Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III doesn’t have time to improve. He needs to impress in Sunday’s opener against the Houston Texans, not Week 5. Here are three reasons why:
Reason No.1: Last year’s opener against Philadelphia was a disaster
Last season’s opener against the Philadelphia Eagles premiered the return of a healthy quarterback with no preseason warmup against a team with a new coach ready to torch the first team he faced.
The result was devastating.
To make matters worse, it was a Monday night game.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly shoved 53 plays down the throats of the Redskins, leading by 26 at the third quarter. They went on to win 33-27. Griffin’s contribution: He completed 30 of 49 passes for 329 yards. It should be noted 169 yards came in the fourth.
He had two interceptions, a first in his career. His run game was suspect (knee brace was still intact), running five times for 24 yards.
Reason No. 2: New coach, new eyes, perspective
Goodbye Mike Shanahan, hello Joe Gruden. Of course every Redskins fan will say, “That was then, this is now”. Fair enough, because each season is different. However, everyone remembers how hard that game was and how bad a pace it set for the rest of the season.
In his defense, RG3 had no warmup time. He wasn’t allowed to play the preseason.
While many NFL starters rarely play during that time, he needed it badly. In hindsight, he should have played Second string last season and eased his way back to the field. That didn’t happen.
On Sunday, RG3 must show Gruden it’s not going to take five games to get a rhythm going and play at a high level. Every time he doesn’t think about the decisions he makes on the field, he should look over at Cousins and think, “He could be starting right now.”
Both quarterbacks are awesome, but there can only be one.
Reason No.3: The Redskins DO have options now
No longer do the Redskins have to hear the long sigh of despair from fans watching Rex Grossman take the field. There is no “last resort” mentality at Washington. Colt McCoy and Cousins are quality quarterbacks that can learn the offense and who are accustomed to pocket passing. The only person with the learning curve is RG3. If he cannot grasp what’s needed he will be benched.
It’s an unfortunate fate, but how many chances, let alone how many coaches, should a quarterback get before you turn the finger to him? Gruden will not deal with it.