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Column: Give RG3 Strasburg Shutdown

Posted by Andrew Walker on September 30, 2012 – 11:23 am

(AP photo)

Should the Washington Redskins shut down rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III before getting the chance to play his first full season in the NFL?

San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Tom Krasovic thinks it would be best for Griffin III and the Redskins.

Krasovic even compares a hypothetical Griffin III shutdown to the one experienced by Washington Nationals star pitcher Stephen Strasburg, 24, whose 2012 season was shut down early after recovering from elbow reconstruction surgery in September 2010.

The basis for Griffin III’s hypothetical shutdown, however, would be to protect him from career-threatening injuries, Krasovic writes.

Before getting my thoughts, here’s some of Krasovic’s arguments for the shutdown:

– “Tell no outsiders the plan, but prepare to withhold the rookie from a game or two later in the season, once the accumulated hits lessen his foot speed and reaction times. Let someone else be the piñata quarterback for four or eight quarters, if it means making Griffin close to whole again.”

– “RGIII, for all his cool and fast twitch, isn’t an Avenger. At 6-foot-2 and 217 pounds, he’s slender compared to Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco. Andrew Luck has 20 pounds on him.”

– “He seems such a together young man. He grew up in a tight-knit family, sang to his girlfriend before taking a knee and proposing marriage, graduated from Baylor with honors, handled Big Media with aplomb. At season’s end, if his body’s still together, it’ll be a big win, not just for the Redskins but the NFL.”

My two cents: Shutting down Griffin III early would not be best for the Redskins. Head coach Mike Shanahan wants to give his team the best possibility to win each and every week, and Griffin III is the team’s best option at quarterback — the most important (and challenging) position in sports. What would shutting Griffin III tell the rest of a team that only gets 16 chances to play and win games every season?

Besides, taking hits just comes with the game of football — Griffin III says it all the time. Shanahan has said it himself: Griffin III has taken more hits through the first three weeks of the regular season than he would’ve liked. But the coaching staff and Griffin III are both learning each week what works in the offense and what doesn’t. Griffin III also said he’s studying what he needs to do to avoid big hits, as well.

I’m 100 percent sure the organization has Griffin III’s health and well-being in mind, but shutting him down early just wouldn’t be the best situation for the entire team.

(AP photo)

And to correlate a Griffin III shutdown to Strasburg’s situation is absolutely ridiculous. Strasburg is recovering from major arm surgery — not to mention the stress put upon his arm is self-induced. Griffin III’s situation is completely hypothetical, for one, and if he were to get hurt, it would most likely be inflicted by an opposing player (and not by himself, of course).

It’s certainly interesting to think about, but nothing worth seriously exploring, in my mind.

To read Krasovic’s entire column, click here.

CHIME IN: What do you think about the idea proposed by Tom Krasovic to shut down Robert Griffin III early this season? Feel free to comment below.

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