even close to being accurate. His 50% completion rate showed just that (his second lowest of the season), and had it not been for a 200 yard, three-rushing touchdown performance by Alfred Morris, the Redskins might have found themselves on the other end of the TV screen for the Wildcard Playoffs.
Though he threw for two touchdowns against Seattle early in the game, his completion rate wouldn’t be much different from the Dallas game (52.6%), proving yet again he probably shouldn’t be on the field and after-all was not the best option for the Redskins, at least not after the first quarter in which Griffin’s struggles started.
The defense kept the Redskins in the game as they managed to hold the Seahawks out of scoring range, but eventually the three and outs of the Griffin led offense caught up to them, and they eventually lost the lead and game.
That outcome could have been much different if the Redskins had made a quarterback change at half time. The Redskins had the lead and Kirk Cousins had proven he could win with the team. Robert Griffin III however had other plans, and told doctors and Mike Shanahan he was “hurt, but not injured.”
While Shanahan should have seen otherwise, team doctors also backed up Robert Griffin III and cleared him to play (the same doctors who cleared him during the Cincinnati game in which he suffered a concussion).
Brainwash might be the correct wording for this, but there’s no denying doctors not only should have recognized that concussion, but also realized his knee wasn’t in a state to play on the field during the Seattle game.
At the same time, this is where Griffin is his own worst enemy, as he should have known something was wrong. How he believes and still believes he was the best option for the team after the second half of that game is a major concern — and shows Mike Shanahan cannot trust him to make the right move for the team or himself.
That might be why Mike Shanahan is taking his route this time instead of listening to Robert Griffin III saying he is fine and should be allowed to play during the third preseason against the Buffalo Bills.
If there is brainwashing going on in Washington it’s coming from nobody else than Robert Griffin III himself as he continues to believe he is invincible.
Griffin might find it useful to listen to another quarterback much like himself, Colin Kaepernick, who in an ESPN interview made it clear unless the game is on the line or a trip to the Super Bowl, he makes sure to slide up to five yards before a defender approaches him, as well as runs out-of-bounds.
Kaepernick after all did take his team to the Super Bowl, and though lost, has the record to prove he knows what he’s talking about.
Unless Griffin decides to change his mindset and put his head on straight, he could have issues for many years to come in Washington — making Donovan McNabb look like a genius in return.
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