While the benching of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is news this week, it’s clear that we should have all seen it coming.
If you need any further evidence, take a look back at the scathing critique of RG3 by former tight end Chris Cooley last week.
During his radio show on the Dan Snyder-owned ESPN 980, Cooley (who has also been an outspoken advocate on nickname issues on behalf of the team) spent 24 minutes breaking down the Xs and Os after studying the film of their loss to the Buccaneers.
And the way he picked apart Griffin made it clear that there were problems, problems which were acted upon by coach Jay Gruden.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post transcribed the bulk of it, and offers visual evidence to confirm the particulars, but it’s clear the pressure for yesterday’s move was mounting.
“I can’t grade the pass game. Our quarterback does not allow a proper grading of the pass game, because there was something I’ve never seen go on on a football field before,” Cooley said. “There was a game plan initially installed, which was not run or operated in any way shape or form the way it should have been. There was a quarterback not reading the field when he should have been, there was a quarterback scrambling when he [shouldn’t have been]….
“You can’t grade anyone else around Robert because of the way Robert played.”
Cooley went chapter-and-verse through the problems Griffin had, and it was a football criticism more than the more parenthetical media/social media/personality issues that have been at play. At the end of the monologue, Cooley made it clear what other team employees were thinking as well.
“My ultimate evaluation is: he is gun-shy in the pocket,” Cooley said. “He is so so concerned about anyone putting a hand on him in the pocket, . . . he doesn’t feel what’s going on around him, he doesn’t see what’s going on down the field. He’s not capable of moving and scrambling to make a good throw, he’s inaccurate when he’s on the move, and he’s really inefficient.
“And as a player, if I were on that team — and I will promise you, all the players would feel this way, because I would feel this way, and you’re wrong to not feel this way — he will not allow you to get better as a player, the way he played in this one week.”
Again, this was a week ago, and from a guy who is personally invested in the team. And it sounds like Gruden came to the same conclusion this week, and made the ultimate change.