Quarterback Joe Theismann knows a thing or two about being a champion. He is also an expert on overcoming adversity.
For those of you who were lucky enough to watch Theismann toss 160 touchdowns through his single bar facemask, you remember (hopefully) that No. 7 didn’t break in with the burgundy and gold behind center at first.
Unless you consider punt returning as “behind center”.
In 1978, his third with the team, head coach Jack Pardee appointed Theismann as incumbent Billy Kilmer’s replacement. Four seasons later, the former Notre Dame star along with backfield partner John Riggins led the Redskins to the first of three Lombardi Trophies.
Now, 30 years removed from that amazing season, the two-time Pro Bowler sees a similar fate for the 2013 Redskins—and it all starts with the quarterback.
At yesterday’s grand opening ceremony for the Redskins’ Bon Secours Training Center, Theismann said that he’s spent a good chunk of time with second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III and can see the hunger in his eyes to return—whenever that may be.
“I’ve been around him a lot this offseason and I’ve had a chance to spend a lot of time with him. I can see it in his eyes,” Theismann said. “When he first got hurt and I was around him there was this sense of disappointment like ‘oh gosh I’m hurt.’ Now, you watch him at practice, you watch him bounce around and he’s a like a little caged animal.”
Griffin III participated with fellow rehabbing teammates such as Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon among others at minicamp last month, proving that his arm was not neglected during his rehab from injury. Still, No. 10’s imminent return date is still unknown.
When he does take the gridiron again, though, Theismann sees him ‘breaking out’—words every Redskins fan loves to hear.
“He can’t wait to break out. He can’t wait to go be Robert,” Theismann told CSN Washington. “So if he’s feeling that good about where he is, he’s a smart kid, he assesses himself very well, then I think I can feel awfully good about it too.”
While the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year’s return is the clear frontrunner in terms of media attention, the Redskins won their first NFC East title since 1999 through a team effort. Theismann didn’t throw touchdown passes to himself and neither has Griffin III—yet.
Last November, when the Washington Redskins sat in last place at 3-6 after the Bye Week, almost no one could have imagined a seven-game winning streak and a home playoff game. Of course the impossible happened.
The Redskins fight past low expectations have them battle tested and ready for the season ahead.
“I think this Redskins football team, in all honesty, can contend for a title. Everybody has to stay healthy and I go back to the newness of last year.
More than 50 percent of this offense, players were new to the system. Now all of the sudden with a year’s experience, coming from where they have, winning the seven games in a row, getting through some tough times, overcoming injuries, they’ve done a lot. So now like I said, they’re not just adding people, they’re improving with the people they have so there’s depth on this football team.”
Prime example—the secondary.
Last year the Redskins much-maligned secondary gave up nearly 282 passing yards per game, third worst in the league.
Don’t forget the same offensive line from a year ago remained intact as well.
This has the makings of another playoff bound season.
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Tags: joe theismann, Robert Griffin III
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