What’s Next For RGIII? — Plan B

RGII Released

What a sad day for RGIII fans, worldwide. Anywhere and everywhere there are fans of this Heisman Trophy winner, they’re all taking time to pout and pine and ache and anguish over this once prime and prized QB who tore it up at Baylor, had one good year in the NFL with the Redskins, but hasn’t been able to find his way since.

Here’s the black and white, bottom line:

Robert Griffin III will be a free agent again, as the Cleveland Browns released the injury-plagued quarterback on Friday. Too bad, so sad.

The Browns gave Griffin a chance to revive his career after he was released by the Washington Redskins following the 2015 season. Cleveland named him the Week 1 starter in 2016, and he struggled in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Late in that game, Griffin broke the coracoid process in his left collarbone, an injury that sidelined him for 11 games. Though he played better in four games at the end of the season, he admitted his injury had not fully healed.

The Browns’ move comes after they traded with the Houston Texans for quarterback Brock Osweiler on Thursday, though league sources have told ESPN that Cleveland is likely to trade or release Osweiler before the 2017 season. But let’s get back to RGIII.

I’ve been a faithful fan of Robert Griffin III from the start. I’ve pulled for him and prayed for him and cheered for him and jeered at him, but it’s all because I like him. I do. Even in his arrogance and overconfidence (“I’m the best QB in the NFL” — really?),  I’ve tried to be there for him (like I could actually help him, right?) But I did try. And he did too. From where I sit, I believe he stood a chance. Unfortunately, he had hope but he did not have the help that he really needed. And so it appears that it just wasn’t meant to be.

RGIII’s story is a narrative reminiscent of another Heisman trophy winner who just couldn’t make it in the pros: Tim Tebow. Their stories are eerily similar.  They were great standup, standout QB’s in college, but this pro thing just didn’t seem to fit. Why didn’t they succeed as we – and they- had hoped and dreamed they would? Why do teams love them and then loath them? And why do we delight ourselves in their rise and yet disassociate ourselves with their fall?

It sounds like life. You have to believe, in God first, and then in yourself, regardless of who doesn’t. Now Tebow is trying out for the New York Mets. Seriously. Maybe RGIII can reinvent himself and find a path to his ultimate purpose. And the same goes for us when Plan A hits a snag and blows a tire or fizzles out or just doesn’t work out.

Because you always need a Plan B.

Why Philly Fans Are On The Wentz Wagon

carson-wentz-nfl-philadelphia-eagles-at-chicago-bears-002

The Cleveland Browns TRADED their No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to the Philadelphia Eagles, enabling the Eagles to draft Carson Wentz. THANK YOU CLEVELAND! In effect, the Browns said we don’t need some whiz kid called Carson Wentz. Ooops.  And this just in: word on the street is that the Browns fired their recruiters for this major gaff. 

As for the No. 1 Pick, the Rams, who also considered Wentz but passed on him, selected Jared Goff, allowing the Eagles to snatch Wentz. And hopefully, the rest will be history.

This week, the winless Browns will be on their third starting quarterback of this season, with rookie Cody Kessler set to follow Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown. Kessler becomes the franchise’s 26th different starter at the position since 1999. With RGII hurt (again),” an NFL truism is on its way to being reinforced: whatever the Browns think about a quarterback, believe the opposite.” So says Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

And so all of the Philly faithful owes its now promising football future to the Rams and, most importantly, to the Cleveland Browns. And don’t forget the Vikings. Yes Bradford fared well for his new team in his first game against the Packers, but I’ll take Wentz over Bradford any day.  

So why are we jumping on the Wentz Wagon?

Wentz is ahead of the curve and the pack and the field and all early expectations. If you told me that we’d be 2-0 and looking this good with a relatively unknown rookie QB a month ago, I’d‘ve told you to stop sniffing the super glue.

According to ESPN, Wentz is the fifth rookie quarterback since the merger to start and win the first two games of his team’s season, joining John Elway, Ryan Leaf, Mark Sanchez and Joe Flacco. Elway is a Hall of Famer. He and Flacco were Super Bowl MVPs. But Leaf became regarded as one of the sport’s all-time draft busts and Sanchez has not exactly been a star.

So the course of Wentz’s career has not been determined, no matter how promising the beginning has been. Yet you’d certainly rather be the Eagles, with Wentz, than the Browns, without Wentz, at this point. The Browns traded the No. 2 pick to the Eagles, apparently unconvinced of Wentz’s prospects to become an NFL franchise quarterback. Too bad. So sad.

