Friday, August 21, 2015

The Most Dysfunctional Team in the League, Part I

"Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III left Thursday's preseason home opener victory against the Lions after suffering a stinger and what was later confirmed to be a concussion on a play early in the second quarter. Head coach Jay Gruden said after the game that the quarterback is following concussion protocol and will get a further examination."
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a head coach be as openly hostile to a starting quarterback as Jay Gruden was toward Robert Griffin III in D.C. last year. In the final month of the season, it seemed like there was always another passive-aggressive shot being made. It was all pretty unprofessional, like a Coors Light commercial remixed with Facebook comments. And almost all the fans were on Gruden’s side! The media was just as bad. Even his teammates turned on him. Remember DeSean Jackson’s “basic people” Instagram? This was how the whole year went.

So …

This is what the most dysfunctional team in the league looks like. Drink it in. We started this week with RG3 telling a local reporter that he thinks he’s the best quarterback in the league.

Now Griffin’s been hurt for two years straight. He’s trying to change his game and adjust to his own post-injury limits, but the usual Washington dysfunction just compounds the problems. It’s all such a mess. Kirk Cousins is doing a weekly guest spot on the radio, and hosts are teasing it as a possible interview with the starting quarterback. The offensive line is a nightmare. There are no tight ends anymore, and Jackson is already hurt. Gruden’s offense wasn’t even that great in Cincinnati, with real talent, but it looks even more hopeless now. The local media is ready to tear him down for all of this, and even ex-Redskins have said as much.

So, we all just have to watch one of the most electrifying rookie quarterbacks the NFL’s ever seen get run further and further into the ground. I’m not exaggerating when I say this is one of the most depressing sports stories of my lifetime.

After false reports on the team-sponsored broadcast, preseason game no. 2 ultimately ended with a concussion that will keep Griffin out indefinitely. It should be more surprising that RG3 stayed in the game as long as he did last night — and some people are upset — but given how little Gruden seems to think of his starting quarterback, it’s par for the course. There will be no special rules for RG3 this year, and every endorsement will be more tepid than the last. If there are still people in D.C. who think Griffin is a prized asset worth protecting at all costs, they do not work for the Redskins coaching staff. If anything, it’s surprising they’re not running naked bootlegs every play to see if someone will solve this problem for them.

More information:
» Washington Post: "Jay Gruden expects Robert Griffin III to remain the starter once he returns"
» Recap vs. Cowboys, Thanksgiving 2012: "Robert Griffin III passes for 311 yards, 4 TDs"

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