Robert Griffin, we hardly knew ye.

March 20, 2012
The Washington Redskins complete a trade with the St Louis Rams to aquire the 2nd overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. With that selection, the Skins are pegged to select Robert Griffin III, current Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor University. In exchange for the pick, St. Louis received the No. 6 and No. 39 picks in 2012 and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Look here…

I, Diego Johnson, am an unabashed Redskins fan. I had been hoping the team made a deal to move up to draft Griffin (knowing that the Colts were not gonna let Andrew Luck go at any cost). He was the most electric college QB I had seen in quite a while. I figure with a couple years of seasoning, this guy could become the blueprint of what we’ve always wanted from a duel-threat QB.

Selfishly, as a DC resident, I see beyond football. I see a guy who could galvanize a city, especially the young, black males. I see someone who is a charming, media darling. Somewhat of a bamma so you didnt have to worry about him being engulfed in the city nightlife as many a young athlete has in DC. I envision this kid as our starting QB long enough that my daughter will be in high school when his career comes to a close. As of today she is 3 years old. As a fan of a QB starved franchise, it sucks not having a leader. It just does. Teams just don’t win without leaders. I am confident the nasty Redskins stench will not permeate through this guy. He will make a way.

We hope…

April 26, 2012: The Redskins draft Griffin with the No. 2 overall selection. “We want to develop him to be the face of the organization,” coach Mike Shanahan says. Exactly 100 picks later, Washington drafts Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins

YES!!!!!

Finally!!!!

Kinda weird to draft another QB that could eventually play in this league with the 4th rder but whatever, we got the kid! I, along with other Skins fans are estatic. I am more excited for the process. Griffin along with the Shanahan’s (Coach Mike and young offensive coordinator Kyle), we can watch this offense grow.

We hope…

Sept. 9, 2012: Griffin completes 73.1 percent of his passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns and runs nine times for 42 yards in a season-opening, 40-32 victory at New Orleans. He records a 139.9 passer rating, and his celebration after throwing what ends up being an 88-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Pierre Garçon — sitting on the turf, his arms and index fingers extended skyward — becomes an Internet fad known as “Griffining.”

Griffining

Man, NOBODY would have expected that!! THE READ OPTION?!?!! Without seeing it at all in preseason?!?!?! WOW!!!! Sky’s the limit for this kid!

We hope…

Oct. 7, 2012: A concussion knocks Griffin out of a game against Atlanta in the third quarter, marking the first time in his professional career he’ll leave with an injury.
Oct. 14, 2012: The signature play of Griffin’s career unfolds in the fourth quarter of a game against Minnesota when the quarterback, on a designed run, takes off down the left sideline and runs 76 yards for a touchdown. “Still on his feet, RGIII is going to out-race everybody!” Fox commentator Dick Stockton yells.

I have NEVER seen FedEx Field so electric!!! Maybe the Cowboy game in 2005 for the Divisional title but nothing like this! He’s even better than we thought. Exceeding all expectations. This may be the start of a Hall of Fame type career.

We hope…

Dec. 9, 2012: Griffin sprains the LCL in his right knee in the fourth quarter of a game against Baltimore when he tries to gain additional yards on a scramble and is hit by nose tackle Haloti Ngata. Cousins enters in relief to help the Redskins to a 31-28 overtime victory and makes his first start a week later at Cleveland, throwing for 329 yards in a 38-21 victory.

Wow, that hit looks really bad. One of many he’s taken so far in this rookie season. He looks done for the year. Kirk looks solid in relief so atleast we have a young, capable backup in case of injury. But this is Robert’s team….

We hope…

Jan. 6, 2013: With the Redskins in the playoffs for the first time in four seasons, qualifying after a seven-game winning streak helped them claim the NFC East title, Griffin re-injures his right knee and plays hurt for much of the game. Seattle recovers from a 14-0 third-quarter deficit, and midway through the fourth quarter, Griffin’s right cleat gets caught in the grass, leaving him crumpled on the ground.

Great run to make the playoffs, which concluded the most exhilarating, exciting regular season of my adult life! Watching that playoff game though, I figure that your done, atleast through 2013 and I’m fine with that. Remember, he’s going to be our QB when my daughter reaches high school. She’s 4 now by the way.  You don’t think Mike Shanahan used Griffin up like a rental car because he knew the jig was up and he would be exposed as a fraud later in the year?

We hope…

Jan. 9, 2013: James Andrews operates on Griffin’s right knee, repairing the LCL and reconstructing the ACL. He is expected to miss six to nine months.

NO FUCKING WAY HE RETUNS IN SIX TO NINE MONTHS!!!

Feb. 2, 2013: Griffin wins the Offensive Rookie of the Year award from The Associated Press after a season in which he set multiple team and league records. He finished the year having completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions while running for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.

