Nov 2, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) and head coach Jay Gruden on the sidelines during a timeout in the game with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 29-26. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
During his presser on Monday, head coach Jay Gruden made it evident that the franchise quarterback for the Washington Redskins is still very much to be decided.
Although he has faith in Robert Griffin III, he believes the “jury is still out on that position.” When asked by Brian Mitchell of CSNWashington.com in a video interview to clarify his remarks, Gruden said, “We can’t self-appoint [RGIII] to be the quarterback of the future.”
He iterated that Robert had a good rookie year, but he is young and needs to add quality game experience under his belt.
There are many people that will take these comments out of context. They will jump to the conclusion that the coach has lost trust in the quarterback and the relationship between the two is on the rocks – much like what people presumed of the previous head coach, Mike Shanahan.
Furthermore, these quotes will only fuel the fire of those who have thought from the beginning that Gruden does not believe Griffin can fit into his system.
Remarks like these from Gruden are something this franchise desperately needs. It needs a voice of reason.
“We can’t self-appoint [RGIII] to be the quarterback of the future.”
Everyone was quick to crown RGIII a king around this town after his rookie season. To be honest, I was one of those guys. When you watch a franchise cycle through quarterbacks like a pair of underwear for two decades and a guy puts on a performance like Griffin did two years ago, you cannot help but cling to the feeling and hold onto it for dear life.
That being said, there is no debating Robert Griffin III took the NFL by storm in 2012. None.
However, in this league, one year of success does not solidify your job or your career. You must prove yourself year in and year out. More importantly, you must show progress especially in the early years of your career. This is the point that the coach is getting at.
Gruden wants to see Griffin show steps in the right direction; steps that lead to the becoming of a franchise quarterback. Things like good decision making, going through progressions, finding the open guy when he is there are some of the obvious things that come to mind.
Most importantly, LEADING a team to victory when the opportunity presents itself is what the coach wants to see. If RGIII can show he is capable of these things over the next seven games of the season, he will have no problem claiming and retaining the role as the franchise’s quarterback of the future.
Gruden believes he can. It is up to Griffin to prove it to him.