Just seeing the kind of person Griffin III has presented himself to be thus far in his short rookie season with the Redskins, I think it’d be safe to say the quarterback has the right people in his circle giving him advice.
A couple members of the media, however, have some additional nuggets of advice for the Redskins’ first-round (second overall) selection in April’s NFL Draft.
Dan Graziano, ESPN.com’s NFC East blogger, said Wednesday in his “Blogger Blitz” video that the pressure has now shifted from the Redskins’ to sign Griffin III — which happened early Wednesday — to Griffin III to live up to the hype.
“Robert Griffin III’s mission from this point on is to get to work and his job is to be the savior of the Washington Redskins franchise,” Graziano said. “That sounds heavy; it sounds like a big deal; it sounds like a lot to put on a young man. But when you trade that much for him and pay him as much as the Redskins are paying him, that’s the expectation; that’s what Robert Griffin III faces from Day 1 in Washington, and it’s time for him to get to work and start becoming the face and the future and the franchise in Washington.”
Graziano is right. The pressure is on Griffin III to turn things around for the Redskins and get the franchise back in the playoffs, where it was a mainstay two decades ago. There’s no harder position in sports than quarterback — and I think that difficulty magnifies significantly when you’re dealing with a fan base as passionate and as starved as the Redskins’.
One other media member said he hopes Griffin III avoids the path of another young D.C.-area superstar athlete who he said spent too much of his time in front of the cameras.
Tarik El-Bashir — the new Redskins Insider for CSNWashington.com — said Wednesday on Geico SportsNetCentral that Griffin III’s recently released adidas and Gatorade commercials, his appearances on the ESPYs award show and his Twitter activity compares to the same hectic schedule Washington Capitals’ star left winger Alexander Ovechkin has taken on.
“The first thing I’ve noticed about RGIII is he’s everywhere,” El-Bashir said. “Now, you don’t want to tell the kid not to have any fun, but I saw Alexander Ovechkin get pulled in different directions, and I thought it really weighed heavily on him. Sometimes there were distractions — there were times where he should’ve been resting and preparing for a game, and he was working on getting ready for a commercial shoot or he was flying back from a commercial shoot.”
El-Bashir said Griffin III being under contract should slow down his commercial opportunities.
“Now that it’s time, now that you have your contract, it’s time to start studying that playbook — get off Twitter so much,” he said.”
Given Griffin III’s age and his status as a rookie quarterback with the Redskins, I tend to agree with El-Bashir’s stance. I would say this, however: several quarterbacks — Peyton Manning, for example — have done a tremendous job increasing their commercial appeal while leading their team to success on the field.
If Griffin III shows he can balance the commercial and the football aspects — both of which could be considered full-time endeavors at times — then I see no problems with it.
Tags: Dan Graziano, Robert Griffin III, Tarik El-Bashir, washington redskins
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