Photo Courtesy of Joe Glorioso
I remember back in early March when the Manning sweepstakes began. All you heard sportscasters around the nation talking about was where Peyton was going to end up. A few times the Washington Redskins were mentioned as a team who had the cap room to offer the future hall of famer a place to play out his last remaining snaps.
Then the announcement that closed that door shut forever came…
The Redskins traded a few years of 1st round picks and a few more to move up to the number 2 spot in the NFL draft. The Manning sweepstakes ended in Denver and the eye of the sports world turned again to the “off-season champion” Redskins. Andrew Luck was touted as the best QB prospect since John Elway, and was all but guaranteed to suit up for the Colts. So Redskins Nation was given an all access pass to the RGIII experiment; Could the 22 year old Heisman trophy winner handle the pressure of playing at the NFL level? Could he understand how to run an NFL offense? Could he handle the fans expectations? Could he handle the physical toll that a 16 game season takes on you?
So many questions, and no answers.
On September 9, 2012, Griffin officially became the NFL’s first starting quarterback who was born in the 1990s. In his debut Griffin opened the Redskins season by completing 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, also adding ten carries for 42 rushing yards in a thrilling 40-32 win over the Saints. He was then named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week, the first time in NFL history that a rookie quarterback has been given that honor for a debut game. It only took Robert Griffin III 60 minutes to answer every single question that had ever been asked, and the RGIII era had truly begun in Washington.
Now, after 6 weeks, 1,343 yards in the air, 379 yards on the ground and 11 total TDs this season, most people around the DMV are ready to place the crown on King Roberts head and announce that the days of darkness are officially done in Washington. However, how can we crown RGIII the savior yet, when we have no clue where the road he is leading us down is going?
The fact of the matter is that we have nothing and no one to compare him to. Michael Vick is 4 inches shorter and could only dream about having RGIII’s ability to place the ball were ever he wants. Cam Newton is more of a Donovan McNabb then anyone else, and from what we have seen this season he has the IQ of a Chipotle burrito, and has a completely unearned sense of entitlement.
So who then?
The simple answer is this — no one.
No QB who has ever laced up a pair of cleats in the NFL has RGIII’s speed in the open field. If you doubt this, ask Harrison Smith, the Vikings FS who runs a 4.58 40-yard dash or his teammate Jamarca Sanford who runs a 4.44 40-yard dash. RGIII made them look like children chasing dad on the beach, they were running full speed and Robert was just smiling looking back at them. He is the fastest QB in league history. Did I mention after 6 weeks that he has completed over 70% of his passes and has a QB rating of 100.5? He does and only 4 QBs in the league have better ratings in those categories than Griffin, and all of them have had at least 4 years in the NFL to work and get there.
So the question remains, where is Robert Griffin III taking us?
The question is almost as exciting as the answer.