Chris Cooley: Washington receivers, linemen disliked RG3


Robert Griffin III is done in Washington, and he’s taking some shots on his way out the door.

Chris Cooley, the former Washington tight end who now covers the team on local radio for ESPN 980, said Griffin was disliked by teammates who felt that they got the blame for offensive failings that were really Griffin’s fault.

The offensive line did not like Robert Griffin,” Cooley said, via the Washington Post. “A lot of the receivers did not like Robert Griffin. The offensive line had a problem with Robert, because they were considered for a year-and-a-half or two years a terrible offensive line that couldn’t protect a quarterback. A lot of that isn’t true. A lot of that was Robert. A lot of the sacks were put on Robert. Want to believe it or not, they were, okay? Football-wise, they were: it was Robert. Robert never took [responsibility] for that,” Cooley said. “Robert continued to let his offensive line eat the blame. They don’t like it. They hate that, man. That kills them. Perception is the only thing an offensive line has, because 99 percent of people watching football have no idea what an offensive line’s doing. Receivers didn’t like playing with Robert, because they didn’t get the ball.”

Cooley is right about Washington’s linemen taking unfair blame: As we’ve pointed out before, Griffin took far more sacks than Kirk Cousins while playing behind the same offensive line.

Cousins eventually beat Griffin out for the starting job, and Griffin didn’t take kindly to that.

“I just think it plays into so much of how much Robert disliked anyone ever challenging what he was,” Cooley said. “And when people started to challenge that Kirk might be the guy, it became even worse. It became even more awkward. Let me stop with that.”

If Griffin is ever going to become a franchise quarterback again, he’s going to have to win a training camp competition, and he’s going to have to show he can be a team leader. In Washington, Griffin didn’t do that.

79 responses to “Chris Cooley: Washington receivers, linemen disliked RG3

  1. Danny boy screwed this kid up also. He should’ve told him to talk to the coach. Shanny should have kicked in the door and demanded me or him. Robert should’ve kept his big mouth shut.

    Pride goeth before a fall.

    All in for winning in D.C.!

    In Scot McCloughan we trust!!!

  2. Can’t wait to see which sucker signs this guy…

    Theres only 2 reasons teams release players:
    1-too expensive
    2-cant play

    RG3 falls into category 2…
    2 NFL coaches have already come to that conclusion… one of which is a borderline Hall of Famer in Shanahan…
    Coach number 3 who tries to make this work is just a sucker….

  3. Not saying he isn’t wrong or right but it’s funny how things change. Swear when he was on the team in 2012 he was slurping RG3 off every time in the media. Dude ain’t real at all and thinks Cousins is a “star”. Garbage player and analyst

  4. Who cares about what Chris Cooley thinks and says? He is a irrelevant and washed up TE.

  5. I guess one Chris Cooley was friends with Kirk Cousin hence this pathetic SNITCH /HIT JOB Or whatever you want to call it.
    The man was release from the team,Isn’t that bad enough, Only you it seems want to kick him while he is down…what up with that.

  6. Again, the coddling and not being able to take responsibility due to said coddling takes down another physically gifted athlete. However, it takes more than that to play successfully in the NFL. (See Ryan Leaf, Johnny Manziel.)

  7. RGIII has some rampant insecurities. Maybe his release will humble him, although if it hasn’t happened at this point in his life that’s probably not likely.

  8. Unreal that you’re a multi-million dollar player (more-than-few) in contract, and yet one of the reasons why you don’t try hard is because of your dislike of the quarterback. That’s why I continually use the expression: “pickin’ up a paycheck” as it pertains to the NFL, because that’s the only thing a lot of players care about — not Winning — but simply “pickin’ up a paycheck!”

  9. It’s not about the number of sacks Griffin took. It was the losing. Russel Wilson takes way too many sacks for the Seahawks, but nobody cares.

    Griffin will be fine if he gets to a team and can help them win, regardless of the number of sacks he takes or who takes the blame. Hopefully not playing football for a few years has straightened that ego out as well. We’ll see.

  10. I don’t know about that.

    I follow the DC sports talk scene fairly closely (I lived there for a long time and still spend a lot of time there) and almost everyone was blaming RGIII for the sacks, not the offensive line.

