The three phases of the love affair with RG3 is almost over and the future could be anything. The days of wondering what could be are over and the Prodigal one has arrived.
It is often said by the Nationals play by play man to remember where you are so you can remember where you were. The RG3 trade carries that same tone, as far back as December of 2011 Washingtonians assumed that RG3 would be in a Redskin Jersey. How can you blame them Mr. Snyder never let a player just slip through his hands. RG3 was seen as the answer and Bruce Allen had made some cap room as well to go into free agency and grab pieces to fit around the talent. Then right before free agency the Redskins where told about a hefty cap penalty. That is when the sports fans of Washington all screamed foul and the NFL made the hometown villain a likable underdog. This unified the idea of RG3 of being the future of Washington DC Football.
Once the Indianapolis Colts selected Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin the 3rd was on his way. RG3 offseason was over shadowed by the Nationals playoff run and the status of Stephen Strasburg being shut down. As soon as the game with the Saints was over RG3 ran DC it was his for the taking! The talk of the town was read option and can anyone stop RG3, even with the Redskins being 3 and 6 the sky was the limit. Then the improvable happened the team ripped off 7 wins and won the division.
There was however a grey cloud over the city of Washington, thanks to one Haloti Ngata. Ngata had a vicious hit on the franchise quarterback completely legal while he was running down the field. He came back into the game and then left with the help of other players. Even with the win the question was at what cost? The talk was that the knee was sprained and all it would need is a week or so of rest. When RG came back people questioned if he should be playing even in a playoff run. A complete change of heart compared to the shutting down of the Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. All of the nay sayers disappeared the playoffs were coming to town. This was the second time in 4 months that the city would be hosting a playoff game for a local team. It was electric! Words such as super bowl were being thrown around. Then the city of Seattle sent a gray cloud with their team, when the FedEx field took RG’s knee from him and in one moment you heard cries of the mishandling of the original knee injury.
Then RG3 was the rookie of the year, after 3200 passing yards 815 rushing yards thrown for 20 TDs and everyone was excited; it was a time to celebrate Griffins accomplishments. Shortly after that there was the all in for week one ad with RG3 and Adidas. This is when the discussion began of whether or not the idea that RG would be back by week one was realistic. Time went by and it looked as if it was more likely to happen then not to happen. Before you knew it Griffin was cleared to practice. Then there was the question of would he or wouldn’t he play in the preseason to get ready for week one. He did not play a single snap in the preseason even after a Cousins injury.
Then week one happened and it was a Monday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The atmosphere in Washington DC was insane the expectations through the roof. Chants of RG3 rained down from the crowd at FedEx Field the second number 10 hit the field. Sometime in the first half all expectations were halted as the rust was showing and the defense look overwhelmed. Then week 2 happened with the same result and the question of whether Kurt Cousins should have started the season. RG3 seemed to be struggling and the fact that he wasn’t running all over the field was being blamed on the injury. Some have even wondered if he is still the same player without the designed runs in the offense.
The reality of it all is that RG3 is “The Prodigal” because he is in charge of the most sacred thing in Washington DC the football team. It is the same reason that the owner is looked at as being a villain. If you want to be a part of the legacy built in the hallowed Hall of Fame of the Washington Redskins be prepared for the microscope that comes along with it. RG is 3 and 0 against the most important two teams the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens. If the Redskins finish 2 and 14 and the two wins are against the Cowboys he may have a new head coach, but at the end of the day the legacy of RG3 is still in the first quarter and there is plenty of time for him. On the other hand his performance and the team’s record could have a damaging effect on the Shanahan’s legacy.
Griffin is going thru the errors of become a classic pocket passer and the fact that is it’s his second year in the league. The Washington sports teams as a whole are becoming more of a target. There winning and the baseball and football teams having division titles mean something and they have to live up to what they have accomplished. All they have to do is go talk to the Capitols head man and he will tell them it is different when players expect you to be good. The Redskins just as the rest will need to step up to the new challenge. Griffins, I am the best attitude maybe the thing that eventually helps him survive the challenges of this year. In the not so distant future you may hear cheers of RG3, MVP as the city embraces him for the love of the game and the pride of a franchise. For the future pray that he is up for the challenge.