David Elfin On Sports: Trading Up The Wise Move

Give me RGIII or give me … Rex? No, scratch that. Make that almost anyone but Rex.

Station colleague Mike Wise is a fine writer, voluble talk show host and a good guy – although he, unlike LaVar Arrington and Chad Dukes, never has me on his show.

That’s probably not going to change once he reads this column ripping his piece in last week’s Washington Post where he said that the Redskins shouldn’t trade a plethora of picks to St. Louis for the right to move up four spots in next month’s draft and take Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner. Wise implied that Washington would be better off focusing on fixing other areas of concern and sticking with Rex “The Human Turnover” Grossman at quarterback?

To which I say, are you kidding, Mike? I agree, as I’ve written previously, that pursuing Peyton Manning, the Hall of Fame lock who’s almost surely going to be cut by Indianapolis this week, is foolish because he’s 36, is in risky shape and will likely clash with equally demanding coach Mike Shanahan.

Apparently, the Redskins are lukewarm about promising but barely tested Green Bay backup Matt Flynn. Jason Campbell’s not coming back here. Chad Henne? Please. And Kyle Orton was beaten out in Chicago by Grossman, for cryin’ out loud.

Since those are the cream of the free agent quarterbacks crop and Andrew Luck is all but certain to be drafted first overall and replace Manning with the Colts, Griffin is the best option for the Redskins.

I’ve been following the burgundy and gold for more than 40 years and they’ve never had a prime, young franchise quarterback unless you count 1994 seventh-rounder Gus Frerotte, who beat out Heath Shuler the No. 3 overall selection in that draft, Campbell, the 25th choice in 2005, or Patrick Ramsey, the final pick in the first round in 2002. None started more than 52games (three-plus seasons) for Washington or was in uniform for a playoff game.

The Redskins’ postseason quarterbacks have been Billy Kilmer, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Theismann, Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, Brad Johnson, Mark Brunell and Todd Collins. All but Schroeder and Rypien were with other teams for years (Theismann in the CFL) before they arrived in Washington.

While New Orleans did win the Super Bowl two years ago with former San Diego quarterback Drew Brees and Johnson prevailed with Tampa Bay after leaving Washington, the other championship passers of the last 11 seasons have been homegrown: New England’s Tom Brady (three titles); the Giants’ Eli Manning and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger (two each); and Peyton Manning and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (one each).

What’s more, Brees was the only one of the 12 quarterbacks who started a playoff game last season who wasn’t with the team that drafted him. The others were Brady, Eli Manning, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Denver’s Tim Tebow, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, Houston’s T.J. Yates and San Francisco’s Alex Smith.

Homegrown is clearly the way to go in the 21st century NFL.

Sure, Griffin didn’t run a pro-style offense at Baylor. Sure, he could prove to be a bust just as Shuler was 18 years ago. Sure, USC’s Matt Barkley, who elected to stay in school, could be even better when he’s available a year from now. Sure Washington needs a playmaking receiver, an offensive tackle who can play left and right and help at other spots that could be obtained by keeping its second- and third-rounders. And sure, Texas A&M’s Ryan Taneyhill and Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden could wind up being fine NFL quarterbacks if the Redskins opt to hold onto the No. 6 overall pick.

But after just three playoff seasons and two playoff victories during the past 19 years, it’s way past time for the Redskins to get their franchise quarterback, no matter what they have to give the Rams to top the offers from Cleveland, Miami and whomever else covets RGIII.

So there you have it, Mikes (Wise and Shanahan). Give us the kid from Baylor with the big smile (call up a photo on the Internet), wonderful mind (political science degree with a 3.67 grade-point average), fast feet (40 yards in 4.41 seconds at the combine) and strong arm (77 touchdown passes compared to just 17 interceptions). He can’t get here soon enough.

We’re tired of waiting.

David Elfin has covered sports since he was a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1975. He is the Washington representative on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is the author of the new book: “Washington Redskins: The Complete Illustrated History.” A pre-game regular on 106.7-The Fan the last two Redskins seasons, he has been its columnist since March.

