Robert Griffin III: A Mind And Body Not Made For The NFL


Respect is an earned commodity in the fraternity of the NFL as former offensive lineman Leon Searcy alluded to in the most recent podcast — and simply put — Robert Griffin III hasn’t held up his end of the deal to earn one iota of it from anyone; including his own teammates.

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After his most recent foot-in-the-mouth moment where Griffin claimed he was the “best quarterback in the league” to WJLA in Washington, D.C., the 25 year old signal-caller was promptly obliterated behind what appeared to be a porous offensive line against the Detroit Lions Thursday night.

Upon watching Griffin get hit repetitively, as he so often does, the trained eye/analyst couldn’t help but wonder if the offensive line was trying to send a message of humility to the fourth-year quarterback.

Aug 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

If so, it’s doubtful the message was received.

In all of sports there’s only one player who compares to Griffin in regards to shooting themselves in the foot with their own mouth (and it’s doubtful it’s a name Griffin would like to be associated with), and that’s Alex Rodriguez.

From: throwing his teammates under the bus, to being completely oblivious to his own shortcomings, to alienating himself from a locker room full of guys that are supposed to be there to support him via his own words — Griffin does appear to have the A-Rod syndrome — but even takes it to another level; as Rodriguez’s teammates are still behind him to this day.

Griffin can’t even make that claim.

If the NFL Draft has taught us anything about quarterbacks being selected at the top of the first-round, it’s this: if two are taken, usually only one pans out (see Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf — among others).

Leaf had all of the tools on paper. In fact, he out-graded Manning in a lot of respects.

The same could be said about Griffin over Andrew Luck in that (going into the 2012 draft) he was: faster, had a bigger arm and was the more explosive athlete. That said, there’s more to being an NFL quarterback than what’s on paper: much more.

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Griffin has taken more big hits than any quarterback over his first three seasons, apart from perhaps the aforementioned Luck, who’s been behind an atrocious offensive line himself.

However, Griffin is simply ill-built to be able to endure said hits, while Luck is an absolute tank in the pocket.

Upon further evaluation, Griffin is not built like an NFL quarterback needs to be, in fact, he puts one in mind of a wide receiver due to his overall slight frame, narrow base and streamlined athletic body.

While that looks nice in a t-shirt and shorts on a pro day, that doesn’t work when getting hammered on a weekly bases due to your own shortcomings as much as the offensive line’s.

In watching more tape than anyone would care to of the downtrodden signal-caller, it becomes easy to discern that Griffin not only isn’t physically built for the NFL QB task but he:

  1. Seemingly doesn’t process the action of his wide receivers swiftly and accurately enough to make the correct decision as often as a team needs a QB to.
  2. His initial instinct when his first read isn’t there is to drop his eyes and look to run.
  3. He attempts to finish runs like a running back rather than protect himself.
  4. Does not possess the innate instincts in the pocket you need from a franchise QB when things begin collapsing around him.
  5. Is highly inaccurate when forced to stay in the pocket.
  6. Has lost confidence and has become increasingly more timid after taking so many big shots.
  7. Has not displayed any progress in the aforementioned areas; in fact, he’s regressed from a QBR of 75.6 (2012) to 33.5 (2014) — or almost 20 points below the NFL “average.”

Thus, at this stage of the game, it’s more than fair to say that Griffin doesn’t possess the body — nor mind — you need out of a franchise quarterback.

Sure, he’s only 25 years old. Yes, he’s still a dynamic talent even after all of the lower extremity injuries.

That said, after coming off of a season that saw him throw a paltry four touchdowns in nine games, don’t count on Griffin to suddenly break through in 2015.

If one truly digests the aforementioned facts; it becomes very apparent, very quickly, that this is a career destined to end in dramatic disappointment.

Will Reeve is a contributing writer to NFL Spin Zone, you can follow him on Twitter @WillReeveJr or connect with him on Facebook here.

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