Well deserved…

Feb. 19, 2013: Adidas, with whom Griffin has an endorsement contract, begins a marketing campaign around the quarterback, extending its “All In…” tagline with “…For Week 1.” After a furor erupts over the apparel company’s apparent disregard for Griffin’s long-term health, Griffin posts on Twitter, “Although my goal is to start Week 1, that doesn’t mean I will compromise my career to do so.”

April 15, 2013: The Redskins begin their offseason workout program, with on-field practices set to begin a month later. Griffin sits out the entire period, rehabilitating by himself on a side field with other injured players.

July 25, 2013: Griffin takes part in individual drills as training camp opens in Richmond. He gradually progresses to 7-on-7 and then 11-on-11, but is held out of playing in any of the Redskins’ four preseason games by Shanahan.

Aug. 29, 2013: Even though he said Andrews had cleared Griffin to play following an examination prior to the final preseason game at Tampa Bay, Shanahan said “there’s a couple concerns” and that a decision on Griffin’s availability for the season opener would be made the following Monday. Shanahan then relents, naming Griffin the starter for the game against Philadelphia.

Well this doesn’t sound good. I don’t care how good you are, you need reps. Not having any reps in preseason alarms me but I’m happy he’s “healthy” and ready to play. I’m sure they wouldn’t put their franchise QB out there if he wasn’t 100% ready physically or mentally right?

We hope…

Sept. 9, 2013: Eight months after undergoing surgery on his right knee,Griffin starts a nationally televised “Monday Night Football” game against Philadelphia. He does not appear to be the same player before the injury and is visibly lacking speed and confidence in his first live action since the playoff game against Seattle.

Well that’s ok right? He’s coming back from a major injury. He can play back into game shape. We aren’t worried right?

We hope…

Dec. 11, 2013: With the Redskins on a five-game losing streak, Shanahan announces Griffin will be benched for the final three games in an attempt to keep him healthy for the offseason program. Cousins starts all three games, which the Redskins lose, as Griffin is inactive.

WTF man….smh! Thats ok, man. Just get healthy for the next season. It is too much bullshit going on in the media between Griff and Shanahan, it is fucking unhealthy. Shanahan knows he’s getting canned so he is showing his natural ass and there is nothing no one can do about it.

Dec. 30, 2013: Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and several other assistant coaches are fired, one day after the Redskins conclude the season with their eighth consecutive loss, a 20-6 road defeat at the hands of the New York Giants.
Jan. 9, 2014: A year to the day after Griffin’s surgery, Jay Gruden is hired as the team’s next coach. A former quarterback, Gruden fawns overGriffin’s potential. “I’m excited to coach him, and hopefully, he’s excited to play here,” Gruden says during his introductory press conference.

Eh…whatever. Not my first choice, I wanted Mike Zimmer but this guy is supposedly a Quarterback Guru so hey, have at it champ!

We hope…

July 24, 2014: The Redskins open training camp in Richmond. Griffin, as opposed to the previous year, is fully healthy.

Sept. 14, 2014: Griffin dislocates his left ankle in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars, sidelining him for six weeks.

C’mon man….FUCK!!! He was looking solid too in the 1st quarter. If Pierre Garcon catches a 60 yard pass his stats look pretty different but whatever. Looks like he’s done, again. For the season. Maybe its a clean dislocation.

We hope…

Nov. 2, 2014: Amidst a report that he has “alienated” himself in the locker room, Griffin returns to the field against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing a fourth-quarter interception in a 29-26 loss.

Nov. 17, 2014: Asked about Griffin’s performance in a 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gruden offers a sharp public criticism of both his quarterback’s postgame comments and in-game mechanics. “It was not even close to being good enough to what we expect from that quarterback position,” Gruden says.

Nov. 26, 2014: Two days after watching Griffin throw for only 106 yards against the San Francisco 49ers, Gruden announces the quarterback will be benched Sunday, leaving Colt McCoy to start against the Indianapolis Colts.

Its not looking good for Griff here. Obviously when your head coach totally trashes you in the media as he just did, you know things aren’t going well. That Redskins Stench is permeating and I do not like it!

Dec. 7, 2014: Griffin ends up sitting just one game, replacing McCoy after he’s injured late in a 24-0 loss to the Rams. He does the same the following week in a game against the New York Giants and finishes the Redskins’ season as the starter, beating the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 16 but losing to the Dallas Cowboys in the finale.

Solid finish to another awful season I think. Maybe another full offseason of work with the Quarterback Guru, we will see the glimer of hope we witnessed just 2 years prior…

We hope…

April 27, 2015: Scot McCloughan, hired in January as the Redskins’ general manager, announces that the team will pick up Griffin’s contract option for 2016. That option, for $16.2 million, is guaranteed to Griffinonly if he cannot pass a physical once the 2015 season ends.

