Save RG3! The Case For Griffin's Long Term Survival In The NFL
I am a Giant fan, and my first reaction after watching RG3 on the field at the Superdome in September was "Holy Crap.....We gotta play this guy twice a year. For like 12 years."
The aura of doom settled on the collective fans of NFC East teams that don't have an Indian on their helmet. We all knew this guy was as good as advertised, better actually.
Let me reiterate - I am a Giant fan. I was born in New York and live in the Northwest, so I also like to see the Seahawks do well, just not against the G-Men. Watching the game yesterday, I was 100 percent rooting for the 'Hawks. The thing is, despite being part of my hated NFC East rival, I just love watching Robert Griffin.
He is eloquent, humble and leads by example. He does his job with passion a joy with no hint of sensationalism, no Portis like ego, no Cam Newton histrionics, no Kardashian-esque camera seeking. I don't even mind seeing him on those Subway bits every 20 seconds. He seems like a really decent guy who REALLY loves to play football. He is great at it. The sad part is, we are watching him get used up.
The most noticeable thing about RG3's physique is that he lacks body mass. Andrew Luck is larger and thicker. Russell Wilson is listed at two inches shorter and 4 pounds heavier (all depending what you read). These guys are all heavier bodied people. I would argue that almost any NFL starting QB (with obvious exceptions) is bigger. He looks like a sprinter, lean and fast. There is no question he is an athlete, he just seems to lack the prerequisite mass to protect his body.Perhaps that's why he is so quick.
QB's will always get hit. That is the defenses main task. Kill the head and the body will die. The pistol offense virtually guarantees that the QB is gonna get smoked, even if the QB is the fastest, most agile guy on the field. We are literally watching this guy destroy himself right in front of our eyes, and considering what he has meant to fans of the NFL in general, this is tragic. I have never heard fans say "I am glad the 'Hawks won, but I hope Robert Griffin is ok." It seemed like I heard that 100 times yesterday, and I live 2700 miles from DC. People love this guy. People want to see him for ten years, not two.
Now that we all know his knee is actually damaged, who is to blame? Conventional wisdom say Mike Shanahan who should have taken him out when he was clearly hampered after the end of the first quarter. Others would say that it is RG3 himself who is to blame, his running style and aggressive attitude to winning is what lead him to this injury. He is a guy who does everything as well as he can all the time.
I believe that Shanahan would of had to drag him off the field prior to the final sickening twist of the knee. The guy wants to be the man all the time, and he clearly does not give up that easy. Maybe the coach has to be Dad and keep him off the field for his own good and the good of the team long term. In Shanahan's defense, this team has been a doormat since 2007, hasn't won the division since 1999 and hasn't sniffed a Super Bowl since 1991. The pressure to win in that town is huge and their owner who has not proven to be coach friendly, savvy or even sane. Until of course he traded up for RG3. The point is, who cares who did it. Don't look to blame, look to solve problems. The win now philosophy is what got Robert Griffin hurt. Everybody is responsible for that.
So what can be done? The pistol is exiting and effective but it costs. Maybe there is a compromise in offensive sets that exists out there that I am not familiar with. Brady and both Mannings have won Super Bowl's by being plodders with good brains and great arms, and RG3 clearly has those two assets. He is great for football and even better for the Redskins, even though that means nightmares for Giant fans like myself. I love good football games, and he is good for that. But as a player, not as the star of a sad 30 for 30 about what could have been.