How Long Should They Play Griffin Without Improvement?

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Postby riggofan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:42 pm

Man, I loved this response in the WashPost mailbag today.

Mike Shanahan is playing Griffin because he is their franchise quarterback and ultimately gives them the best chance to win. Now, having said that, although he didn’t come out and say it at the start of the season, Shanahan knew it was possible that Griffin would encounter some struggles in the opening weeks of the season as he worked his way back into the flow. He didn’t have offseason practices or preseason games. I think the hope, however, was that the defense would have provided more support, and that the other 10 offensive players could have helped compensate for any rust Griffin experienced. But, the defense hasn’t been able to stop anyone, and the team has fallen behind early in games, and Griffin has had to pass more than anyone wanted. The plan of feeding Alfred Morris early and often while Griffin got his groove back has gone out the window because of the large deficits. Griffin has gotten better each week. Is he his old self? Not quite. Is he making improvements? Yes. His knee is structurally sound, it’s just muscle memory and mental sharpness that must be refined. Shanahan could have sat Griffin for the first four weeks of the season, but then he would have faced the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 6 divisional game without any game reps. As is evident, practice-speed reps are nothing like game-speed.

Shanahan also has done the right thing sticking with Griffin. If he’s already working on regaining his confidence, a benching would only rattle him, and possibly jeopardize the player and coach’s relationship. The crazy thing about this past week is, you take away three mistakes — the interception, the fumble and Aldrick Robinson’s drop — and the Redskins are 1-2 and headed for Oakland looking at a good shot at going into the bye with a 2-2 record. The Redskins would’ve likely scored a field goal on both of the drives that ended in turnovers, so it’s possible they could’ve actually led in the fourth quarter. And despite the interception and fumble, Washington still had a chance for the win. Say Aldrick Robinson gets his hand further under the ball by just a couple more inches and keeps it from rolling around before he did secure it. Everyone would’ve been saying, “Okay, Griffin the gangster is back. Mojo is flowing. He got the last bit of ugly out with the turnovers and then shrugged both of them off to throw a game-winning touchdown pass to stop the bleeding.” But, just a couple inches made a difference

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Postby StorminMormon86 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:46 pm

I've never been a big fan of "well if this wouldn't have happened we'd be 1-2" because it did happen and you can't erase it. But you can improve on it. I just hope we don't tank against the Raiders because 0-4 going into the bye is going to be a looooong two weeks.

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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:51 pm

I don't know where this "improvement" in RG3 is as I've seen little to no improvement in his play. I want to see him back to 100% and playing like he was last year before his injury as much as anyone else, but is it worth scrapping the entire season just to find out IF he's gonna come around this year? He may not. The season isn't over yet, and I'd hate to see the entire season wasted when we've got a backup as good as Cousins sitting on the bench. Is he good enough to get the team a SB win...probably not, but I certainly think he's good enough to get to the play-offs, which RG3 is not, not playing the way he's playing right now anyway. I'd say if RG3 isn't playing markedly better in the OAK game, then it's time to start Cousins after the bye...
Last edited by grampi on Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby StorminMormon86 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:59 pm

grampi wrote:I don't know where this "improvement" in RG3 is as I've seen little to no improvement in his play. I want to to see him back to 100% and playing like he was last year before his injury, but is it worth scrapping the entire season just to find out IF he's gonna come around this year? He may not. The season isn't over yet, and I'd hate to see the entire season wasted when we've got a backup as good as Cousins sitting on the bench. Is he good enough to get the team a SB win...probably not, but I certainly think he's good enough to get to the play-offs, which RG3 is not, not playing the way he's playing right now anyway. I'd say if RG3 isn't playing markedly better in the OAK game, then it's time to start Cousins after the bye...

I'd say you'd have to give Griffin until at least after the bye before there are legitimate calls for him to be benched.

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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:59 pm

langleyparkjoe wrote:You play RG3 until he gets injured (knock on wood), benching him isn't an option.


I disagree....you don't throw away an entire season in hopes that he'll get back to 100%...especially when we have a backup as good as Cousins is...