    People were very quick to point out that the line seemed to block just fine for not just Cousins, but even McCoy when he was in there.

    Seems like Cooley is building a bit of a straw man here.

  11. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:42 AM

    I don’t know about that.

    I follow the DC sports talk scene fairly closely (I lived there for a long time and still spend a lot of time there) and almost everyone was blaming RGIII for the sacks, not the offensive line.

    People were very quick to point out that the line seemed to block just fine for not just Cousins, but even McCoy when he was in there.

    Seems like Cooley is building a bit of a straw man here.

    I dunno, no one KNEW that they blocked fine for Cousins and McCoy until Griffin got hurt which was a year and a half in, as he played every game. It was only by the end of year 2 that people said ‘They seem to block fine for Cousins and McCoy!’ so I think thats why Cooley said ‘for a year and a half they said the o-line couldn’t block’.

  12. This is what happens when you take an option QB and trynd re-make him into a pocket passer. He doesn’t have the experience in reading the coverage and getting rid of the ball quick enough. This directly translates into more sacks.

    I agree that is not the O-line’s fault. Not entirely the QB’s fault either. QB shares the blame with the coaches who don’t adapt their program to their player’s strengths. Coaches also need to control the team culture to avoid this kind of positional anymosity. And GMs need to draft the right players for the coach’s program; owners need to stay out of it.

    And if the QB is not willing to take at least some blame for things that may not even be his fault, then you end up in situations where you are percieved like RGme.

  13. skins1970 says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:30 AM
    Who cares about what Chris Cooley thinks and says? He is a irrelevant and washed up TE.
    Irrelevent and washed up he may be….an ex-player with close ties to the team and current players he definitely is. I’ll take his word for it because it appears to be true.

  14. A healthy Robert Griffin is much better than Kirk Cousins.
    I’ll give you that, but only if he’s running a read option offense or spread. In a west coast offense or really any offense with multiple passing reads give me Cousins.

  15. Last time I checked, Robert didn’t play a snap last season. And he played less than half of the 2014 season. Prior to last season, they weren’t a good oline. When Cousins was in there he threw pics because of the immediate pressure he was getting. McCoy was taking sacks and throwing picks. Bottom line, Robert is gone now so Cooley should move on. I’m sure Cousins will earn every cent of that $20 million {extreme sarcasm}.

  16. Whoopee doo.

    I am a Steeler fan. Big Ben had his share of unhappy team mates and he certainly got into some bad off field lifestyle issues that threatened his success as a team mate… helmetless riding, sex assault, etc. Life goes on … young guys grow up. Consequeneces are dealt with.

    Anyone think that Big Ben is a problem? Wonder what Cooley and his pals thought when RGIII single handedly took the Skins to the playoffs as a rookie.

  17. There are many things that you need to succeed in the NFL like athletic ability, mental toughness, good work ethic, and discipline, but overall you also need humility, absolutely nobody, nobody is bigger than the game.

  18. Cooley actually puts out first rate film analysis. He had a good article a few years ago showing how RGIII constantly took the wrong drop on various plays, meaning his line was blocking without realizing he wasn’t where he was supposed to be. So the sacks just kept coming, and they got blamed for not knowing he was blowing plays.

  19. And Baylor erected a statue of this guy?? What’s up with that…I thought you really had to do something above and beyond to merit a statue…..wonder if Baylor has “buyers remorse?” Would’ve meant more to erect one of “Chip and Joanna Gaines!!”

  20. Not a fan of either Cooley or Griffin. Cooley was a good player for a while, but on his show he acts like he’s an expert in every phase of football, like he is a hall of famer, and constantly second guesses or criticizes guys who actually are.

    As for Griffin, I think he was arrogant and self-centered. But then again I was too at that age, and I wasn’t a star athlete. I hope he learns, as most of us have had to, and finds success and happiness elsewhere. But I won’t hold my breath.

  21. Baylor erected the statue based on what he did at Baylor, not what he did in the NFL.

  22. What do you want to bet that most, if not all, NFL teams already knew all this. I don’t think anyone has been beating down RGMe’s door offering him a contract. I also noticed that RGMe has been quiet on social media–at least we haven’t heard much from him (or Kaepernick for that matter). I wonder if that’s because he wants to try to find another job so he’s trying to play nice.