So the next time someone passes on you and passes over you and you are picked by someone else and land somewhere else, just remember Carson Wentz. If you’re a believer and you believe in miracle finishes (and miracle starts!), just remember that God knows just how to place you and displace others so that you are situated just where you need to be to succeed and be victorious.

My Rookie Is Better Than Your Rookie!

carson-wentz-no-1-jersey

My Rookie QB Is Better Than Your Rookie QB!

That’s what Philly Fans everywhere are saying to Dallas fans right now as we witness the “Rise of the NFC East Rookies.” Carson Wentz, the Eagles 2nd Pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, led his team to a convincing 29-10 win at “The Link” in South Philly. Wentz wowed everyone who wanted to watch by throwing for 278 yards and two touchdowns in a stellar NFL debut as the Philadelphia Eagles beat Robert Griffin III and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Promoted from No. 3 quarterback to starter just eight days ago, the No. 2 overall pick from North Dakota State looked like a potential franchise player. Wentz played mistake-free football despite missing the last three preseason games with injured ribs. He finished 22 of 37 with a 101.0 passer rating. So what did Wentz have to say about opening Day?

I felt very confident,” Wentz said. “It’s a great first start.”

While Carson looked real good, at times, so did Dak. It remains to be seen which QB will excel or exceed expectations. For now, all of Philly has breathed a collective sigh of relief as we beat a beatable team AT HOME. And he only played 5 minutes in the pre-season. Go figure! But let’s not purchase NFC East Championship Banners just yet.

Meanwhile, Dak Prescott, the 8th quarterback chosen in this year’s Draft, tried to lead his team to a dramatic comeback, only to fall to the New York “Football” Giants, 20-19, in Big “D.” The Cowboys had a chance late, but they failed to get in position for a game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds. Out of timeouts, Terrance Williams needed to get out of bounds on the game’s final play. But he cut inside instead of running out of bounds and there wasn’t enough time left to spike the ball to stop the clock. What a way to end the game. So while he didn’t lose the game, he didn’t win it either.

Dak lost to a Division rival with a veteran called Eli Manning at the helm. He’s a big kid with a strong arm, just like Carson. So after one loss, it’s not time to press the panic button in Dallas yet. Dak didn’t throw a touchdown pass but he also didn’t turn it over, either. Dak will definitely need to find a way to get Dez Bryant involved going forward. Bryant was targeted five times and nearly had a highlight TD grab. But the team’s star receiver finished with only 1 catch for 8 yards. That has to change for this offense to reach its potential. Prescott finished 25 of 44 for 227 yards and a 70.9 passer rating.

So, like I said, MY rookie beat the Dallas rookie – at least for today. So while a stellar start is a good thing, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.

RGIII Is Traded to Cleveland: a.k.a., Do You Believe In Resurrections?

AP REDSKINS BROWNS FOOTBALL S FBN USA OH
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III kneels on the sideline during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. (How Ironic is this pic?)

Here’s where sports and spirituality collide. Here’s where we split hairs between what’s carnal and what’s sacred. And here’s where I can defend the combination of God and sports all day. Not only do I believe in The Resurrection, but I believe in resurrections, in sports and in life, and I hope you do too. RGIII needs a rousing, riveting, reviving resurrection right about now. And I hope he gets one.

Robert Griffin, III, a.k.a. RGIII, just got traded from the Washington Redskins to the Cleveland Browns. That’s right – the Cleveland Browns. And lest you lament that he could languish and loaf and loiter in football La La Land, a.k.a. Cleveland, he could be trade bait for the upcoming NFL Draft, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first. RGIII is headed to another team and that means he has another chance at another dream.

Despite the Browns’ well-documented history of subpar play under center, there is a sense of optimism in Ohio this spring with the arrival of new head coach Hue Jackson, who is widely known as a quarterback savant. He has extensive experience developing quarterbacks, most notably with the recent work he’s done with Andy Dalton in Cincinnati and Joe Flacco in Baltimore. And now there’s hope he can resurrect RGIII’s career as well.

I’ve blogged about my man RGIII a few times here before because I like him. I do. (https://godandsports.net/2015/09/02/another-one-bites-the-dust-a-k-a-the-rise-and-fall-of-rgiii-in-dc/https://godandsports.net/2013/11/09/dont-beat-yourself/ –  https://godandsports.net/2013/08/24/rgiii-a-life-changing-story/)  But I don’t like how he’s been treated or how he’s been cheated or how he looks defeated. So I hope that he bounces back and comes back and even storms back from way back to fare well in the dungeon and dunghill of the NFL.  