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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:02 pm

StorminMormon86 wrote:
grampi wrote:I don't know where this "improvement" in RG3 is as I've seen little to no improvement in his play. I want to to see him back to 100% and playing like he was last year before his injury, but is it worth scrapping the entire season just to find out IF he's gonna come around this year? He may not. The season isn't over yet, and I'd hate to see the entire season wasted when we've got a backup as good as Cousins sitting on the bench. Is he good enough to get the team a SB win...probably not, but I certainly think he's good enough to get to the play-offs, which RG3 is not, not playing the way he's playing right now anyway. I'd say if RG3 isn't playing markedly better in the OAK game, then it's time to start Cousins after the bye...

I'd say you'd have to give Griffin until at least after the bye before there are legitimate calls for him to be benched.


Nah, I think 4 games is enough to tell if RG's gonna come around this year or not...if the team gets to 0-5 or 0-6 the season is basically over at that point...right now it's still savalgable...

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Postby gregory smith » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:17 pm

Barring injury, there is zero chance Griffin takes a seat. Griffin is the quarterback and rightfully so. We saw Cousins in one full game, he played great, but so did Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb early on. If we play Cousins because of injury I have confidence in him, but there is nothing good about benching your franchise QB. However, if Griffin was one of our safeties I would be in favor of benching him.

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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:27 pm

gregory smith wrote:Barring injury, there is zero chance Griffin takes a seat. Griffin is the quarterback and rightfully so. We saw Cousins in one full game, he played great, but so did Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb early on. If we play Cousins because of injury I have confidence in him, but there is nothing good about benching your franchise QB. However, if Griffin was one of our safeties I would be in favor of benching him.


So I'm guessing your in favor of leaving RG3 in indefinitely, even if he's showing no signs of improvement (which in my opinion, he's not), and even if it costs the team the season? Sorry, I'm not willing to do that....Cousins may not be the QB of the future for this team, but RIGHT NOW, he's the best we've got....

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Postby gregory smith » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:19 pm

3rd down conversions is one area of improvement. I just don't know how you can say Cousins is the best we've got. He is probably the best backup we have. If the staff really believed that Robert Griffin was not going to be a productive quarterback in this league, if they thought "Oh My God, he can't play at this level", "we blew it", if they were totally ready to start over, give up on the investment of the trade, just throw it all out the window, then yes by all means give Kirk a shot. We are 2 years from that scenario. To bench him would mean the end of the Shanahan's and the hiring of a new coach and system etc, a total rebuild. The injury was unfortunate, yes it's a setback, but just like the cap penalty we have no choice but to stay the course and play through it. Robert Griffin is our quarterback and he's a good one. A damn good one, and I'm glad he's a Redskin. Get used to it. Kirk Cousins may very well be a great starter in this league, but not for the Washington Redskins. Robert Griffin is not going to cost us the season, he's our only hope for the season. Jim Haslett, now he might cost us the season, the John Mara penalty, that might cost us the season, and any knee-jerk reaction like benching your franchise quarterback, that would cost us more than a season.

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Postby skinsfan#33 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:21 pm

grampi wrote:
gregory smith wrote:Barring injury, there is zero chance Griffin takes a seat. Griffin is the quarterback and rightfully so. We saw Cousins in one full game, he played great, but so did Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb early on. If we play Cousins because of injury I have confidence in him, but there is nothing good about benching your franchise QB. However, if Griffin was one of our safeties I would be in favor of benching him.


So I'm guessing your in favor of leaving RG3 in indefinitely, even if he's showing no signs of improvement (which in my opinion, he's not), and even if it costs the team the season? Sorry, I'm not willing to do that....Cousins may not be the QB of the future for this team, but RIGHT NOW, he's the best we've got....


Yes, you leave RG3 in there until he improves and he has improved. If you haven't noticed the improvement you haven't been watching!

