Griffin’s departure from starting lineup could be temporary

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When the decision to start quarterback Colt McCoy was coupled with a suggestion that Robert Griffin III remained part of Washington’s long-term plans, plenty scoffed.  How, after all, can the team bench Griffin for the second time in less than a year and then embrace him all over again?

Apparently, they can.  Quite possibly, they will.

Griffin’s absence from the starting lineup could be as short as one week, and it could last until the start of next season.  Either way, the plan is to try to get Griffin back to being the player he was in 2012, when he took the league by storm (and kept defenses off balance) with a perfect mixture of accurate passing and explosive running ability.

The organization understands that Griffin has encountered a significant amount of adversity, most of which was beyond his control.  Weeks before he arrived, the NFL robbed the team of $36 million in cap space for treating the uncapped year of 2010 as, you know, uncapped.  And the draft picks given up to get Griffin made it harder to put high-level young talent around him.

Throw in the torn ACL, last year’s Shanahan-driven dysfunction, and a dislocated ankle that derailed his ability to learn coach Jay Gruden’s offense, and Griffin’s failure to develop into one of the best quarterbacks in the game becomes far more understandable.

It doesn’t mean Griffin is destined to return to what he was in 2012.  But the organization isn’t ready to give up on him.

In that regard, the organization includes coach Jay Gruden.  While his words suggest that Gruden is waging a battle to bench Griffin for good, the team believes Gruden wants Griffin to get better — and that Gruden is opting for candor instead of coddling as he tries to coax the most out of Griffin over the long haul.

By the start of the 2015 season, Washington’s roster could look a lot different.  Considerable dollars will be spent in free agency.  The first-round draft pick won’t belong to the Rams.  And some of the players who have kept the team from being successful will be gone.

Despite the current feeding frenzy fueled by common sense and conventional wisdom that Griffin will be among the former members of the team by next season, the plan really is to keep him around.  Surprisingly, that doesn’t seem to be a ploy to salvage his trade value.

75 responses to “Griffin’s departure from starting lineup could be temporary

  1. Thats all a smoke screen to drum up interest for a trade. RG will not be with the Redskins next year.

  2. He’s a bum!

    Heishman Trophy winner, ROY, QB in the NFL, Still young and learning, Millionaire, Married, faith in God. Yeap, that’s sure sounds like a bum….

  3. They sure didn’t want him trying to go against Luck on Sunday. That would just be throwing salt on the wounds. But dumb@$$ Skip Bayless would still take RGMe over Luck. Why does he have a show?

  4. Trying to pump up his trade value by saying, “We’re not desperate to trade him, he has a future here.” I don’t think anyone is buying that. RG3 can be had on the cheap.

  5. I’m calling BS on this……Robert Griffin is not that good and the only thing is has proven he can do is to throw his teammates under the bus and get coaches fired.

  6. “Shanahan driven dysfunction”………. I’m no fan of Shanahan but this season proves it was Griffin-Driven Dysfunction. How’s RG3 getting the benefit of the doubt here? The guys a brat.

  7. If they can get anything better than a 3rd rounder for him, he’s gone. Otherwise I’ll buy most of what you’re saying. This team was just as defunctional when he was a rookie, he was just a better QB back then.

  8. We’ve seen what Griffin can do when he’s 100% healthy, he’s one of the best.

    His problem is that he’s an arrogant POS. The man took a worthless team to a division win and the playoffs in his rookie year. McCoy will never achieve that, nor will Cousins.

  9. Umm, the NFL didn’t rob the team of $36M, that was all their own doing. That’s what happens when you don’t play by the rules. Just ask the cowboys.

  10. Alex Smith was awful for many years and now people are saying how effective he is. Would not give up to quick on griffin.

  11. it only makes sense to not give up on this guy… the team is not that good anyway… let him sit work on fundamentals, get his confidence back, build the team in the draft/FA. Come back next year a little more mature and keep building…

    besides, I need to get full value/wear on my #10 jersey – lol


    making a comeback since 1991!

  12. The Redskins sound like a smoker trying to quit. Tough to do but they know it would be better if they could actually stop the repetitive cycle.

    RG3’s best asset was his quickness/agility and that has been severely hampered by injuries that have also limited his experience and ability to progress. His first few games set his bar and they keep hoping he can get back to that level and improve. He hasn’t and likely won’t but that potential and the occasional highlights are enough to warrant trying. When it all boils down, you get Mike Vick 2.0 and that simply isn’t good enough. RG3 and Vick are/were good athletes when the teams needed them to be good quarterbacks.

  13. Tired of this bs about cap space. They signed Pierre Garconne to a big money deal. They wasted millions on deangelo hall etc. they deserved everything they got in cap penalties and the players union signed off on it.