This makes ZERO sense….I dont get it at all but again, whatever.

Feb. 18, 2015: Gruden anoints Griffin as the Redskins’ starting quarterback during a press conference at the NFL combine — a decision he later said was made because he didn’t want questions about the quarterback competition to arise throughout the offseason.

Oh….

Aug. 20, 2015: Griffin sustains a concussion in the second quarter of a preseason loss to the Detroit Lions. At the time of the injury, he had completed just two of five passes for eight yards.

Aug. 27, 2015: Cousins is named the Redskins’ starting quarterback by Gruden — not just for the next preseason game, but for the season. “It’sKirk’s team,” Gruden famously declares.

Griff my boy, you never had a chance. Not saying you weren’t culpable for a lot of the crap that went on, but honestly, you never had the chance….

….and what I mean by chance is to be a young NFL quarterback. To learn how to play the position, to lose early, to suffer failure before success, to have a coach pick you up when you were down and coach you up so you could succeed, never having to look over your shoulder.

I now know that your time here is over. You wont even dress for 15 of the 16 games as the team miraculously wins the NFC East under the direction of Cousins. The media loves Kirk, most fans do too because they had gotten tired of everything going on around Griff. He needs a fresh start and I wish they cut him in preseason because its got to suck to watch the guy drafted with you, take your gig. I am now rooting for Griffin to play for Kansas City in 2016.

March 7, 2016: Griffin is released by the Redskins, ending his tenure with the team and freeing it of the $16.2 million payment the quarterback was due with the league year set to begin on March 9.

We hardly knew ye……Just dont go to Dallas.

We hope…

What today means

It was all possible because of them…..

Ive been through it all during my 34 years of fandom.  From the highest of highs as a youth during the 1st Joe Gibbs era to the lowest of lows as an adult.  And there have been PLENTY of lows….

Hiring a Cowboy to be the last coach in RFK Stadium (Norv Turner), the purchases of the new Over-The-Hill Gang (Henry Ellard, Mark Carrier, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Andre Reed etc), The Stadium that was supposed to be at Potomac Yards, Pepper Rodgers, Gus Ferrotte and the headbutt, Steve Spurrier, Al Saunders and the 700 page playbook, Jimmy Raye, Marvcus Patton cursing out Gus Ferrotte on the 1st game of the season vs the Giants, then watching Trent Green have a great season then leave via Free Agency, Jeff George and NUMEROUS Free Agent Busts (Albert Haynesworth, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archeleta, Jeremiah Trotter), Dumb trades (TJ Duckett, Donovan McNabb), unfufilled potential in Lavar Arrington and the ultimate low, the death of our last truly stud athlete in Sean Taylor.

 

Having said that, today marks a new beginning. A beginning that has can only occur this way for two reasons.

1) Hitting rock bottom….fans don’t want to admit it, but this team after the Jim Zorn era and the beginning of the Mike Shanahan regime, this team, franchise were a laughing stock.  It sucks being a fan of a laughing stock but we Skins fans, if we aren’t anything, we are loyal to a fault.

2) The drafting of a transcendent athlete.  Yes, Robert Griffin III is indeed a great young QB, but more than anything, as Stephen A. Smith has stated before “The Kid is BOX OFFICE!” and that matters in a city that gravitates towards positions of power.  All eyes have been on this kid since the day we traded 2 extra 1st rd picks just to have the opportunity to draft him.  After one full season, I doubt if anyone even cares that we “gave up so much” for one guy.  When you have a QB such as this, you have the opportunity to win EVERY game, when was the last time you could say that about a Redskins team? 1992 maybe?

 

The Bruce Allen/Mike Shanahan dynamic has been criticized by plenty of people for not bringing immediate results but the BEST thing they have brought to this franchise, the ending of the Face of Loserdom, Vinny Cerrato as a member of this franchise.  During his regime, Vinny basically ignored the proper protocol on how to build a team and totally disregarded how valuable a competent scouting department is to a teams future.  Mike Shanahan was interviewed recently and said that the team has cut almost 150 players in 3 years, and only ONE player is a starter on another team currently (Carlos Rogers….also Laron Landry is a starter on the Jets but whatever LOL).  That goes to show you that the General Manager before was basically worthless.  Right now there are 40 players on the roster that have 4 years or less NFL experience.  When players go down such as Brian Orakpo, when you can get contributions from a Rob Jackson, game changing plays from a Richard Crawford, solid play from a Logan Paulsen….and lastly, finding a stud RB in the 6th rd in Alfred Morris, this has become a well scouted, well coached ensemble that only had room to grow….together.