    Would you really want this guy in your locker room? He sounds a bit like T.O. I think I’d have to take a pass. Maybe someone in the CFL will take a chance on him.

  23. Nothing good can come of a college putting up a statue of a person while he is still alive.

  24. lukedunphysscienceproject says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:42 AM

    I don’t know about that.

    I follow the DC sports talk scene fairly closely (I lived there for a long time and still spend a lot of time there) and almost everyone was blaming RGIII for the sacks, not the offensive line.

    People were very quick to point out that the line seemed to block just fine for not just Cousins, but even McCoy when he was in there.

    Seems like Cooley is building a bit of a straw man here
    I also follow the DC Sports media scene, and live in the area.

    I caught part of this rant from Cooley, and I also have listened to Cooley talk about how Robert acted in the meeting rooms, locker room and on the practice field. For the first 2 years that Robert was here, he was quick to call out teammates, very cowardly by the way, on social media when the team struggled. However, when they won, he was all about promoting himself. And I recall just about every sports talk show in the area bashing our Oline after year 2 of his RGs career, in which Shanny got canned. Then, once Gruden came in and then Griffin got hurt and Cousins took over, alot of the sports talk shows started commenting about how different the O line played with Cousins and McCoy in the game compared to Griffin. And Cooley showed film proof that Griffin tanked the Tampa game in 14. He threw to receivers that were in dummy routes. He failed to call out pressures pre snap. He constantly dropped back into wrong depth. The kid had no business being on the field. I am glad that Gruden finally got himself an ally in McCloughan and sat him.

  25. Who is going to sign RG3? I don’t see the Broncos doing it, they can’t be that stupid. I don’t see any legitimate teams like Green Bay or the Patriots taking him, he’d demand too much money and be a distraction. I’m not even sure I see the Texans taking him, they could get Hackenburg (not great) or someone else via the draft and be okay. I don’t even see the Browns signing this guy. Hue Jackson wouldn’t do it.

    I know someone is going to sign RG3, but I have no idea who.

  26. From what I understand, Shanahan “had to” run a college type system for RG3 in 2012.
    RG3 can’t read defenses, runs too quickly, doesn’t slide, and takes too many extra hits. On passing plays, he would fail to go through his rotations, and take off running as a first instinct. Also, the NFL game speed was to quick for him, and he never upgraded his skill to NFL level.

    Many can see Cousin’s growth this year, well unfortunately, RG3 never adapted to a 300 lb defensive back who runs a low 4 minute 40.

  27. The line WAS bad. It was so bad in fact that team choose to to take a LG in the top 10. They also took Moses in the 2nd last year and with his maturation and Scherff they played much better for Cousins.

    It’s very disingenuous to pretend that this is the same line RGIII played behind.

  28. _________________________________
    skins1970 says:
    Mar 9, 2016 9:30 AM

    Who cares about what Chris Cooley thinks and says? He is a irrelevant and washed up TE.

    He’s relevant because he is still close to the team. He also does a radio show in D.C. covering the Skins, where he breaks down game film in detail every week during football season and commentates games on Redskins radio.

  29. At this point a lot of football people have called out RG3 for blaming the O-line for sacks that were his own fault. Not just Cooley, but also Gruden and the whispering campaign that was obviously coming from Mike Shanahan.
    RG3 wanted to be an instant superstar and his success as a rookie fed the feeling that he could do that without needing to put in the work that is required for any NFL QB, even one who scrambles a lot. Fact remains that the protection issues seemed to have disappeared with Cousins at QB, without significant changes along the line. And the receiving game improved greatly with Cousins at QB. Bottom line is that RG3 had the starting job with the Redskins handed to him and he didn’t do the work necessary to keep it. Even his biggest fan, Dan Snyder, was ultimately convinced of the need to move on.

  30. Same thing goes for Kaepernick. Kaepernick ran into most of his sacks instead of stepping up into the pocket.

  31. Snyder undermined Shananhan by allowing RGme to come running to him.

    As long as Snyder is their owner, the redskins won’t be winning anything. Snyder has been, and is..a curse.

  32. I totally believe the offensive line didn’t care much for RG3. I’m not saying they didn’t block for the guy, but I think they tried harder for Cousins. I don’t know if I buy it that the receivers didn’t care for RG3, though. Garcon and Jackson have come out in RG3’s corner, so I am finding that a little hard to believe, Mr. Cooley.

