Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 13, three days before the second game of the RG3 era.
(Excessively?) high praise for RG3
If Robert Griffin III goes into the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday and puts on a performance similar to the one he had in the Superdome last Sunday, the home fans will be particularly disgruntled. Many of them wish that the Rams would have kept the second overall pick in last April’s draft and taken Griffin instead of sticking with Sam Bradford as their quarterback.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a column showing that that’s nonsense, that even if the Rams would have been able to afford the salary-cap ramifications of trading Bradford, patience with the talented quarterback taken first overall in 2010 is the best course.
But that is a fish to be fried in St. Louis. What caught my eye was a quote about Griffin that he pulled from John Madden:
During his weekly guest spot on Sirius/XM radio, Hall of Fame coach John Madden took the hype to a Hall of Fame level in his rave review of Griffin's opening performance.
"At some point I have to admit that I said this, and it just came out. I said, 'RG III's the best player in the NFL today.' That's what I really thought," Madden said.
It's hard to say exactly what Madden mean by "today". Was he saying that RG3 was the best on this given Sunday? Or that he's the best in the game at this point in time?
In either case, that is some very high praise, perhaps excessively high, for a player with exactly one NFL game on his resume. It’s premature to put him ahead of, say, Tom Brady, who won a Super Bowl when Griffin was nine years old and is still performing at a very high level.
But it does speak to just how good Griffin is right now. He looks like one of those players who you can’t beat with scheme. If you try to rush him, he can elude the pressure and find a receiver downfield. If you drop back in coverage, he can pick you apart with his pinpoint accuracy.
There are 15 more games this year and dozens more after that to see how Griffin develops. It is going to be fun ride for Redskins fans and, perhaps, a frustrating one for Rams fans wondering what might have been.
Haz returns to St. Louis (again)
It’s Haslett Bowl II this week as the Redskins travel to St. Louis to face the organization that the Redskins’ defensive coordinator worked for from 2006-2008. First he was their defensive coordinator and he became their interim head coach for the last 12 games in 2008.
This comes a week after the trip to New Orleans, where Haslett was the Saints’ head coach from 2000-2005.
Don’t worry, there is not a lot of hype here. Due to quirks in the schedule, this will be the third time the Redskins have traveled to St. Louis in the three years Haslett has been with the Redskins. The Rams cleaned house in 2009 after Haslett was let go and they did it again this past offseason. It’s kind of old hat by now.
11:15—Open locker room
12:00—Jim Haslett news conference
1:00—Practice (closed to media after first 30 minutes)
After practice (approx. 3:00)—News conferences by Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan
In case you missed it
Speaking of RG3 hype, the QB just steers clear of all of it.
Is it a coincidence that the Redskins have had 40 or more rushing attempts in a game three times since Mike Shanahan became coach and those games account for three of the 12 wins in that span?
Besides the win, the highlight of Nick Sundberg’s week was a phoner with SportsCenter.
Days until: Redskins @ Rams 3; home opener vs. Bengals 10; RG3 vs. Cam @ FedEx Field 52; Thanksgiving Redskins @ Cowboys 70