The Washington Redskins are 3-6 with their season hanging in the balance heading into Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Cue the doubters.
Even some famous alumni. Darrell Green, former Redskins great, had some piercing-sounding criticism of his old team this week — including the star quarterback.
Appearing on Showtime's "Inside the NFL," Green told host James Brown that the state of affairs is "not very good," but his most choice comments came later when asked about Robert Griffin III and who the leader on the team is.
“I think that’s the problem,” Green said. “I think it’s super important to have leadership, and I don’t think he really is the leader.”
Green was asked: Then who is?
“I don’t know if they have a leader,” Green said. “Well, London Fletcher is, but I’ve been that old player before. And you’re a moral leader, people love you and respect you, but you’re really not the leader. You’re not. And really, you shouldn’t be. Because in my opinion, the leadership should come from the offensive side of the ball, because the game is such an offensive-based game.”
Green seemed to question Griffin in that role, and he appeared to take issue with the second-year quarterback's celebrity.
“I’ve always heard this old saying, rich and famous. Throw the rich out,” Green said. “Before the kid ever took one snap, he was more famous than anything you could think of. And at 23, 24 years old, 21, whatever, I think that’s a lot of pressure. And so you go back and you look at everything he did last year, that was great. But then the injury comes on. That’s a lot of pressure on this kid."
The comments have resonated back to the Redskins locker room.
I can also tell you that there were several very upset players on the offensive side of the ball with Darrell Green's comments. #Redskins
— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) November 15, 2013
Now, Green's comments should be subject to semantics. Did he mean that Griffin was not the leader — because of his age, or out of deference to Fletcher — or not a leader, in general? There's a big difference.
Just as Green doubted RGIII's credentials in that role, panelist Cris Collinsworth backed him up summarily.
“Robert Griffin is an unbelievable leader,” Collinsworth said. “Teams are built now around first-, second- and third-year players. They’re the great majority of the players on the team, and Robert Griffin is the guy that’s gonna take them where they want to go if they just leave the whole thing alone. Next year, you’ll go, 'Oh my gosh, we almost blew it up, it would have been the dumbest thing ever.”
But that seems to be where Green thinks it should go.
“[The state of affairs is] not very good," the Hall of Famer Green said. "I think that it’s been rough, but it looks like the kid — and I’m talking about RGIII — it looks like he’s starting to get it back. But I just feel so bad that you would have a system where it’s all predicated on this guy running. He’s the second rusher on the team. It doesn’t work, in my opinion.”
Funny how this stuff never seems to come out on contending teams. We'll see if that changes if the Redskins can turn this thing around, a la 2012.
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