“Well people….It’s Time to go to Work!!! Off the unemployment line and oh yea HTTR!!!”
Yesterday morning, this was the Tweet from @RGIII letting American know that he was ready to embark on the daunting task of saving the Washington Redskins as the face of this organization. The Redskins are banking $21.1M over four years that RG3 will be the guy that will lead them from the cellar of the NFC East and back to the Joe Gibbs Era where they won three Super Bowls from 1982-1991.
We all know Robert Griffin III is a fine young man. He was the son of U.S. Army Sergeants, so he has been instilled with discipline since his inception. That rules out going down the path of Dez Bryant. We all know he is intelligen, he had a 3.67 GPA at Baylor and scored a 24 on his Wonderlic (NFL teams look for 21 or better for their franchise QBs). That takes away the possibility of beginning his career in a Vince Young- like fashion. Finally, we all know about his speed. The Heisman winner ran a 4.3 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine, a second quicker than Jevan Snead in 2010, who ran one of the slowest times in Combine history. You may ask yourself, who is Jevan Snead and where is he now? Exactly.
Plenty of pundits out there have argued for and against the success of RG3. For every success at the #2 pick like a Donovan McNabb, there is a Rick Mirer or Ryan Leaf. Being that we are a Baltimore radio station that is just 50 minute neighbors to the north of Washington, let’s try and keep RG3 on the straight and narrow so he does not end up like the two busts just mentioned. What better way to do that than comparing him to the Ravens Joe Flacco? Joe did not have the hoopla surrounding him like RG3 had when he first broke into the league, but as time has passed, Joe has found much success in Baltimore and established himself as a franchise quarterback.
The Five Things RG3 can learn from Joe Cool:
1.) Less is more
RG3 does not need gaudy statistics for Washington to find success in 2012. In Flacco’s rookie season, he had 14 TD’s with 12 INTs. Those numbers will never blow a statistician’s mind, but he was a game manager and let veterans like Derek Mason and Todd Heap make plays. His strategy of keeping his mistakes to a minimum helped Flacco become the first QB to win two playoff games as a rookie as he led the Ravens all the way to the AFC championship. Now RG3 does not have the talent surrounding him like Flacco in his rookie campaign, but that is ok. The Redskins have won 4, 6, and 5 games over the past three years, respectively. Rome was not built in a day, the Redskins will not be either.
2.) Find your security blanket
Ray Rice got paid on Monday. 5 Years, $40M with $24M guaranteed. If there was a man that was happier than Ray Rice, it was his Quarterback. Joe Flacco knows that if Torrey Smith is covered deep, Anquan Boldin is double teamed, or the defense is blitzing heavily, not allowing him much time to make a decision, a simple dump pass to Rice will save him. Rice caught 73 percent of the passes thrown his way last season, and Baltimore won all 11 of its games when Rice had 20 or more touches. Tim Hightower, Evan Royster and Roy Helu can work together to be RG3’s own Ray Rice. Now that RG3 is in camp, he needs to start getting well acquainted with these guys to have the same success as Flacco in his rookie season.
3.) Stay on the field
Don’t try and take over every game on your own RG3, especially in your first season. At 6’2”, 223 lbs, you are not as big and burly as the 6’6” 245lb Flacco. We all know you can scramble and make plays happen with your legs, but too much running will not allow your body to stay intact for 16 games. Often, RG3’s style is compared to fellow scrambling QB Michael Vick. Vick has played in all 16 games only once, and I am sure the Redskins did not draft RG3 with the expectation of missing games. Bottom line: RG3 needs to give Flacco a call and see what kind of training regimen he is doing up in Owings Mills. Or maybe find out what restaurants Flacco is taking his offensive lineman to. Either way, Flacco has started every single game since being drafted 18th overall in 2008 and has not suffered any major injuries that have been detrimental to his growth as a franchise QB.
4.) Get in Good Graces with the captain of the team
Joe Flacco had to be feeling awesome after he heard this speech, even if the team was devastated after losing out on going to the Super Bowl last year. Ray Lewis backed and that will pay off in the long term for his confidence and leadership. London Fletcher, entering his sixth season in Washington, may not have the credentials of Ray Lewis, but there is no question he is the captain of the ship in DC. When veterans stand up for you and proclaim to have your back, which rubs off on everyone involved with the team. RG3 has the personality and charisma to earn the respect from Fletcher and the rest of his teammates. Let this video serve as a reminder of how valuable this type of relationship is for the Redskins as a whole.
5.) Don’t Skateboard or do Pizza Hut commercials
Both pretty self-explanatory here. Of all the great things Flacco has done as the Ravens starting QB, riding a skateboard before the AFC Championship last year was the most boneheaded move Joe has made. And if you have seen the Pizza Hut commercials Joe has been featured in, I need not explain any further. But if you have not, look for yourself and you be the judge.