Is he back to where he was last year? It just depends on which part of the season you are talking about. No he isn't anywhere close to where he was prior to the Ngata hit, but he is better than where he was post-Ngata hit. It is just that the rest of the team isn't playing the same. Heck the rules have even changed. Had that 30 yard scramble and fumble happened last year he would have been ruled down because he gave himself up. Last year Robbinson holds onto that pass and the TD stands. Last year Hankerson comes back to the ball and RG3 throws either an incomplete pass or Hank makes the catch.

Last year O-lay-po was injured and Rob Jackson wasn't suspended and Rob makes some of those tackles that O-lay-po misses.

If you can't see the improvement in RG3 then that is a you problem, not a team problem.
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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:35 pm

skinsfan#33 wrote:
grampi wrote:
gregory smith wrote:Barring injury, there is zero chance Griffin takes a seat. Griffin is the quarterback and rightfully so. We saw Cousins in one full game, he played great, but so did Matt Flynn and Kevin Kolb early on. If we play Cousins because of injury I have confidence in him, but there is nothing good about benching your franchise QB. However, if Griffin was one of our safeties I would be in favor of benching him.


So I'm guessing your in favor of leaving RG3 in indefinitely, even if he's showing no signs of improvement (which in my opinion, he's not), and even if it costs the team the season? Sorry, I'm not willing to do that....Cousins may not be the QB of the future for this team, but RIGHT NOW, he's the best we've got....


Yes, you leave RG3 in there until he improves and he has improved. If you haven't noticed the improvement you haven't been watching!

Is he back to where he was last year? It just depends on which part of the season you are talking about. No he isn't anywhere close to where he was prior to the Ngata hit, but he is better than where he was post-Ngata hit. It is just that the rest of the team isn't playing the same. Heck the rules have even changed. Had that 30 yard scramble and fumble happened last year he would have been ruled down because he gave himself up. Last year Robbinson holds onto that pass and the TD stands. Last year Hankerson comes back to the ball and RG3 throws either an incomplete pass or Hank makes the catch.

Last year O-lay-po was injured and Rob Jackson wasn't suspended and Rob makes some of those tackles that O-lay-po misses.

If you can't see the improvement in RG3 then that is a you problem, not a team problem.


If he's improving, it's by such minute amounts that it's almost unnoticable, and he certainly isn't improving fast enough to help the team get into the win column...again I go back my original question, is it worth throwing away the entire season JUST TO FIND OUT WHETHER OR NOT RG3 is going to get back to being able to play well? I don't think it is considering how good our backup is...I'd say it might be worth it if Grossman was our backup, but Cousins is leaps and bounds better than Grossman...Cousins gives us a good chance to win these games...even with our lousy D, whereas continuing to play RG3 is just going to keep resulting in losses...

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Postby grampi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:40 pm

gregory smith wrote:I just don't know how you can say Cousins is the best we've got.


I believe I said RIGHT NOW Cousins is the best we've got, and he is. We aren't gonna win any games with RG3 gimping around the field...

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Postby gregory smith » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:53 pm

Had Aldrick not had the drop, had Hankerson come back for the ball, would you still be calling for the benching of Griffin? I think not. Even if Robert was the cause of our struggles, and he's not, benching him is a way bigger deal than trying to salvage a season. This is about the next 10 seasons. He's the quarterback until they haul him off the field like Theismann. Come on man.

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Postby riggofan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:56 pm

Let's just be honest, grampi. By "improving", you clearly mean "winning".

Seriously, RGIII ran for one yard against the Packers. He ran for 37 yards against the Lions. He completed 61% of his passes against the Eagles. He completed 64% against the Lions. The guy has thrown for 300+ yards in three consecutive games.

Its not like we have John Beck under center.

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Postby riggofan » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:58 pm

gregory smith wrote:Robert Griffin is our quarterback and he's a good one. A damn good one, and I'm glad he's a Redskin. Get used to it. Kirk Cousins may very well be a great starter in this league, but not for the Washington Redskins. Robert Griffin is not going to cost us the season, he's our only hope for the season. Jim Haslett, now he might cost us the season, the John Mara penalty, that might cost us the season, and any knee-jerk reaction like benching your franchise quarterback, that would cost us more than a season.


Great post, my man.

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