LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The lofty expectations of the defending NFC East Champions heading into this season have long faded, replaced by the disappointment of a team five games below .500 with five still to play.
Much of the criticism surrounding the Washington Redskins continues to be directed at Robert Griffin III who turned in one of the worst performances of his young career during Monday’s embarrassing loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Last week, the quarterback was publicly criticized by receiver Santana Moss for not stepping up to take ownership of at least one poor decision on the field against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“As a leader, you understand that if you’re involved in the situation, whether you’re the receiver, the quarterback, the guys making the tackle, whoever — regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to, at some point, stand up and say me or I,” Moss told 106.7 The Fan last week.
On Sunday, the NFL Network reported Griffin had asked the coaching staff not to show his poor plays during team film review sessions. That report was quickly debunked by head coach Mike Shanahan and later by Griffin, himself.
And while the allegations are unfounded, Griffin’s leadership abilities have been questioned at other points during the season.
Following Monday’s drubbing, Moss was asked whether Griffin still had the support of the locker room.
“Definitely – he never lost it,” Moss said. “We’re all in this together, and he can’t do it by himself. It’s a team sport, and that’s why we go out here and put in the work together. At the end of the day, when you get victories, you win together, and when you lose, you lose together.”
An appreciative, but flustered, Griffin said he would “go to war” with the other 10 players in the huddle any day and remained steadfast that criticisms are not impacting his ability to guide the franchise.
“You can’t let it change you. You have to be the same person 100 percent of the time,” he said. “I know I might sound down right now, or upset, but when I show up in that building tomorrow, I’ll be the same guy. Those will be the same guys I step on the field with that give me everything they have, and sometimes we come up short. At the end of the day, I’ll fight with them any day, and I think that is a quality of a leader.”