  14. Tough call…you can trade him for a rd 4 in ’15 or start him for a top 3 overall in ’16.

  15. 7th rd picks for Bob and Kurt, McCoy and draft pick in camp battle for #1 with a veteran 3rd QB like Matt Cassel.

  16. Sounds to me like Gruden is doing his job: coach the TEAM. Even at this level, desire has to be inspired. Just showing up won’t get it done. A foot in the a$$ may be just what RGIII needs to get focus. That, or it’s time to get going… out the door.

  17. Most NFL teams are smart enough not to buy this. They are trying to increase his trade value. The only problem is teams have seen enough of him already to know what his value is…Scout team, third string QB for league minimum. If anybody really wanted him to try to develop him they will just call the bluff and wait until this off season when the team has to pay him $18 million for 2016 or cut bait.

    If I am incorrect and the team actually puts him back in the lineup then they have outdone themselves and this laughing stock will reach a new level. Not that they aren’t a big enough joke now.

  18. My question is who thought otherwise? Like I’ve said several times on this topic, they signed up for this like anyone who takes one of those spread QBs so highly. The team that selects Mariota in next spring’s draft will probably be having this same conversation 3 or 4 years from now. There are no Andrew Lucks or John Elways in next spring’s draft, so the best thing to do is to keep teaching him what Briles’ system did not send him to the NFL knowing and hope you can mesh it with his physical attributes. It’s all up to Griffin to understand how much he doesn’t know and get better at this point. The tools are there to work with but it will be a rigorous process, as anyone could imagine trying to teach someone the basics of drop back QB play this late in the game. Blame the selfish college coaches.

    However, I notice that I’ve heard for years “just give Sam Bradford a chance,” and he’s shown absolutely nothing to validate such optimism in the meantime, so I find it curious the public has such a different approach on a younger player with a higher up side.

  19. I thought that if they optioned him for next year it’s something crazy like 15 mil. I don’t see that happening. I also don’t see a new contract coming down the pike either.

    I see RG3 promoting Philly Cheesesteak subs @ Subway this off season.

    Good luck Philly

  20. They’re probably hoping this benching will be like a cold bucket of water in the face and wake the guy up.

    Unfortunately Griffin’s ego is so fragile I doubt it will work.

  21. I like Colt McCoy and he’s the only Redskins quarterback this year who didn’t deserve to lose his starting opportunity based on his play. That said, our O-line cannot for the life of them manage to pass protect. Our receivers, other than DJax, don’t consistently catch balls that are thrown directly into their hands. Everybody on the team seems to take turn fumbling. This isn’t just an RG3 issue. And Colt is going to face some of the same challenges that RG3 faced. You can’t throw a long bomb in 2.3 seconds with none of the receivers even turned around yet.

  22. The only team dysfunctional enough to fall for this smokescreen is the Jets. Maybe, from zero, Washington gets [i]two[/i] early first-round picks next year!

  23. Where does this going to Philly nonsense come from. Philadelphia has 4 QBs better than this guy right now.

  24. Didn’t Shanahan (before he got fired) bench RG III for the final few games last season, saying it would be the best thing for Robert in the long run?

    Guess that didn’t work.

  25. What a hot mess…..Gruden is an idiot, and yet again (and again, and again, etc), we run into the same problem, a coach trying to force his team to adopt to HIS ways, versus what the team is currently built for. Coaches need to either adapt to their team, and what they can currently do, or, spend 5 years rebuilding the team. It would seem adapting would be a safer, and better way to go. It’s so frustrating to watch NFL teams/coaches try and win.

  26. Why not just let the guy do what he does well? If he gets hurt, he gets hurt. Every time they try to convert one of these read option guys, it seems to fail. See Niners. See Tebow. They should draft another read option guy or maybe two, and use them until they go down. He is never going to be Andrew Luck. But he maybe could be Fran Tarkington or Bobby Douglas.

  27. Like you pointed out earlier, Chris Cooley has taken apart RG3’s recent work. He’s playing scared.

    In reality, the lack of a decent offensive line is only part of the problem.

    But I’d lay money it’s a big feature in RG3’s head.

    Get the man some protection! Skins fans have been saying this for YEARS! Invest in the offensive line!

  28. Griffin has regressed rather than progressed and developed not because of the tissue (or lack thereof) in his knees, but rather because of the tissue (or lack thereof) between his ears.

  29. It would be awesome if he got it together and became great. Another great QB can’t hurt the league.
    However, he’s going to have to admit he’s bad before he can become good. I’m not sure he’s got that in him.

  30. I know Mccoy gives them the best chance to win and Gruden needs to win games. But the best move for long term of the franchise, let RG3 start and see how good he can play. No win situation.

