By Kevin Ross II
The Washington Redskins have no idea who they are as a football team. They have no identity, they have no purpose and it’s showing up in a nasty way in the standings.
They say the quarterback gets too much credit when the team wins, and too much blame when the team loses. But for the Redskins that saying is not an overstatement, as Robert Griffin III deserves the majority of the blame for this early season debacle.
Despite throwing for 320 yards and three second-half touchdowns, it is apparent that RG3’s late start against the Packers has fans wondering what happened to their star quarterback from last season, and who is this new signal caller?
Is Griffin now a traditional pocket passer, is he still a read-option quarterback, is he still injured? Who knows? And if RG3 could be brutally honest with you, he would admit that he’s searching for answers as well. Until the Redskins are able to figure out exactly what Griffin is, expect more of the same.
Griffin’s lack of an identity trickles down not only to the offense, but to the defense as well. It may seem a little harsh to blame the 0-2 start completely on Griffin, but sometimes the truth is harsh and it can hurt.
It’s hurtful for Redskins Nation to see Griffin as a shell of himself, and it’s hurtful for his teammates to see him like that as well. The team selected RG3 as a captain because he’s a leader and they feed off of his energy. The way that a healthy RG3 carries himself is contagious and when his swagger is through the roof it uplifts the entire roster and coaching staff.
Last season Griffin would glide around the field and do things that would have both teams in amazement. Not only did Griffin’s play cause the Redskins to win, but his demeanor played a role in that as well. Players continually spoke out saying, “In the NFL you need a quarterback to win, and we finally got our guy.” And they played like they had their guy.
This season, there’s little to celebrate about Griffin’s play or demeanor. His play is below average when it matters most, his demeanor is that of a role player. Fans became accustomed to a high-flying offense that would electrify the crowd and allow the defense to be in full attack mode playing with a lead. This season, when the defense gives up a few early scores the game already seems out of reach, as the offense is worthless.
The remedy will involve the Redskins figuring out their identity on offense. Are they a read-option team? If so then Griffin needs to read the defensive end and run on occasion. Is Griffin now just a pocket passer? If so then they should abandon the read-option because without Griffin being a threat to run, that system is pointless. Are they a power rushing team? if so then run the ball with consistency.
Whatever their identity is, they need to display it soon. Because without an identity, fans are left to wonder who the Washington Redskins are.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.