Monday night’s game wasn’t the only Week 11 contest that ended with a play from the 18 yard line. And an equally potent controversy could emerge from it, albeit belatedly.
Lost in the not-so-subtle shots fired by Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III at the coaching staff after the 24-16 loss to Philly was an effort by Griffin to lay some blame for the failed final play to his teammates.
“We had a certain concept with running and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where you get a sack there, it ends the game,” Griffin said of the final effort to score a touchdown that, with a two-point conversion, would have forced overtime. “I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go.”
On Tuesday, receiver Santana Moss took exception to Griffin’s remarks.
“As a leader, you understand that if you’re involved in the situation, whether you’re the receiver, the quarterback, the guys making the tackle, whoever. Regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to at some point, stand up and say me or I,” Moss told LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan in D.C.
“If we’re going to win games, we need to win games with our guy saying, ‘At the end of the day, I didn’t make a play,’ regardless of if it wasn’t him. And that’s how I feel. Because that’s what we’re out there to do. I’m not sitting here to tell you why it didn’t happen, or who didn’t make the play for me to make a play. If I’m the guy, that’s at the end of the day have the ball in my hand, and we’re sitting there and the game is over because of me, I didn’t do enough to make the play. I didn’t do enough to help us win. And that’s what I would do.”
The issue dusts of the pre-draft concerns about former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who drew criticism during a film session with Jon Gruden by blaming the receiver for an interception.
But Moss didn’t hesitate to indirectly criticize the team’s P.R. staff for failing to help players understand the subtle implications of their public words. (In their defense, the team’s P.R. staff has been very busy mishandling the team’s ongoing name controversy.)
“[There] should be someone who’s doing whatever they’re doing for us, when it comes down to us doing these interviews, needs to step up and talk to the guys that’s doing these interviews, to know what to say and when to say it,” Moss said. “Because I don’t feel like it’s being said enough, and it’s getting tiring.”
Moss then made his point, respectfully but clearly.
“I don’t need to be going back and forth in the media about who didn’t do this and who didn’t do what,” Moss said. “At the end of the day, I was seen with the ball in my hand last, as a quarterback I’m saying, and if it didn’t get done then I’m going to let you know it was me. Whether it was me or not. It was me. And I’m going to get better. And we’re going to get better together.”
That’s possibly the best advice anyone could give Griffin. Let’s see moving forward if he takes it to heart.