PrevNext
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse


RGIII has spent much of his pro career on the ground, not always in celebration

RGIII has spent much of his pro career on the ground, not always in celebration

At 7-3, Cam Newton sits atop the NFL media throne. One year ago the story read differently. The Carolina Panthers entered Week 12 of the 2012 season with a miserable 2-8 record. Newton had produced four solid performances with a Total QBR over 50, and six forgettable games under 50. After a magical rookie campaign—at least on an individual level—the term “sophomore slump” flew around blogs quite freely.

Robert Griffin III is having the Cam Newton Experience a year later. In the midst of a dismal 3-7 start by the Washington Redskins, RGIII’s leadership has been questioned, his decision-making consistently held under a microscope, and development as a quarterback doubted. He too has more Total QBR scores under 50 than over it this season.

RGIII’s brief career arc mimics that of Newton from a purely statistical standpoint as well:

 

Player A

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yds

TD

Int

QBR

Rat

Year 1

310

517

60.0

4,051

21

17

56.2

84.5

Year 2(10 games)

171

300

57.0

2,395

9

10

45.4

83.0

 

Player B

Comp

Att

Comp%

Yds

TD

Int

QBR

Rat

Year 1

258

393

65.6

3,200

20

5

73.2

102.4

Year 2(10 games)

222

372

59.7

2,714

14

10

45.2

83.6

 

And the numbers on the ground:

 

Player A

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

1st Dn

Year 1

126

706

5.6

14

51

Year 2(10 games)

74

394

5.32

4

25

 

Player B

Att

Yds

Avg

TD

1st DN

Year 1

120

815

6.8

7

40

Year 2(10 games)

66

345

5.2

0

16

 

The stat lines from A and B are relatively interchangeable, both saw significant regressions from Year 1 to Year 2. A is Newton and B is RGIII. Griffin III did have more success in his rookie year, willing the Redskins to a well-documented six-game winning streak and the NFC East crown. The Panthers labored to a 6-10 record despite Newton’s Pro Bowl and Offensive Rookie of the Year season before plummeting to that 2-8 start the following year. Something clicked and Newton led the Panthers to a 5-1 finish with a 10-to-2 touchdown/interception ratio and the rest is history.

Washington’s struggles in a weak division have created a media firestorm for the NFL’s third-most valuable franchise. Columnists are calling for the heads of Coach Shanahan and Son. Santana Moss claims that questioning RGIII’s ability to take blame for a loss isn’t actually calling him out. Even former players can’t help but call it like they see it. Such is the life of a player at the most scrutinized position in the league with the shortest patience. Even Griffin III, known for his humble and diplomatic demeanor, stepped out of character amid all the losing to express frustration at the team’s play calling.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d3VdxoBadw

RGIII’s circumstances are quite different than Newton’s—or any of the high-profile young quarterbacks for that matter. His surrounding talent is of a significantly lower quality than Kaepernick’s, Luck’s, and Wilson’s, and he’s shaking off the rust of a (second) torn ACL and LCL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8346q0ijq4

It’s as if the nation’s capital wiped last season—not to mention RGIII’s insane college résumé—from its collective memory. The Hogs faithful need only look at Mr. Newton’s resurrection to find inner peace. Newton took the high expectations he wore and tore them away like the proverbial white oxford covering his Superman costume. And Cam had inner demons—arrogance, scandals, inexperience—to overcome in the process. RGIII is about as straight a shooter as you can get in professional sports.

If nothing else, RGIII deserves patience. He has the gumption to hang in there despite getting knocked down more than almost 70 percent of the rest of the league’s quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III is no Jamarcus Russell. He’ll do just fine.

PrevNext
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse
Powered by