We’re a quarter of the way through the 2012 regular season, and here’s your obvious fact of the day:
The Redskins have two of the top offensive rookies in the National Football League.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris haven’t been playing like rookies through their first four professional games, and those around the league are starting to notice.
Two out of the three analysts on the NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” gave Griffin III or Morris the nod as their early rookies of the year. Here’s their rationale:
Charley Casserly: Before the season started, Casserly, the former Redskins general manager, predicted Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck would win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award. But, four games into the season, Casserly has shifted picks to another quarterback: Griffin III.
“This guy is the most exciting player in the NFL,” Casserly said of Griffin III, “and I give Mike Shanahan credit for taking advantage of every way this guy can beat you, whether it’s running the option, throwing from the pocket improvising plays. RG3, Rookie of the Year, most exciting player in the NFL in four games.”
Through those four games, Griffin III ranks first in the NFL in:
- First downs rushing efficiency (41 percent)
- Rushing attempts (39) and yards (252) among quarterbacks
- Rushing touchdowns (four; tied with Morris)
He also ranks first in the NFC and second in the NFL in yards per rush attempt (6.5); tied for second in the NFL in completion percentage (69.4 percent); second in the NFC and third in the NFL in yards per pass attempt (8.6); second in the NFC and fourth int he NFL in quarterback rating (103.2); fourth in the NFC and sixth in the NFL in 10-plus-yard gains rushing (10); and fifth (tied) in the NFC and tied for eighth in the NFL in 25-plus-yard pass completions (nine).
Darren Sharper: Sharper, a five-time Pro Bowl selection as a safety with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints, went with Morris as his Offensive Rookie of the Year through four games.
“He’s allowed RG3 to have the success behind an offensive line that we couldn’t name a starter for them if I looked it up in the stat sheet,” Sharper said.
Uh, Darren, ever heard of a guy named Trent Williams? Anyway…
Through four games, Morris is tied with Griffin III for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL (four).
He also ranks second in the NFC and tied for fourth (first among rookies) in the NFL in rushing attempts (82); second in the NFC and tied for fourth (first among rookies) in the NFL in rushing first downs (19); third in the NFC and fifth (first among rookies) in the NFL in rushing yards (376); third in the NFC and fifth (first among rookies) in the NFL in 10-plus-yard gains rushing (11); and fourth in the NFC and ninth (first among rookies) in the NFL in total offensive touches (83).
Heath Evans: The former fullback with the Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints was apparently too cool to name his early candidate for Rookie of the Year, saying, “I don’t give rookies any award, especially just after four weeks.”
Evans continued his mini-rant, claiming that “if RG3 don’t learn to get his tail down — those hits he took last week — he won’t be getting any awards, either, at the end of the season.”
Nah, Heath — tell us how you really feel.
Anyway, you can watch the video of this NFL Network conversation by clicking here.
Tags: Alfred Morris, charlie casserly, NFL Network, Robert Griffin III, rookie of the year, washington redskins
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