Mike Shanahan apparently only needed one rookie minicamp to name Robert Griffin III his starting quarterback.
My question is, what took him so long? I’m shocked Shanahan didn’t walk to the podium at Radio City Music Hall and made the announcement while Griffin was busy hugging Roger Goodell.
If anyone is surprised that Shanahan has already made this decision, don’t be. He gave up first-round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as the team’s second-round pick this year so why not start Griffin right away? There’s no reason to wait.
“Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up another two No. 1’s and No. 2 and you move up four spots, you’ve got a game plan in mind,” Shanahan told Mike Jones of the Washington Post. “We’re going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with, and we’ll watch him grow, and we’ll do what we feel like he does the best.”
You never want to rush a quarterback when he’s not ready but what is Shanahan to do, hold an open competition at quarterback when everyone knows Griffin is his guy? Shanahan has seen enough out of Rex Grossman to know that he can’t win with him under center for 16 games. Why delay getting Griffin much needed experience in his first season?
Given the success that Matt Ryan, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton and Joe Flacco had as rookies over the past four seasons, there’s no reason to think that Griffin can’t turn the Redskins into an immediate winner. But his success will depend on how well Washington’s shaky offensive line protects him next season.
Left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for banned substances ten times in September and October according to a report by Pro Football Talk.com last December. Thus, he’s one more screw up away from potentially serving a long-term suspension.
On the other side, Jammal Brown continues to battle lingering left hip and groin issues while left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is coming off November ACL surgery. Granted, the Redskins did draft three offensive linemen last month but who knows whether or not any of those players will be able to make an impact from Day 1.
But even if the Redskins decided to use a banner made of papier-mâché as their offensive line, Griffin will be their starter. He was destined for that role the second Shanahan swung that trade with the Rams.