On Sunday, NFL Network reported that Robert Griffin III asked the Redskins not to show any of his bad plays during team meetings. If there's any truth to that (and Washington said there isn't), film sessions are going to be short this week.
Griffin was bruised and battered and busted up and down the field last night, not to mention kicked in the jimmy-johns. In a lifeless 27-6 loss to San Francisco, Griffin was sacked four times, hit seven, and tackled on six short runs. "I don't know how many I took," Griffin said, and it's entirely conceivable that he lost count.
Take away the two 60-plus yard drives to start the second quarter that ended in field goals, and the Redskins averaged 4.4 yards and four plays per drive. (Take away the five-play drive that resulted in an interception, and that average drops to 2.3.) Futility like that requires a team effort, and there's plenty of blame to go around—the league's worst offensive line, the lack of a real No. 1 receiver, some truly bizarre play-calling, like a handoff to Roy Helu up the gut on fourth-and-two—but for better or worse, Washington has cast its lot with Griffin, and he's the poster boy for the Skins' troubles.
Griffin didn't look like a QB in a sophomore slump. Against an elite 49ers defense, he looked like a rookie overcome by the speed of the game. He second-guessed and psyched himself out, calling audibles or clearly considering it on numerous plays, convinced the Niners knew what was coming. And at least one defender on the other side of the ball says Griffin needs some time off.
"He's obviously a man and he makes his own decisions, but I personally don't feel he should be playing right now," Ahmad Brooks said.
"I don't think he should be playing," he said again. "You can see it. Everybody can see it, everybody can see it."
We've been down this road before. Unless Griffin's hurting—and given all the shots he took last night, he seems as durable as before his injury—there's nothing to be gained from benching him and everything to lose. He's still just 23, and if not for Washington's unlikely sprint to the playoffs last season, he'd be getting graded on a learning curve. Maybe the improvement's not there, and that's troubling, but he's not going to get better watching from the sidelines. Maybe it'll take a few crappy years—this is a crappy team around Griffin—for him to figure out the league, or for Washington to figure out exactly what they've got with him. But for a team that hasn't won anything in a couple of decades, patience and a true rebuild are necessary.
Patience is in short supply among the fans. Everything you need to know about the game you can learn from Papa John's. Via DC Sports Bog: