WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — With the NFL Draft fast approaching, the intrigue surrounding who the Washington Redskins will select with the second overall pick has about as much suspense and guess-work as the ending to a film you’ve seen 100 times before.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter may have provided the proverbial “nail in the coffin” to any further speculation on Thursday when he reported the Indianapolis Colts have informed Andrew Luck that he will be Peyton Manning’s successor. As such, Robert Griffin III’s arrival in Washington appears to be a foregone conclusion.
But long before Schefter put out that report, RGIII to D.C. had been reported, speculated, forecasted and prognosticated time and again.
Still, there is no less excitement about the outcome. It’s the same reason we watch the same film hundred’s of times. You love the way it turns out. And Redskins fans and the organization are hoping RGIII is a box office hit.
There are some in the media, such as Kurt Warner, who aren’t predicting much for Griffin’s rookie campaign. The former Super Bowl winning quarterback believes the Redskins will go 3-13 with Griffin under center this season.
However, in an appearance on 106.7 The Fan’s LaVar and Dukes Thursday afternoon, Warner’s colleague Rich Eisen poured a bit of cold water on that notion and made DeAngelo Hall’s enthusiasm for the new face of the franchise seem like small potatoes.
“We’re in April. You have no idea how good Robert Griffin III is going to be,” Eisen said.
Earlier in the day a number of scouts expressed concern over Griffin’s attitude, saying he carried himself with a sense of entitlement. Like Warner’s prediction, Eisen was quick squash any concerns over the Heisman Trophy winner’s persona.
“Scouts say this, scouts say that. Bottom line he’s going to be No. 2 overall and he’s going to be fantastic,” he said. “Everybody in the fan base is going to fall in love with him, end of story.”
During a recent autograph signing at a card show in Chantilly, event organizers expressed concern that Griffin would not be able to finish his obligations because he was taking his time and chatting with each fan who paid to have their picture taken with him or get his John Hancock.
Griffin’s arrival also sets up the franchise for years to come.
Gone too should the be suspense of whether there will be a coaching change at the end of the season.
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Griffin is going to need time to develop in the NFL. No matter how good a player is in college, there will be growing pains and a grace period is a necessity.
A revolving door of coaches or a coordinator carousel will prevent, or at the very least delay, Griffin from reaching his potential.
“You cannot take this kid, spend all of those draft picks for him and give him a new offensive coordinator anytime in the near future. You just can’t,” said Eisen. “That’s the way these kids don’t succeed. You’ve got to give him a situation and a plan and an offense that he can master at a comfort level that he’ll find himself. And you’ve got to provide that sort of bubble environment and 3-13 would hurt . . . 6-10 would hurt . . . But that’s what you have to do when you’re going to pick a kid this high.”
Rather than attempting to draft a franchise quarterback when he first took over, Shanahan traded for Donovan McNabb. The move, coupled with the headaches of Albert Haynesworth, got his tenure in D.C. off to a rough start.
Last season, the Rex Grossman and John Beck experiment didn’t yield the results the team was looking for. In previous regimes such outcomes would likely have signaled the changing of the guard.
But this time it’s different. The reset button has not been pushed and a coach is being given room to develop his team. Rather than continuing the “win now” mentality, Shanahan and Bruce Allen are setting up the franchise for success for years to come. And that’s the most exciting fact of all.
“I would counsel them to just keep it together,” Eisen urged. “Don’t change offensive coordinators on this kid like Jason Campbell had to deal with. Like Alex Smith had to deal with. Just let him stay put and see what can happen with him. . . Leave the Shanahans there and let him master this offense and saddle him up and see what you can do.”
Are you excited about the Redskins this season? Leave a comment and let us know how you think the team will do.