 

I cant say for sure what the future holds for the team, or if we are even the better team today vs Seattle.  I do know one thing, this is the 1st time in my adult life I can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel and that light is Ultimate Respectability for this franchise and a consistent winner where JUST winning a division title isnt the sole reason for celebration.  We should be striving to be consistent like the Patriots or Ravens where the playoffs are an afterthought to the ultimate prize and goal, the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

 

 

HAIL!

2012 Year In Review

2012 aka The Greatest Year in My Adult Sporting Fandom! LOL (I know, I know I’m a couple of days late….sue me! LOL)

With Robert Griffin III and The Redskins making the playoffs this season, people have easily forgotten how great of a season its been for ALL DC Sports fans.  Two Divisional Titles with epic performances from the young, old and obscure made this a classic year.

 

Bryce Harper

The Nationals were the best team in baseball virtually the whole 2nd half of the season (Record-wise).  The early call-up of rookie phenom (and eventual Rookie of the Year) Bryce Harper energized a fan base who early on wondered would the early success last especially with the lack of offense, injuries to Ryan Zimmerman, “Beast Mode” Michael Morse, Jesus Flores, Drew Storen and Jayson Werth (and eventually Breakout Star Ian Desmond would be lost for a month later in the season).  Davey Johnson and staff did a helluva job with the pitching staff, who was outstanding throughout the long campaign.  Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzales both made the All Star team as did the aforementioned Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper.  Ryan Zimmerman took “The Corizone Shot from God” and came back with numbers that would have made him an MVP candidate.  Our REAL MVP candidate was Adam LaRoche, who after an injury filled 2011, came back with a vengeance.  He displayed Gold Glove winning defense and Silver Slugger winning power.  He stabilized what became the biggest improvement of the team during the resurgence to respectability, the team overall defense.   The 2nd half of the season was just a joy to watch for all Nats fans and the day we clinched the Division crown was an absolute joy, one of the greatest sporting moments of my life (NEVER deleting that from the DVR!).  We didn’t go into the playoffs with our best squad with the shutdown of Strasburg and losing a couple of series going into postseason, but for me, just getting there THIS year was more than enough for me….just dont get swept LOL.  We all know what eventually happened, after Jayson Werth provided us with a DC Sports moment of the ages with the walk-off HR in the bottom of the 9th in Game 4, we eventually lost Game 5 in the bottom of the 9th off our young closer Drew Storen.  Honestly, the Cardinals played better than us throughout the series, and we walked waaaaaaaaay too many batters throughout the series that it would eventually bite us in the ass, and it did.  Regardless, The Nationals are now a major threat to win the whole thing next year (especially if we can resign LaRoche) and for years to come.  Denard Span will now man CF so Bryce Harper can become settled in at a corner outfield position along with Werth at the other.  Also coming to the team this off-season is veteran Dan Haren to become the 5th starter. If he can show us anything from his earlier years, this will be the best rotation in the league as if it wasn’t already.  Ill take Strasburg, Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detweiler (who was the best pitcher in the postseason) against any rotation in the majors today. Natitude is alive and well!

Joel Ward and teammates celebrate!

Our Capitals didnt dominate the Regular Season like we normally do, and maybe that was a good thing going into the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, finishing 7th overall in the Eastern Conference matching up with the defending Cup Champs, the Boston Bruins.  Rookie Goalie Brandon Holtby was just outstanding and Joel Ward scored a series clinching overtime goal in the 7th and deciding game.  After winning a game like that, us Caps fans thought that quite possibly the demons of Postseason’s Past could finally be exercised.  Alas they werent as we were defeated by the hated New York Rangers again in 7 games.  Coach Dale Hunter who took over in midseason after the firing of fan favorite Bruce Boudreau, declined to return for the next season and we hired (another) former Caps great in recent Hall of Famer Adam Oates to take over the reigns.  Hopefully there will be a damn season to start soon enough! LETS GET IT TOGETHER OWNERS!!!!

Not much to say about the Wizards sadly smh.  We are the worst franchise in the sport as our only two players worth a damn (John Wall and Nene) both started the season injured.  Fun Times on Fun Street!  Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton haven’t developed much at all and we have the worst record in the sport with no light at the end of the tunnel.  Thanks Ernie Grundfeld for ALL of this!

 

The Rooks!

Lastly, Our Washington Redskins.  I’m not going to write much because that’s going to go into another posting. I do want to acknowledge the fact that this team, region, fan base is re-energized.  Even if we didn’t make the playoffs this season, you could finally see that the fruits of the labor of Bruce Allen, Coach Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and most importantly, the scouting department is finally coming to fruition.   Long gone are the days where just making the playoffs was the ultimate ceiling for the team, we can now build a true contender which one day could make “just” winning divisional titles commonplace.  HAIL!

Oh, I know this posting is about DC Sports, but I’m a HUGE Kentucky Wildcats fan….and we won that chip last year….don’t get mad at Calipari, DEAL WITH IT…”Coach YOUR team!” GO BIG BLUE!