Browns

The Realities of Robert Griffin III as a Cleveland Brown

RG3

One point I tried to make on Tuesday night when I was on 92.3 the Fan with Joe Lull and Pete from Cleveland Frowns was that my excitement over RG3 is not a guarantee that he will pan out. In the end I am one part dreamer and three parts realist or pragmatist. I know full well that there is a chance that RG3 will fail in the NFL for any number of reasons. He could break down physically like we saw with  Courtney Brown. He could fold mentally or let outside pressures get the best of him like I think Vince Young did. Tim Couch will tell you that he could even end up failing due to factors largely outside of the player’s control. Obviously, my excitement over Robert Griffin III is rooted in the fact that I think those risks are minimal, but I’d be lying if I said they weren’t possible.

Robert Griffin III is a QB that can run and escape the pocket, so why wouldn’t he be susceptible to the injuries that we’ve seen Michael Vick sustain over the years? It is my perception that Michael Vick had a little too much Barry Sanders in him, stopping and starting and juking. Mike Vick was the closest thing to a video game player in real life that we’ve ever seen because you can imagine him actually running the width of the field three times fooling defenders. The difference being, video games aren’t real people made of bones and flesh that get hurt for real.

With RG3, I see some escapability and running ability, but I don’t see that Vick-ian quality with the utter refusal to just take a sack sometimes. Getting out of the pocket is a good thing sometimes, but if you try to make everyone miss you eventually put yourself in a position where a backside defender can catch up and more than likely in a susceptible position to a violent tackle or hit. I hope my perception of RG3 as more of a passer negates some of the “running-quarterback-injury” fears. The rest will have to be handled by coaching. Hopefully the Browns will bring Kenny Lofton in for a day to work with all Browns QBs on the finer points of sliding. (None of that head-first stuff though, Kenny.)

As for the mental breakdown risks or maturity risks, there isn’t any way to negate that completely. With that in mind, all you can do is watch interviews to get a sense that this kid has his head on straight. Everything I’ve seen with Griffin leads me to believe that he is well-prepared to handle the pressure of being a starting NFL quarterback. At least that none of the warning bells went off in my head when I saw him answering questions.

But, what will it be like to have a first-year Robert Griffin at the helm for the Browns? Let’s all be brutally honest. It could be pretty ugly at times. It always is for rookies. There will be some confounding series of three-and-outs which will have you questioning why the Browns are continually “starting over.” Robert Griffin will be made to look stupid on more than one occasion. It is to be expected because he’s never had Troy Polamalu or Ed Reed goading him into an interception as he faces them twice a year each. You just hope that those series and moments are off-set by the glimpses of brilliance that will hopefully show plenty of promise for the future.

If Robert Griffin III becomes a Cleveland Brown this off-season the Browns absolutely must let him play from the very beginning, short of a Colt McCoy miracle. Colt McCoy might even end up looking better and more prepared in the pre-season. He should as he got a lot of experience this season and will be very familiar with the concepts going into his second year with Pat Shurmur as head coach. Unless McCoy lights it up like a Drew Brees / Peyton Manning hybrid, Robert Griffin III must be the choice.

To let McCoy play would be a mistake even if it means an extra win or two in 2012. If the Browns trade up and draft Robert Griffin III it is with the mindset that the ceiling on Colt McCoy’s career is just too low to bet on long-term.

The Robert Griffin III experience so far has been an enlightening one. Even if he doesn’t end up a Brown or if he ends up being a bust, I am still confident it is an important revelation. I’ve been too afraid to dream big because I was afraid of failure. You can only get so far by managing risks and building slowly and deliberately. At some point the Browns need to decide that the foundation is there and go big on some skill players.

Dare to dream big. The safe play is already in your hands with Colt McCoy.

  • frenchtoast

    Yeah, try telling that to the Panthers about Cam Newton.  God, people are insultingly ignorant of how important the QB is in football.

  • frenchtoast

    Also, what do you mean by “so called fans.”  This post doesn’t even make sense.

     Also, who says that we will be giving up 4,22,37.  Last I heard, Heckert said he doesn’t want to trade 22, and it has come out that the gargantuan offer the redskins made wasn’t really offered.  I’ve been on some Rams blogs and they are slowly realizing that they have a lot less leverage than they think.  I think the price, if we trade up, will be both firsts and a fourth this year.  Sign me up.  I’d rather take a chance on this guy than other “quality players” who may or may not pan out either.

  • garlicbread

     Tell that to the 49ers

  • floydrubino

    We have some good players on our team but the overall roster is thin on talent. I’m not saying we are the worst team but our right side of the line is terrible. Pashos is too big and slow and not athletic enough to play right tackle even when he is healthy. The right guard is not consistent enough. Our only good players are Thomas, Haden, Rubin, Sheard, Taylor, Jackson, Steinbach, and Ward with a couple more maybe and that’s it. Our defense kept us in games and I personally think they are top 8 defense in the league and with a good offense they are going to get better because they aren’t gassed from playing 3/4 of the game. So yeah we have some good things going on on defense but I have been saying if we could sign Peyton and get Reggie Wayne, draft Blackmon, a player like Lamichael James, and get a Danny Coale type player late in the draft with signing a right tackle in free agency we have a chance to make the playoffs where anything can happen.

  • floydrubino

    We have some good players on our team but the overall roster is thin on talent. I’m not saying we are the worst team but our right side of the line is terrible. Pashos is too big and slow and not athletic enough to play right tackle even when he is healthy. The right guard is not consistent enough. Our only good players are Thomas, Haden, Rubin, Sheard, Taylor, Jackson, Steinbach, and Ward with a couple more maybe and that’s it. Our defense kept us in games and I personally think they are top 8 defense in the league and with a good offense they are going to get better because they aren’t gassed from playing 3/4 of the game. So yeah we have some good things going on on defense but I have been saying if we could sign Peyton and get Reggie Wayne, draft Blackmon, a player like Lamichael James, and get a Danny Coale type player late in the draft with signing a right tackle in free agency we have a chance to make the playoffs where anything can happen.

  • frenchtoast

    They looked pretty good in the superbowl.

  • RATIONALfan

    Never ceases to amaze me how incensed people are on mortgaging the farm on a QB that is suddenly anointed as a franchise savior. I hope he’s fast enough to throw the ball then go catch it. Does anyone else realize that this is a TEAM game? If we sent any of our receivers or running backs to another team to try out, would ANY of them see starting time? People are so sure of this kid that we can afford to set the franchise back several years in talent collection, hoping that he pans out? The fact of the matter is, Colt is not terrible. More importantly, far less a concern than multiple other positions. Do you mortgage the farm people believe then, if we could have sent out Peyton Manning last year he would have had any more success? I watched every game last year, just like every year. I don’t care if Otto Graham came back through some time warp, he’d say man, these guys stink. The line was laughably terrible, NO running game to speak of and we all saw the “help” the WRs gave. Point is, no QB will be successful when they have no help around them. There’s no chance of a “deep” pass if you only get a second and a half till you have to get rid of the ball. 

  • Charisma, a nice smile, and a sense of humor all are very important to me–in a woman. In a QB? Not enough to convince me to throw away a shot at getting multiple impact players for a team that has very, very few. If he falls to 4, go for it. If not? Plenty of options out there that can help this team right away.

  • garlicbread

    So did the Packers…and the Steelers…and Saints…and Texans…and……….zzzzzzzz. Oh sorry, I nodded off because your point is so moot.

  • Abcd

    Logan Thomas might be the next Cam Newton