  33. I think the Shanny Boys were great for Robert. They gave him a record breaking year by building off of things he knew how to do in Baylor and slowly bringing him along with new concepts with an eye on helping him be a pocket quarterback. When Robert got hurt he got hurt not doing what they told him to do. Slide. They actually called him out in the media about it since he obviously didn’t listen in private. They said time and time again Robert needs to get down, throw it out of bounds, slide. Robert couldn’t do it. Perhaps he knew he had to be the hero physically because he didn’t have it mentally. Too bad Robert devoted so much of his psychic energy to not liking Kirk, he could have channeled that into learning a playbook. In him mind, RG3 convinced himself he was failing because his line was no good.

  34. At the end of the Denny Green era with the Cards during the closing minutes of a game where the Cards had the ball on the opponent’s 5 yard line with a chance to win the game with a TD, Kurt Warner took the snap under center. As Warner dropped back, the right guard pulled and swung his arm out and tipped the ball out of Warner’s hands. The opposing team recovered and preserved their victory.

    The little hitlers of the local sports media unmercifully beat on Warner for fumbling the ball and losing the game and kept their tinny voices (especially K. Sommers) blaring that Warner was washed up and that Matt Leinart should be the no brainer starter for the Cards next season. Not once did Warner offer any excuse that someone else caused the fumble.

    By taking the blame, the Cards locker room solidified behind Warner’s leadership and they went on to the Super Bowl.

    What a complete opposite from RG Me.

  35. nomaneinstein 7 Cooley is good at breaking down film but stick to that. no need to bash RG3. I miss a guy named Ken Beatrice when he talked about the Redskins he only focused on what was going on the field he didn’t mention any of the stuff that happened in the lockeroom.

  36. Ryan Clark just slammed Cooley on ESPN claiming that Cooley didn’t work hard, wasn’t the first guy in the building/last to leave guy, blah blah blah.

  37. That offensive line did suck, period! Now I’m not saying that the QB doesn’t hold “some” blame, but lets be real. The line struggled last year as well, and it will continue to struggle until we get some better linemen. If you want to see how an offensive line should protect a QB check out New England’s line or the Panther’s line, Jesus!

  38. Chris Cooley is sounding like a little girl, its funny how he used the airwaves and whined and begged about an opportunity to play this year but he appears to be just as much as a drama queen as he portrays RG3 to be. Who cares who likes who, ? This team hasn’t won anything when it counts. Its sad to see guys talking about a player who is not on the team anymore but who has said nothing .
    Cooley is garbage in my view .

    The Redskins have their 18 million dollar man so lets see what they do going forward

  39. Cooley is one of the worst broadcasters on local radio, he uses personal attacks only to generate interest in his lackluster performance as a new on air BIATCH… He cried like a little BIATCH when Shanahan cut him, he whined for like a week straight this past season about wanting to play yet no one signed his sorry behind. I cannot stand a so called professional who puts down another player without that player having an opportunity to defend himself.

  40. I from the DC area and still live there so I hear and read everything Redskins related. I tell everyone when you bring in a spread option QB into the NFL he’s going to struggle because the QB position is played differently than it is in college or for that matter high school. All the skills and qualities that he should have he never learned or were taught. Reading defenses, having pocket presence, taking the correct drop on passes he never had to do before he came to the NFL. They basically ran his college offense his rookie year. The thing that everyone is overlooking is that more and more QB’s that have the same background as RG3 are coming into the league. You can count on 1 hand how many spread option QB’s have been successful in the NFL for a long period of time. Why do you think there are so many teams looking for a QB? Where are they coming from that are pro style pocket passers? RG3 is just 1 that has struggled and like I said there are many behind him that are just like him style wise.

  41. Ex Redskins Terrance Knighton “Pot Roast” disagreed with Chris Cooley he laso said many players are upset with Cooley. I believe Knighton because he was actually in the lockerroom.

  42. I must admit…I thought the comments would be full off people playing the race card…I stand corrected. I feel better knowing that a person can have an opinion of another & not be labeled racist if it’s the truth…& the truth is RG3 isn’t totally horrible, he was just expected to do much out of college.