  31. Really wish the various media outlets could get their stories right. Are they dumping Griffin or are they making him a starter in 2015? Guys can’t wait to be the first to report something, regardless if there’s any validity.

  32. In spite of seeing this movie over and over, I continue to marvel at the seemingly endless progression of NFL “chosen” players that have the keys & crowns of their kingdoms handed to them. Yet seemingly have absolutely no realization of their situation or vision beyond the here and now, and ultimately realize far too late that they’ve squandered their royal appointments in their infancy.

    Robert could’ve easily been the franchise QB for years and years and years if he hadn’t chosen ego and power plays over the simple, but real dedication to being the best QB he can possibly be.

    How he could not have seen the obvious coming. Then again, extreme ego can cause complete blindness I suppose. Waiting for the next movie to begin… sadly, it probably wont’ be a long wait.

  33. shanahan-driven dysfunction? you mean rg3-driven, right? are you not paying attention to history repeating itself this year with gruden?

  34. “He’s a significant part of the team’s long-term plan because the long-term plan is to trade him for draft picks who will become part of the long-term plan.” – Mike Florio, 2 days ago. Hedging your bets there, Mikey?

  35. Correction: when he took the league by storm with a mixture of an extremely run heavy offense (including both qb and rbs) and play action passes that allowed Griffin to focus on one receiver and not have to really read the opposing defense. When did RGIII’s game go down in flames? In order to try and keep RGIII from getting killed, they had to try and transition him to more of a pocket passer. When they did that, it turned out that he has a serious deficiency when it comes to reading defenses, and he’s not all that great at going though his progressions either. They can’t simply go back to what he did as a rookie. Opposing defenses have enough game tape on him now that they have adapted to the point that, even when the Redskins tried to fall back to what he did as a rookie, that didn’t work all that well either.

    I have no real dog in this hunt, but I’m still getting tired of people making excuses for this guy. It’s either (well, he’s been injured) or (well, his coach won’t completely alter his offensive schemes to cater to the seemingly narrow window that is RGIII’s apparent skill set). First of all, if he keeps getting injured to the point that he can’t perform at a high level, and those injuries linger this long, you can’t count on him to be there when you need him…which means you don’t want him. Additionally, RGIII needs to be able to adapt at least as well as any other player or coach. Expecting a coach to abandon his system or ignore the skill sets of every other player on that offense simply to cater to a qb with a limited skill set is ridiculous, and it’s one of the main reasons Tebow is not currently in the league and not likely to ever make a big comeback.

    These days, people mock the notion that there was a debate about whether Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf should have been the first pick of their draft. What most don’t remember is that Leaf actually outperformed Manning in their rookie year. Once there was enough game tape on Leaf it became apparent that he only seemed comfortable throwing to one side of the field. Defenses adapted, and Leaf’s poor work ethic kept him from doing what it took to adapt to them. So, Leaf ended up as a legendary bust. Manning set a record for most INTs in a season, but he busted his butt and learned from every poor play. He adapted to the quicker, more skilled players on the pro level. As a result, Manning has become a football legend who will have a bust in the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible. It’s really starting to seem like Luck is going to have one more obvious comparison to Peyton Manning.

  36. The only reason they arent willing to say they give up on Bobby Broken Legs is because the money man Danny is only thinking about what they can get for him. They pretty much gave away the farm to get this dumpster fire, so they have to project an appearance of caring.

    If they stash him at the end of the bench the rest of this year, they might not even get a sniff. At this point, if nothing changes, he may bring a 5th or 6th round pick. Too many unknowns now. Damaged goods.

  37. RGIII, Michael Vick, Vince Young, Collin Kaepernick – all terrible QB’s after brief flashes of success based on their running. An NFL QB needs to be a passer first and a runner second, if at all – i.e., Brady, Manning and Brees have never been runners. If a good passing QB can also run, i.e., Luck and Wilson, then it is a bonus. But a team should never select a run-first QB like Mariota with the first overall pick unless he has the passing mechanics and skills for the next level, which in my opinion, he does not.

  38. “Bobby Broken Legs” ROFLMAO!!!

    ” When did RGIII’s game go down in flames? In order to try and keep RGIII from getting killed, they had to try and transition him to more of a pocket passer. When they did that, it turned out that he has a serious deficiency when it comes to reading defenses, and he’s not all that great at going though his progressions either. They can’t simply go back to what he did as a rookie. Opposing defenses have enough game tape on him now that they have adapted to the point that, even when the Redskins tried to fall back to what he did as a rookie, that didn’t work all that well either. ”

    Excellent synopsis. I think you hit the nail right on the head. Pefect!