  • Sean

    Very well put Mr. Elfin. Unfortunately Mike Wise enjoys diving into the psychology of sports instead of the facts and stats. His articles are all filled with a bunch speculative psychobabble.

    He constantly talks about addicts and enablers and whats best for the redskins fans feelings. This is all because he has very little actual sports knowledge outside of basketball.

    Mr. Wise, your years of therapy experience dont apply to everything. Maybe one day you can learn enough about the actual sport of football to break down things the way Paulsen and Elfin have.

  • Mike Wise

    I am hurt and mortified by the article. I have never read such trash in my life. Who does Elfin think he is, Grand Pooh-bah of all things Redskins. So he got Art Monk and Russ Grimm into the Hall of Fame by blowing away his peers who vote for the Hall of Fame. I’ve seen that room of clowns and all you need is an order of loaded nachos for every one of them. If the guy presenting Cris Carter every year would understand that, he’d already be in. Anyway, Elfin is a toad.
    I hate him.

    (And, yes, he can come on the show anytime he has a good column.)

    • David Elfin

      Thankfully, Mike doesn’t really believe the trash he wrote here. He’s too big a man for that.

  • http://losntina69.wordpress.com losntina69

    A year ago everyone talked about Andrew Luck and Cam Newton, where was all the chatter on RG3 last year? Now all of a sudden we have to sell the farm to go and get this guy, come on. If you say swap picks this year plus a 3 and a 5 thats cool you do that. But a 1,2,3 and next years 1 is a lot to ask for a guy that nobody knows what he is going to do. Kyle might have been beaten out by Rex in Chicago but since they left DA Bears Kyle has been a far better QB. Next year the chatter will be about Barkley and Landry Jones and we all will be having this conversation again. What are the chances of having two cant miss QB’s in the same draft????

  • Heezy

    Folks, Peyton Manning ain’t coming to Washington. You think a QB who calls his own plays will want to deal with an offensive coordinator who calls the head coach “Daddy”?

    RGIII is the best option here in DC. The only question is if the Skins are willing to make a deal like Ditka did for Ricky Williams in 99 (didn’t work out so well for Ditka).

    Cleveland is in the drivers’ seat with two first round picks to offer to StL in this year’s draft, so it’s gonna take AT LEAST this year’s and next year’s first round picks, plus this year’s second round pick, and possibly more. That’s a lot to ask for. Sadly, the Skins have been so bad for the last TWO DECADES, we are desperate enough to pay that unreasonably steep price for even a whiff of a top ten QB…

  • http://losntina69.wordpress.com losntina69

    Ok we have been bad for 20 years and now all of a sudden we are desperate lmao. Shanny has finally been doing what every fan has been asking for over the last 20 years. He has been building a team, the McNabb thing and the Fat Albert thing was just an error, i dont blame him for any of those things. When McNabb was signed alot of skin fans were excited, who knew he would trun out the way he did. With Fat Albert, i am sure the coach and him sat down and talked and he said all the right things and so he gave him his check. If your new to a company your going to talk to everyone and if they can sell themselves then your going to buy. But he was still able to fix that the following year, and start to build a foundation for this team. Now all of a sudden we want to be Vinny Cerrato and give away our picks??? When is the last time great QB’s went one and then two. In fact in 1998 Peyton was 1 and leaf was 2 then again in 1999 Tim Couch was 1, Mcnabb was 2 and Akili Smith 3 and last but not least the last time two QB’s were taken in the first 4 picks was in 2002 David Carr 1 and Joey Harrington 2. Now do you really want to mortgage the future on one guy???????

  • Big D

    Kyle Orton was not beaten out by Rex Grossman in Chicago .

    Orton actually beat out Grossman in 2008 when they were allowed to compete .

    When Orton was a 4th rd rookie in 2005 Grossman was a 1st rd pick in his second year who got hurt .

    Dont know where this whole Orton got beat out by Grossman biz comes from .

    • David Elfin

      That was later. Rex beat out Orton in 2006, the year the latter was the third-stringer and didn’t play while Rex started the Super Bowl.

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