  43. “Griffin was disliked by teammates who felt that they got the blame for offensive failings that were really Griffin’s fault.”

    In other news of similar shock value, two plus two equals four, the sun will rise in the East tomorrow morning, and cows produce milk.

    What do you expect from a guy that insisted the coaches not show tape of him making any mistakes so he wouldn’t “look bad” to the other players?

    Anyone who bashed Osi for calling him “Bob Griffin” owes Osi an apology.

  44. Why bash Cooley? He actually played with RG3, was in the locker room, and played football in the NFL. I’d say he knows what he’s talking about. Calling someone “washed up” is completely laughable. What does Cooley’s status as a retired player have to do with his ability to analyze and share insight into a locker room dynamic. Some fans think they know better than players or coaches.

    Who would you believe, a hall of fame player? These guys rarely make good analysts or even coaches. The guys with lesser talent had to work harder and study more just to make it in the league.

  45. I called Chris Cooley washed up because I don’t think he can play anymore. He was very good before he had injuries but when he came back it was painful to see. He was never a fast guy but he was able to make plays and that was gone after the knee injury IMO.

  46. Guess RG3 turned out to be what a lot of people said Cam Newton would be. I realize most of the world hates Cam, but his teammates love him. He would have teammates over at his condo near the stadium every Thursday night for a little party. The team did as well as they did this past season because they all liked each other so much and got along. it wasn’t from all of that awesome offensive talent they didn’t have.

  47. Hopefully this works out for the Redskins and RGIII. One gets rid of a distraction and the other gets a fresh start.

  48. Why does Chris Cooley get some much attention?

    Did he EVER even make a pro bowl?

    Looks like he career high for yards in a season was like 800. I know he is adored in Washington because his humor, off field charades with the cheerleader he cheated on his wife with etc. was acceptable and funny for fans while the team was struggling so much but why so much hate for RG3?

    I’m sorry the spotlight shifted to a player who actually had superior athletic skills instead of your stupid antics, and contracts that included beer etc.

    Cooley isn’t even a has been, he’s a never was.

  49. They drafted, (and started Morgan Moses at Oline once Cousins took over). Different oline should be addressed in this article.

    RG3 took more sacks but when healthy had MUCH fewer turnovers than Kirk.

    The real Kirk Cousins is who we saw in the playoffs against the Vikings. Gun shy and no pocket presence.

  50. The QB calls out the line protection as they come to scrimmage.

    That’s based upon reading the defense.

    The line, being professional block as they’re called.

    RG3 failed to call proper line calls and suffered for it. Called out teammates for his failure there.

    Kirk can read a D and knew what pro package to call and did well because of it. Didn’t call out others when it was his mistake.

    Pretty basic really.

  51. Kirk is a average QB at best short passes. Chris trying to get a job on TV as a reporter lmao. Chris you were sorry.

  52. I wonder what how Cam Newton’s receivers and linemen feel about Cam fleeing a chance to retrieve his own fumble in the 4th quarter of the SB. RGIII isn’t 1/10 the diva Cam is and RGIII has 100x the courage and heart.

  53. RG3 was fun to watch in college. College QBs can win games from the knees down. NFL QBs need to win games from the neck up. I was more surprised when he was drafted early, than I am today when he’s unemployed. Cooley is just telling the truth. You can blame the messenger if you don’t like the message, but Cooley isn’t making this stuff up. I’m not going to sit here and blame RG3. The guy should never have been drafted in the first pace. It’s easy to point the finger at Shanahan, but there are plenty of other coaches and GMs that would have drafted RG3 too. Johnny Manziel was fun to watch in college…………

  54. All that chest-thumping swagger about “This is MY team!” when RG was in his second year and starting to stink up the joint is indicative of the man’s ego. A second year rookie loudly proclaiming that the team was “HIS!” What an egomaniac! One good year, then the league figures him out and he’s toast ever since. Yeah he was injured, but with his style of “play” that’s no big surprise. Guy has a freakin’ STATUE of him at Baylor, so little wonder his ego is sky high. Hopefully, for his sake, he has been humbled by his sucky last two years and will be anxious to learn how to be an NFL QB now. If not, he’s Timmy Tebow all over again…. Funny how few Heisman QBs ever make it big in the NFL….

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