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Redskins Griffin among NFL’s most influential but should he be?

Jul 20, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT


It’s the time of the year for rankings and we’ve seen how one analyst ranks Robert Griffin III among the 32 NFL starting quarterbacks (spoiler: it couldn’t be much worse). But because Griffin has been so good and so bad during his brief NFL career, he is among the most influential players in the NFL, according to the same website that ranked him poorly among the starting QB’s.

The list is the MMQB 100, compiled by Peter King and his staff. The introduction to the list doesn’t give a firm definition of “influential” but it does say that they are emphasizing influence on the field over off-field concerns. Therefore Tom Brady is No. 1 while commissioner Rodger Goodell is No. 2. The list is a mix of players, coaches, front office types, league executives, and others around the game.

Griffin checks in at No. 28 on the list, just ahead of NFL vice president Eric Grubman and just behind Saints QB Drew Brees. In explaining the ranking, Andy Benoit (yes, the same writer that did the QB ranking, says that it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider the Redskins offense to be “loaded”. He notes the upgrade on the offensive line with Brandon Scherff, quality at running back in Alfred Morris and intriguing rookie Matt Jones, and top-shelf pass catchers in DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and, if healthy, Jordan Reed. How productive they are will likely come down to the effectiveness of the guy pulling the trigger.

“The only real question is at quarterback,” writes Beniot. “Robert Griffin III is so badly lagging in his mechanics and understanding of defenses that the question isn’t how well Griffin will fare, but rather whether or not he’ll retain his starting job at all. If Griffin doesn’t keep the job this season, his once-promising career could be headed down the Tarvaris Jackson track, making coaches and GMs rethink the proposition of drafting a run-oriented quarterback.”

First, although it’s slightly off topic, let me address the Jackson comparison. Jackson never had a season remotely resembling Griffin’s 2012 season. In fact, Jackson’s career numbers in completion percentage, interception percentage, passer rating, and average net yards per attempt are worse than Griffin’s were last year, a performance that has everyone wondering about his future. So comparing Jackson to Griffin is not very credible.

Back to the topic at hand, Griffin could be highly influential in the team’s success but it’s possible that the less influential he is the better off the team will be. It seems that the team used a lot of resources this offseason to making the team less reliant on the quarterback to win games. With considerable free agent dollars going to attempt to upgrade the defense and the efforts to improve the running game, it seems that the Redskins would like to be able to win games when the quarterback play is uneven.

No doubt, if the defense gets better, the running game improves, and Griffin reverts to something close to 2012 form, the Redskins could have a good season. That’s why he is No. 28 on the list. But no matter where you rank Griffin, I don’t think that he should rank ahead of another member of the Redskins organization who is not on the list at all.

That would be new general manager Scot McCloughan, the man responsible for the personnel moves and a draft that possibly added some solid pieces for the future. The defense clearly will have his stamp on it, with three of the four secondary starters coming in under his watch as well at two thirds on the defensive line. If the Redskins do turn it around, McCloughan will be the man most responsible.

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 20, 2015 at 1:16 PM

    Always. Be. Marketing.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 20, 2015 at 1:30 PM

      On a more serious note: Griffin will never again have the form he had in 2012. He was a very fast read-option QB with amazing cuts.

      1. He might have that speed back (don’t know), but after what’s happened to his knee and ankle, I’m sure he won’t make cuts like that again.

      2. He’s not running the read option anymore. And whether the Skins want him to or not, the league changed the rules. Pocket QBs get maximum protection from big hits. Run the read option and you get zero. So D’s just hit the QB as hard as they can, whether he hands off or not.

      3. So he could have a better season than 2012, but that depends on RGIII doing exactly what Benoit said: Developing some pocket awareness and improving at reading defenses.

      • brucefan1 - Jul 20, 2015 at 2:04 PM

        Hmmm…I always have a little trouble with fans making “absolute” predictions without actually seeing more evidence if they will actually be born out on the field.

        To say one is SURE Griffin “won’t make those cuts again” or that “he is not running the read-option again” seem awful premature to my mind.

        Are these predictions possible? Sure.

        Probable? Not so much, especially in light of all the talk we’ve been hearing this off-season of trying to recapture some of what made Griffin so effective in ’12.

        Now, is all THAT talk a smokescreen to coverup the team’s desperation to turn him into a straight drop-back QB? Maybe. But personally I’m gonna wait till how I see how things pan out before I pass judgment.

        I dunno…I guess I’m just not into making absolute predictions! That’s just me.

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 20, 2015 at 3:29 PM

          I’ll stay tuned for your predictions about 2014.



        • brucefan1 - Jul 20, 2015 at 6:29 PM

          Sorry….ain’t making no half-baked predictions about nothing, thunder. I’ll leave activities that tend to make one look foolish those who seem to be glad to appear so! ;^}

          By the way, did you miss the part where Rapoport says, “rather than run read-option plays ALL THE TIME”? Kinda falls short of your pronouncement that Griffin is “not running the read-option AGAIN”.

          Predict away, oh prescient ones! LOL

        • Skulb - Jul 20, 2015 at 8:55 PM

          Hey man, don`t knock precog fan-medical analysis! It`s always 100% accurate!

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 20, 2015 at 11:47 PM

          Thanks for reminding me why commenting on the internet is a waste of time, Brucefan1.

          ;-) lol! :) etc.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - Jul 21, 2015 at 9:13 AM

          Lets see a Quote from the actual person for once instead of a media personality looking for ratings,likes,followers, or readers.

  2. abanig - Jul 20, 2015 at 1:47 PM

    Whether he is or isn’t doesn’t matter. This is a non-story. A lot of people across the country – particular in the DC are & around Baylor – still hold Griffin in high regard and they should.

    He helped take Baylor from nothing to a good arguably great sports school because of the things he did in college.

    He was the first redskins qb to lead the team to a home playoff game and a division championship in 13 years.

    No matter that injuries have hurt his career the past two years, the previous two paragraphs still mean something to a lot of people.

  3. xskulldog - Jul 20, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    Relax everyone :)…Agreed, this is a non story. The really good news is that Danny boy Snyder did not make the list. On the debate about RGIII and his running ability, who cares…RGIII cannot do it by himself. NFL Football is a team game. It appears that the front office is finally building via the draft and Free Agency instead of drafting for one hit wonders.

    We need to keep getting better players in the draft and free agency, keep quality coaches and support staff, and keep Danny boy Snyder out of the headlines, and we’ll be okay. HTTR!

  4. berniebernard666 - Jul 20, 2015 at 6:14 PM

    I am already looking forward to next year regardless of what happens. Because either Robert Griffin will be long gone and no longer be here creating controversy and internal tension with the coaching staff and players OR….OR…he will finally get back on track and lead the Skins to the playoffs. It’s one or the other….for sure.

    Winning solves problems. Losing creates them It’s that simple.

  5. gonavybeatarmy - Jul 20, 2015 at 8:08 PM


  6. Skulb - Jul 20, 2015 at 8:52 PM

    It`s the shoe commercials I tells ya!

  7. redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2015 at 3:53 PM

    After reviewing the stats from Rich’s link, I have to say it is very impressive to see AM with that many hits behind yet second best in yards carried after hit. Give credit where credit and do because AM got the most out of those scenarios.

    Also listening to Beniot commenting on RG3 is like listening to my nephew except my nephew is actually older. The guy is not even 30 yet. Archives

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