The Washington Redskins have a healthy RG3 ready to rip but does he give the 'Skins the best chance to cash in your NFL picks this season and can he be the Comeback Player of the Year?
Shanahan Gone - Good for RG3?
Look, I get it. Mike Shanahan, by virtually all accounts, is a bit of an asshole. Pardon my French but sometimes there are just no other words than the most unseemly that immediately come to mind. And that's actually being kind because many would say "a bit" is not doing Shanahan's countenance justice. We have all been there, working at jobs that would be just fine if it were not for the power hungry boss looming over our shoulders and micromanaging every facet of our work schedule. And don't we just stew watching him mingle with the customers and coming across as the nice guy with the endearing smile? If they only freakin' knew!
The same can be said of RG3 and his "boss" Mike Shanahan. Make that former boss because in the alternate universe that is the NFL, the inmates run the asylum and if your franchise QB says the boss has gotta go then the boss goes. Management apparently heard the locker room murmurings as RG3 whispered amongst his peers and any reporter within earshot that he was unhappy with Shanahan's guardianship of the Franchise/franchise. I presume most of us would take that shot if we had that kind of juice and RG3 went one better by leaving thinly veiled tweets that gave old Mike the requisite kick in the rear on his way out the door.
Although RG3 has not exactly taken the high road, which is mildly disappointing to guys like me who have always admired his character, he is now in control of his own destiny. He is reportedly healed from his injury which ruined his sophomore season in the NFL and now must return to the form that was his tour de force performance in his rookie campaign. When Mike Shanahan walked out the door so did RG3's excuse as to why he can't manage an offense when defenses are suddenly more vigilant about containing the edges as they did in 2013 versus 2012.
Comeback Player of the Year Odds
If RG3 has a third season like the man he is often compared to, Cam Newton, then this award is pretty much in the bag for the former Baylor superstar. He has a new coach and a healthy knee which should bode well for his chances of leading his Redskins to a division title in the parity driven NFC East. As of this writing Ladbrokes has installed Robert Griffin III as the NFL odds on favorite to win the Comeback Player of the Year at +450 while Paddy Power.com is dealing a much less generous +333.
But will Griffin live up to the billing and pick up where he left off in his rookie season or will his injuries return and leave him limping around the backfield? The irony here is that Griffin desires to be a pure pocket passer like his purported idol Tom Brady. That's probably not a bad blueprint to follow because scrambling quarterbacks who run first and pass second don't stay healthy in the NFL very long as he's found out. But does he have the pure passing chops to be a pocket passer and should he completely eschew his natural ability to run?
Moreover, Kirk Cousins is waiting in the wings and new head coach Jay Gruden is a veteran who will coddle his star players only until there is a better option that makes the entire team better. Reports via ESPN.com after Washington's opening preseason contest against New England stated the following:
The Redskins' Robert Griffin III "didn't look like the best quarterback on his own team" in joint practices with the Patriots last week, reports ESPN.com. Kirk Cousins played better than Griffin "from the perspective of running the offense, fine-tuned mechanics and how decisively the ball came out of his hand," the report said.
Apparently those sentiments were also expressed by the several sources in the Patriot organization. Perhaps playing the chalk might not be so wise in Ladbroke's Comeback Player of the Year NFL odds. Hey there's always Rob Gronkowski at 10-1...if he can stay healthy!