And I hope that he proves all of the doubters wrong. We all have detractors and dissenters and disparagers and disbelievers. What else is new? What we all need to do is to Diss them and decide to disappoint them. Yes he needs to be stronger in the pocket and yes he needs to learn how to get rid of the football faster and yes he needs to learn how not take a hit and yes he needs to work on a whole lot of things, but who doesn’t? Don’t we all need a resurrection?

So here’s to RGIII and to the Cleveland Browns. Because in sports, anything is possible if you just believe.

Another One Bites The Dust: A.K.A., The Rise and Fall of RGIII in WDC

griffin2

This is a sad day for Washington, D.C. sports fans. Or is it?

Yet another Washington Redskins’ quarterback has gone by the wayside; yet another ‘Skins QB has been benched; and yet another change has been made at the most important position on FED EX field. Yeash! Oy vey! Mama Mia! Ai, yai yai! (and every other emotional expression I can’t think of!)

Robert Griffin the Third, a.k.a., RGIII, came into DC and he was the talk of the town. He was loved and lauded and praised and applauded even before he stepped onto the field. He had lots and loads of pressure heaped upon him from the gun, being the Heisman Trophy winner and all, and so it was a classic, meteoric rise of epic proportions.

Yet he didn’t help himself by heaping a whole bunch of pressure on his own head on top of all that. RGIII had promise and potential and possibilities galore — it’s just that, well – it’s complicated. His career in DC has been up and down and all around. And here lately, his numbers were low and his ratings were lower, and yet in his mind he was still a wonder. And that’s the problem with most of us; we’re a wonder in our own minds. And so it’s been a classic, colossal, catastrophic fall.

And if it’s a sad day, it’s sad because, on the one hand, while we like Robert and want him to succeed, some of us saw this coming a mile away.

As we all know, the way up is down, and on the way up you had better keep your hopes up but your mouth shut, at least to the press. Being humble and acting humble are supposed to be opposite sides of the same coin. But for RGIII, his recent claim of being the best quarterback in the league didn’t help his teammates (or this fan, for that matter) support him. You can hope and wish and work and will your way to the top, but in order to get there, you’ll need help. So it’s not a good thing when you “piss off” (excuse my French) the help, a.k.a. your teammates and your fans, not to mention your coach (or multiple coaches for that matter.)

And so the only drama left is if and when the Redskins trade or release their once bright and shining star athlete. Griffin was going to lead the Redskins to the Promised Land of multiple NFC East Championships (he got one) and Super Bowl appearances, if not victories, to boot. And after his first year, there was no reason to believe that he wouldn’t. We saw the rise, and now — behold the fall.

So here’s to hoping and praying that RGIII lands on his feet on a different team in a different state with a different result. Let’s hope that RGIII goes to a team with a different scheme that can work with him and walk with him to his desired destiny. Because it would be a shame to go from Heisman Trophy winner to Heisman Trophy has-been.

And so while it may be a sad day, it’s also the first day of the rest of RGIII’s life and career.  In other words, this is a redemption story just waiting to happen.

RGIII Says He’s The Best Quarterback in the League. Seriously?

Reblogged From Chris Chase, “For The Win” – http://ftw.usatoday.com/

Jul 30, 2015; Richmond, VA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III speaks to media after the morning walkthrough on day one of training camp at the Washington Redskins Bon Secours Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-227802 ORIG FILE ID: 20150730_gav_sb4_003.jpg

“If it’s preseason it must be time for Robert Griffin III to utter meaningless quotes that are ridiculed for his complete lack of self-awareness. And (check your watch), it’s time.

Here was the Redskins quarterback, who should no longer be referred to as “RG3” because nicknames are for people who aren’t in quarterback battles with Kirk Cousins, speaking to Alex Parker of Washington’s ABC affiliate right before the ‘Skins broke camp (via DC Sports Bog):

I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that. Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be. There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But, I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III kneels on the sideline during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) ORG XMIT: OTK

So. Many. Thoughts. Let’s go in order.

