A new era of Redskins football was officially sworn in Thursday night with the drafting of Robert Griffin III.
Gone are the days of watching the offense sputter under the reigns of bums like Rex Grossman and the corpse of Donovan McNabb.
The 2012-13 season will no doubt be the year the Redskins win the Super— Sorry, I got carried away.
It’s hard not to get carried away though when a player like RGIII will soon be the leader of your team. He is has an illuminating personality and seems to have all of the skills of a prototypical quarterback to go along with freakish speed and athleticism.
On his great days, he looks like he could be a once-in-a-lifetime talent. On bad days, he at least makes his offense fun to watch.
That last part intrigues me most, as the Redskins offense has been so painful to watch I’ve often considered switched over to ESPN’s Sunday coverage of the Professional Bowlers Association.
But in all seriousness, I want to suggest dialing down the excitement level a little bit.
Griffin is being touted as a “sure thing,” but you know whom else people said that about? JaMarcus Russell sound familiar? Joey Harrington? Ryan Leaf?
Regardless of statistics, leadership, arm strength or accuracy, the idea of a “sure thing” when drafting quarterbacks doesn’t exist.
Andrew Luck might be as close to it as we come, but it’s because he is the prototypical quarterback — his best assets are in areas we already know are vital for success in the NFL.
Griffin, on the other hand, is different. He has bits and pieces of pure quarterbacks like Phillip Rivers, and a little of Michael Vick in him as well, but we have no prior example to use as evidence in guessing how he will do at the next level.
So while he is potentially the mystery player that could reinvent the position, he could also be a catastrophic failure.
Even if you disregard my worries because you are a run-of-the-mill Redskins fan who thinks this selection means four straight Super Bowl titles, be wary of the fact his success could be stifled by others around him.
The offensive line still needs serious work, but I’m focusing more on the coaches.
To get the best out of him, head coach Mike Shanahan will have to restructure the offense around his new star’s skill set.
This is where I have serious concern.
I may be in the minority here, but I have absolutely zero faith in Mike Shanahan. Sure, he has two Super Bowl rings. But you know what else he had? John Elway.
With Elway, I’d argue any middle schooler who’s played Madden could coach a team to that many rings.
Keep in mind: since Elway retired, Shanny has won just one playoff games in 12 seasons.
McNabb might have come across as a scorned lover when he said Griffin wouldn’t fit in with the Redskins, but I wouldn’t write him off so quickly. McNabb came into the league with a similar skill set (granted, he wasn’t as talented) and had a coach in Andy Reid that helped put him in a situation where he could best use the talents he had.
Though Shanahan’s unwillingness to build around McNabb in 2010 wasn’t the reason the season was such a failure, McNabb is still a pretty reliable source for this based on experiences early in his career.
A great coach will build his system around the talent he has and Shanahan will have to do that to keep his job.
Make no mistake, if Griffin fails to become a superstar, Shanahan will be tarred and feathered and placed along side names like Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn.
I know I’m coming across as a negative Nancy, but how can I not feel this way?
My entire life has revolved around sports — and due to the unfortunate geographic location I was born, that meant growing up watching the Orioles, Nationals, Wizards Capitals and Redskins.
In other words, I’ve known nothing but disappointment my life. I could list off 100 different instances where I was built up, only to be let down, but most of you have felt the same pain I have, so I’ll keep my painful memories bottled up like every man
I want to believe RGIII will be the franchise quarterback for the D.C. area, I really do. But since my life has been nothing but unmet expectations, I won’t get my hopes up.