No team has been as disappointing and heartbreaking as the Browns have been in recent years, and no quarterback has ever taken a faster fall from grace than Robert Griffin III, the former No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft by Washington.
Now Griffin III and the Browns are joined together, thanks to a new two-year contract, and the outlook can’t help but be better. There is no where else to go but up for everyone involved.
Griffin’s career started brilliantly, leading Washington to the playoffs in his rookie season, while passing for 20 touchdowns, only five interceptions, and a QBR of 102. However, a string of injuries, clashes of philosophies with coaches, and probably a lot of other things that we will never really know, led to Griffin’s fall from grace with the team.
He spent all of last season watching Kirk Cousins emerged as the starting quarterback, and leading the team to the playoffs. Griffin III did not play one down in the regular season. Actually, he didn’t even suit up.
Nonetheless, the Browns are getting a quarterback who in three seasons threw 40 touchdowns, 23 interceptions, and completed 63 percent of his passes. Not only that, Griffin III should be coming to Cleveland healthy, fresh from a season off, and hungry to prove that he is an upper echelon quarterback in the National Football League.
And considering how poor the quarterback position in Cleveland has been in recent years, Griffin’s number’s are already stellar.
Many of the problems that have taken place in Cleveland began with the quarterback position. There is an extraordinary long list of quarterbacks who have come to Cleveland, only to falter. Most recently Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden, Josh McCown and Johnny Manziel have failed.
Manziel in particular was an epic failure. The Browns soon learned after drafting Manziel in the first round (22nd overall) in 2014 that he had the maturity level of a freshman, a high school freshman at that.
Sadly, Johnny Football discovered he couldn’t just run around and make plays like he did at Texas A&M, he was unwilling to work hard, study, and be a professional. The only thing he perfected in Cleveland was partying and acting a fool.
By getting rid of Manziel and bringing in Griffin III, the Browns are already upgraded at the position. In his very worst moments in Washington, Griffin III is a far superior to anything Manziel did in Cleveland.
What I hope Griffin III will do is just come to town and go to work. I also hope he will lose the RGIII persona. He should leave everything from that disappointing time in the Nation’s Capital, and start anew in Cleveland. He has a tremendous opportunity in front of him.
Hue Jackson, the Brown’s new head coach, will be perfect mentor for Griffin III as he looks to reignite his career. Jackson is smart, thoughtful, communicator. He got to see Griffin III work out recently, and Jackson loved what he saw. “The Earth moved beneath my feet,” Jackson reportedly said.
Griffin III may not have the superb athleticism he once had, and that might be a good thing. I say that because he wasn’t going to make a living running the football in the NFL, at least not for long. If you play the quarterback position in the NFL at some point and time you have to make plays from the pocket. Here is hoping that Robert Griffin III finds a home in Cleveland.