  • If working hard at something every day made you the best in a given field, then Tim Tebow would have four Super Bowl rings, Jon Gruden would call games like John Madden and Chip Kelly would be a member of MENSA.
  • The reason you don’t have to “come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy” is because you play on a team where the owner undermines the head coach and may or may not decree that you are the starter.
  • As for the “best quarterback in the league” comments — I mean, fine. Without self-belief, what are we? When you’re theoretically one of the 32 best people in the world at a given profession, you don’t get there by second-guessing yourself and thinking you’re inferior. Every NFL quarterback should think he’s the best quarterback in the league, even if, in a sober assessment, they’d know they really aren’t. But the problem with Griffin isn’t that he believes this, it’s that he says it out loud after three straight years of babbling nonsense at training camp that only serves as fodder for his likely failures. He doesn’t learn his lessons. If he can’t figure this out, maybe it’s not a surprise he panics and runs every time his first option is covered.
  • And you know what? Maybe it does matter that Griffin thinks he’s the best. He said he’s the best because he works for that every day. Shouldn’t he be working to be the best? But in his head, he already is, so he’s, what, sustaining his greatness? Maybe that’s semantics, but that’s why you don’t say anything during training camp. Be boring. Be Peyton Manning. Nothing good ever came out of tweeting, late nights at clubs or being open with the press in August. Or bucket hats with drawstrings, for that matter.”
  • And so the moral of the story is this: be humble. Meekness and modesty are mannerisms that should be maintained.  It’s just like the Good Book says:

 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.   1 Corinthians 10:12

 

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Sports in Washington, DC: Up and Down and All Around

2014dcsportsWeb

The Wizards just won a First Round playoff series by sweeping the Toronto Raptors.

The Nationals are tied for last place.

The Capitals play Game 7 tonight against their arch rivals, the New York Islanders, and;

The Redskins just picked up the option on RGIII’s contract, but I’m not even going there.

US_Capitol_Building_at_Night_Washington_DC

Sports in Washington, D.C. Oh boy. Hold on tight to your dreams.   If there ever was a city that was up and down and all around, when it comes to sports, it’s the Nation’s Capital.  So much promise. So little delivery.  If it weren’t for the little matter of three Super Bowl wins for the defunct Redskins, now otherwise known as the “Deadskins” and those Vince Lombardi trophies that came along with ‘em, the city would be on a sports suicide watch. But let’s not paint such a pitiful picture.

First, the good news: The Wizards proved that they are a legitimate playoff contender.  Not only did they win a first round series, they whupped and walloped the Atlantic Division winners. It was a matchup of the 5 Seed defeating a Four Seed, but what the hey; a win, is a win, is a win. Now it’s on to the Atlanta Hawks, if and when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks.  It should be an entertaining series and one the Wizards should win.  But we’ll wait and see.

Now for the not-so-good news: The Nationals. They just lost five straight. Not good.  They were picked to not only go to the World Series, but to WIN the World Series. That’s great, except this early season slump has got a lot of the locals a little leery and loopy.  Yes it’s a long season. No this was not expected. Yes they are somewhat shorthanded. No the pundits shouldn’t panic yet. At least not yet.

As for the Capitals, where do we begin?  Scott Allen of the Washington Post says this:

You’re right to be nervous. You’re forgiven if you’re full of dread. Even if you weren’t around for the first Game 7 in Washington Capitals franchise history 28 years ago, you were around for the most recent, and probably several other of the 10 Game 7s — most of them heartbreaking — in between. Nine losses in 12 games, all scarring in their own ways.

The Capitals play their lucky 13th Game 7 on Monday against the New York Islanders, the same franchise that ended Washington’s first Game 7 at 1:58 a.m. on April 19, 1987. That history doesn’t matter to the players on the ice, of course.

But as all tried and true sports fans know, history DOES matter. And history is not on the Capitals side.  So we’re all waiting with baited breath so see what happens tonight. I’m too scared to watch!

And so it is with most of us. Sometimes we’re up and sometimes we’re down and most times we’re all around. We want to be on top and in first and at our best all of the time. But life doesn’t work that way. We are oft times frail and fragile and not always fleet and agile.  We can be flimsy and whimsy and rocky and rickety and we need help. And lots of it. Humans in general and sports fans in specific need all the help we can get.

Since we’re all up and down and all around, some depend on luck.  If it weren’t for bad sports luck, some of us wouldn’t have any sports luck at all. What’s that? We don’t believe in luck? I thought we believed in Andrew Luck? https://godandsports.net/2015/01/11/i-believe-in-luck-2-0/ OK, he’s AFC and he’s a time zone away. I get it.

I choose to depend on God.  He always comes through. Maybe not for our teams, but for us and our dreams, He does, when we trust Him.  

So take heart, Washington D .C. sports fans. The light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming trail.  I don’t think.