  39. @KIR

    What does “millionaire” and “faith in God” have to do with anything? Almost everyone in the league is a millionaire, and I know lots of people with “faith in God” who can’t play football.

  40. As much as I do not support everyone judging everyone else, hey, let’s admit it, it is and has been a part of society. Majority of fans (or non-fans, for this matter) see him as an egotistical, self-absorbed individual. That may or may not be true but at the same time, it’s really hard to make a case against it considering how he’s been portrayed in the media. But that is where the responsibility of everyone else ends and griffin’s begins. He hasn’t necessarily made it hard for people to view him as they do, he’s provided tons of material.

    In any case, the way things are looking, and it is not looking good for him, unless he miraculously matures overnight and seemingly does the right thing. The skins should let him play the rest of the year, see what he can and cannot do, and decide in the offseason rather than trying something with another QB and, more than likely, getting the same result.

  41. Keep him on the team but for the minimum amount of money possible. Next season make him earn the spot based on his performance. You can’t build a franchise around RG with all his current defects. He needs a few years to learn on the bench holding a clip board. He couldn’t even beat Tampa or Minnesota for crying out loud.

  42. Stanklepoot,

    Ryan Leaf absolutely did not out perform Peyton Manning during his rookie year. What makes you think he did?
    Leaf rookie stats
    1289 passing yds, 45.3% completions, 2 passing TDs, 15 ints, 39 qb rating

    Manning rookie stats
    3739 passing yds, 56.7% completions, 26 TDs, 28 ints, 71.2 qb rating
    Additionally Manning was an all rookie first teamer.

    At no point in Leaf’s career did he ever out perform Manning.

    When you get something like that so glaringly wrong it puts the rest of your post in question.

  43. 6thsense10,

    I thought I was the only one who noticed that since he’s posted that a few times over the last few days without anyone calling him out on it. Ryan Leaf won his first two games as a starter and that’s about the extent of the time I ever remember anyone debating the choice. Leaf was never good at any point, which is why I’m curious to why some people here are comparing him to Griffin who, even though it was a lot of smoke and mirrors with the offense he ran as a rookie, has already outperformed that by a mile.

    Also, people talking about “running QBs” can’t win. That’s pretty silly too. The problem is that those running QBs predominantly come from those spread systems in college, which have no correlation to the NFL concepts taught. They can only know what someone taught them before they get to the pros, and it puts them at a disadvantage. However, a team that actually realized what they were getting (or not getting) as far as what is taught in those kinds of systems should take what the Oilers/Titans did with Steve McNair. They did not put him on the field but for limited snaps until year 4, and even then, he still was developing. Realistically, he took 6 years to develop. These new spread systems are no different in how they lack any correlation to what these players will have to run in a pro style offense. If you don’t want to wait that long, don’t take them.

  44. Didn’t anybody see the Espn breakdown of RG? Not able to read defenses??? Anybody, please receivers were wide open immediately.
    Simple reads too. And he scrambles out and throws to the back???
    When you only have 106 yards passing, because you can’t read defenses. The other team figures it out right away, and brings the house every time. If you have 300yards passing, more people are in coverage. So they don’t get torched.
    He’s not in college anymore. All this time off should have benefitted him. He came back worse.
    Redskins would have never beat Dallas with RG playing.
    Time to move on.

  45. Ill42 is onto something. If Fisher thinks RG3 is more McNair than Young he may do a conditional 2016 pick to give the team a QB and the face of the LA Rams.

  46. DISAGREE…Griffin will NOT be in Washington next year. He will likely be on another team while a QB like Sanchez or Mallett is in Washington.

  47. These bloggers crack me up.

    I can only hope the Redskins just release RG. So my cowboys can pick him up after all Jerry Jones is a big fan of RG3 and Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett are not as fickle as Dan Snyder and Jay Gruden.

    Redskins is the most fickle management in the not for long NFL.

  48. In 1987 I am sure Testaverde looked like a better pick than Steve Young. Put in the work? Young was 4-13, RG3 is 4-14 as a starter. He sat for 4 years in a new system learning behind arguably the greatest QB ever. I still take RG3 over Luck. This is a career, not judge both after every year.

  49. The move here seems to be just what the team needs at this time. RG3 has become way to much of a media icon and not a football player. We need a starting QB first. Let’s not crown him until he earns it. Year 1 was year 1…..He has more bad than good. He cannot sustain in this league as he did in year 1.

    Change or cut him.

  50. So many many anti Redskins fans want this guy to fail. It’s sad and pathetic. Sorry lil ladies but Griffin is going no where but to the top!!!!! Money…draft pics….and cap space in 2015!!!!!Redskins dynasty !!!!!#HTTR

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