When former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb recently called out the Cowboys for giving quarterback Tony Romo a nine-figure contract, many wondered whether this meant that McNabb would criticize any quarterbacks who in his mind justify it, or whether he’d simply use his fairly new media platform to settle scores with former rivals.
McNabb, apparently, is taking the more balanced approach.
He tells Mike Wise of the Washington Post that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is doing “too much right now; it’s just too much.”
Specifically, the second overall pick in 1999 believes that propensity of the second overall pick in 2012 to find and linger in the spotlight will potentially hurt the team.
“I get some of things he’s doing to draw attention to himself: the Adidas commercials, going out and enjoying the life of a young, famous NFL quarterback. I understand RG has a lot of stuff going on,” McNabb said. “But if you’re coming off ACL surgery, you don’t need to be having a press conference at OTAs. Every week? Really? It becomes a circus, a sideshow. It takes away from the focus of what those sessions are supposed to be about: the team.”
McNabb compared the situation to the manner in which his coach in Philly handled similar situations. “One thing Andy Reid did is he never let the injured guys become the story if they were off to the side at practice,” McNabb said. “He thought it took away from the guys who were grinding and practicing every day.
“So when I look up on TV and see him up there talking all the time about how great he’s doing — or doing jumping jacks or someone else talking about his supernatural healing powers — I wonder to myself: Is this about selling tickets to the fans or what?
“I don’t blame him. They’re letting him do it. But at some point, it can be counterproductive. You can set yourself up for more criticism later.”
Criticism also can come from comments made by Griffin’s father, who recently expressed public concern that the Redskins expect Griffin III to run too much.
“His dad should have never done a one-on-one interview like that,” McNabb told Wise. “You can’t say what he said because it almost undermines his son, who has to answer all the questions about it later. Now, we all know what he said was right. But that’s something you voice behind closed doors because otherwise it creates a wedge that didn’t have to be there. No team needs those kinds of things hovering over them.”
So McNabb has offered assistance to Griffin III. And Griffin II.
“I would really like for me and my dad to sit down with he and his dad just to tell them what we went through and talk about our experiences,” McNabb said.
McNabb tried to reach out to Griffin last year, but McNabb never heard from him. In contrast, McNabb has spoken to Russsell Wilson “many times,” because as McNabb explained it, “I know what it’s like to be young, good and have the world looking at you.”
Regardless of whether McNabb is merely looking for the new generation of quarterbacks to do some NFC-championship-ring-kissing, his experiences and knowledge would be useful to any young player.
Of course, by taking his criticism of Griffin III public, the phone now may never ring. Especially given McNabb’s views on the Bed, Bath & Beyond wedding-gift controversy.
“When that happens, it just looks like rich people receiving things from the poor,” McNabb said. “I know his intention wasn’t that, but it’s the perception people take from it. It’s disrespectful. You just don’t do that.”
What you also apparently don’t do is ignore Donovan McNabb. It’ll be interesting to see whether McNabb’s decision to call Griffin III (and II) out results in a sit-down, or provokes an equally public response.