Around the NFL  

 

Robert Griffin III 'done' as effective QB, NFL coach says

Print

As a sensational NFL rookie in 2012, Robert Griffin III so dazzled opponents that former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck cursed the football gods for delivering a fixture in his nightmares.

Now that Griffin has followed that Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign with a pair of injury-ravaged disheartening seasons, one NFL coach believes the polarizing quarterback will never reach his once-limitless potential.

"There's no coming back," the undisclosed offensive coach told ESPN.com's Mike Sando. "He is done. The reason is, the injury slowed his legs, and his ego will not allow him to hit rock bottom and actually grind his way back up the right way."

This coach wasn't alone in his sentiment regarding Griffin's outlook.

"To get better in this league, you have to have a degree of humility," a personnel director said, via Sando. "... When (Griffin) looks in the mirror, he is seeing things that everybody else is not seeing. That is why I was surprised when they gave him the fifth-year (option) and said it was an easy decision."

The quotes come courtesy of Sando's exhaustively researched quarterback rankings, which have been compiled with input from a panel of eight personnel directors, six general managers, four head coaches, five offensive coordinators, five defensive coordinators, three salary-cap managers, two ex-GMs, two ex-head coaches, and one offensive assistant coach.

In the 2014 version of Sando's rankings, one veteran quarterback castigated Griffin for refusing to accept any blame for his own struggles.

There's a sentiment among analysts and league insiders that Griffin must capitulate to coaching, understanding that his own fundamentally flawed approach is not the avenue to sustained NFL success.

"I don't think getting hurt has anything to do with (RGIII's regression)," former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan opined in May. "You don't have to have great running ability to run the read-option. You have to be able to know when to slide, when to throw the football away, depending on if you're running or passing."

Even with Griffin's clear devolution over the past two years, it seems awfully premature to write off a 25-year-old quarterback who inspired the sublime phrase "era of unbridled optimism" three years ago.

Shanahan acknowledged that Griffin's adjustment to Jay Gruden's offensive system will take "some growing pains" and won't happen overnight.

"I know how hard it is for a quarterback to go into a system for the first time," one NFL general manager added, via Sando. "With Griffin, I'm taking into account the new offense, the new personality at head coach, coming off an injury. He showed his rookie year that he could be a (top tier QB). He is a young guy. I'm going to give him the benefit because of that."

New Redskins GM Scot McCloughan offered similar analysis when he accepted the job in January, explaining that it's nonsensical to throw in the towel on a young quarterback who took his team to the playoffs as a rookie.

"I think this season is going to tell a lot," McCloughan added.

High-level NFL quarterbacking goes beyond numbers, to making situational split-second decisions and attacking mismatches depending on down and distance.

If Griffin doesn't get that religion, the 2015 season is going to tell McCloughan to find a new quarterback to front his franchise.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the eight most intriguing training camp battles heading into the season.

Print