Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Redskins fans: A chance to watch RG3
By Dan Graziano
The last time Washington Redskins fans watched Robert Griffin III do something -- whether it was complete a pass, run for a first down or blow everybody out of the water at the NFL scouting combine -- they were hoping and dreaming and wishing that maybe he might be the guy to come in and save them from years and years of quarterback misery.
Now, Redskins fans can watch Griffin with unbridled excitement. They can legitimately picture him in their uniform and engage in the kind of optimism the past decade has taught them to fear. With the Redskins having traded up to No. 2 in next month's NFL draft, their fans can feel something close to absolute certainty that Griffin will be their quarterback. And those dying to have a look at him need wait no longer than noon Wednesday, when Baylor's pro day will be broadcast live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.com at noon ET.
It'll be like spring practice for fans of a college program that has BCS bowl game hopes. The real thing is months away, but this is a chance to see your man in action -- throwing to receivers, running plays, displaying his athleticism for officials from your team and from other teams that also wanted him but can't have him. This is the fun part of the draft-pick trade being done so early. Rather than sweating out the five-plus weeks left before the draft, you can sit comfortably with the knowledge that your team is sure to get one of this draft's two players who project as franchise quarterbacks.
Why is Griffin even having a pro day, you might ask? Well, it's not Griffin's pro day, specifically. It's Baylor's. There are teammates of Griffin's who want to get drafted next month too, and he's there in part to help make some of them look as good as possible. There's also the fact of Griffin's personal motivation. While there's no reason to believe he's not excited about the chance to play for the Redskins and develop under Mike Shanahan, Griffin also hasn't given up hope that he might be the No. 1 pick in this year's draft. Everybody assumes the Colts are taking Stanford's Andrew Luck at No. 1, but if I'm Griffin, I'm not conceding that. Luck didn't win the Heisman Trophy, Griffin did, and as long as he has a chance to compete for something, Griffin strikes me as the kind of guy who's going to give it his best shot.
If for some reason the Colts take Griffin, the Redskins would be happy to draft Luck. So if you're a Redskins fan and you want to hedge your bets, I'm pretty sure we have Luck's pro day for you Thursday. But Griffin's the guy on whom you have your heart set -- the mobile, athletic, do-everything guy you believe will make Shanahan's offense run better than it has since John Elway was running it in Denver. He's the guy over whom everyone in the D.C. metro area has been swooning since the team dealt three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the Rams a couple of weeks ago in exchange for that No. 2 pick. And on Wednesday at noon, Redskins fans will get a chance to watch him with a special kind of perspective they haven't had in a long time -- the perspective of a fan base that feels really good and really excited about what its team has this coming year at the most important position in football.
Redskins fans, Griffin is, almost certainly, your quarterback now. Take a look at him Wednesday, and enjoy.