Here is a list counting down the Top 32 Washington Redskins of 2014 – No. 4
4. Robert Griffin III – quarterback
Age 23, 6-2, 217 pounds
Analysis: 2013 will most certainly go down as one of the most trying seasons RGIII will endure in his career. As controversy surrounded him even before the season began. Some media and fans criticized him for doing too many commercials, and not working hard enough on improving his game. And there was the whole back and forth over who was to blame for RGIII’s torn ACL, Mike Shanahan or Griffin himself?
There was clearly a rift that had formed between the head coach and quarterback, and as we would learn as the season progressed, there was more going on behind the scenes than anyone knew at the time. But despite not being able to realy practice in the offseason, and being keep out of playing in the preseason, RGIII put a positive face on the situation, and ensured he was all in to start the first game of the season.
However, it was also clear that Robert Griffin III had a lot of rust to shake off, as he looked shaky in the pocket in week one against the Eagles. And in what would become a theme for the rest of the season, the Redskins got down early in the game and then tried to mount a comeback only to come up short at the end.Griffin was up and down for most of the season and it was apparent that he was not as explosive as he was as a rookie. Not running the ball or passing it, as he was hindered by the cumbersome knee brace he was required to wear, and not being fully recovered from his knee injury. Then the criticism sprang up again, as Griffin was deemed to have thrown teammates and coaches under the bus after a second tough loss the Eagles on the road.
But that was only the beginning. In a complete reversal of the hero the media portrayed as during his rookie season, in 2013 Robert Griffin III was being portrayed as a villain. A player too self-centered to take the blame for a loss on himself, and instead deflect it on his teammates. True or not that was the portrayal.
And as the season drew to a close, leaks from anonymous sources inside the Redskins organization rumored that Mike Shanahan had wanted to quit after the 2012, but didn’t because of a fear he would be portrayed negatively due to Griffin’s knee injury. The leaks also rumored that Shanahan was upset about the relationship between RGIII and owner Dan Snyder.
Then Shanahan shut RGIII down for the last three games of the season claiming he wanted to ensure Griffin was healthy for the offseason. And whether that was the right move by the since fired Shanahan or not, the fact is Griffin is indeed healthy this offseason, and is looking as explosive as he did in 2012.
With a new coach in Jay Gruden, RGIII is trying to put a disappointing 2013 season behind him. The Redskins have brought in flashy new weapons on the offense like receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, and they bolstered the offensive line to better protect Griffin in the pocket.
It’s been reported that Robert Griffin III is working extremely hard to improve his passing mechanics and learn Gruden’s offense. He won’t be wearing a knee brace this season, and there is optimism that RGIII is in store for a rebound season in 2014. All that’s left now is have a good camp, get some work done in the preseason, and then hopefully lead the Redskins back to the playoffs.