September 16, 2019

OPINION: Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III “best quarterback in the league” Comment Blown out of Proportion

After fireworks exploded over Robert Griffin III calling himself the “best quarterback in the league“, waves continued on into today with the report that the Washington Redskins PR staff would not allow the starting quarterback to speak to the media when not required to. After appealing the PR staff’s “ban”, Griffin made a short statement today regarding the matter. You can find the full statements of both the original comments and the follow up below.

“I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that. Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be. There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But, I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.”

“I’m addressing what happened yesterday with the firestorm that took off with what I said. I know what I meant. I think everyone in this circle knows what I meant. It’s unfortunate that my name is used for headlines and not the full stories. I know what I want to be and what I strive to be, and I’m not going to apologize for that.”

The bottom line is that like so many things in life, part of a quote was parsed out of context and went viral. Sure it might have been poor word choice and phrasing, but too often in today’s age do fans blow things out of proportion without knowing the full context. Even members of the media see the chances to make a headline at might give a false impression of what really happened. The same thing happened with Washington Wizards’ John Wall, on a lower level, about his comments that Reggie Jackson makes the same amount of money as he does.

For Griffin, he is a 25 year old who has probably had to grow up to quickly while facing more adversity in the past three years than most do in there entire lives. Frustration spills over at times, he clearly is tired of having to be questioned as the starting quarterback.

Griffin clearly clarified that he works hard every day to bring his statement to fruition. The former rookie of the year is also not paranoid, he made it clear to himself that he knows that there are “guys in this league that have done way more than me”.

The nice thing about all of this is the support RG3 is garnering from his #1 protector in Trent “Silverback” Williams (courtesy of CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir). After stating he was not surprised by all the media attention the statement was getting, the Pro Bowl left tackles stated:

“Just needed something to talk about. Got to nitpick. Not to ya’ll [reporters gathered around]. But you know how people are. Social media gets a hold of things, and blows everything out of proportion.”

Williams would go on to make it clear that “you don’t want to play for a guy that doesn’t have confidence in himself”. It is ok to be confident and even over-confident in your own abilities even if things do not seem to be going great, if you lose that it might just be that individual’s time to hang it up.

Similarly to Williams, head coach Jay Gruden did not see what all the big deal was. See his full statement regarding Griffin’s words being taken out of context below:

“I didn’t really make a lot out of it. You guys [media] did. I think all players want to strive to be the best and that doesn’t change. DeSean Jackson said he was uncoverable. Whether he is or not, that’s the way he feels. Robert has high goals for himself. I don’t fault anybody for having high goals for themselves. We don’t want anybody to strive to be average. The key thing that he said is that he has got to go out and prove it, and we all have got to go out and prove it.”

When asked about the subject again with the twist of his reaction, Gruden reiterated the idea that it is a whole lot of nothing.

“What was my impression? I really didn’t think a whole lot of it; I just thought it was a guy that had high hopes for himself and his performance and his career as a starting quarterback in the NFL. I think when he was drafted No. 2 out of Baylor and he came here and he had a Rookie of the Year performance, I think everybody thought he could be a top-notch quarterback in the NFL. I don’t think he’s wavered in that confidence factor. He just has to go out and prove it and stay healthy, number one, and go out and continue to play. The whole thing about great quarterbacks and the top-notch quarterbacks, they’re durable and they do it year-in and year-out and game-in and game-out. We have got to make sure we do our best to keep him healthy and he has got to do his best to perform.”

The moral of the story is that headlines are made to incite emotions in everyone. In this case many jumped straight to the conclusion that Griffin is foolish and even more incompetent of a role he has earned by having more quality tape than Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy combined. I blame the media for this because most fans do not even take the time to read articles anymore as CSN’s J. Michael correctly points out. For that reason alone, I have clearly stated my stance on the issue right there in the article’s title.

If all goes well, and yes it may be a rather large if, Griffin will silence all the critics with a strong performance to start the regular season and put the franchise back on his back like he did in 2012. Let us all take a deep breath and wait until after Week 1’s game against the Dolphins in just 27 days before making rash critical statements.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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