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Thursday, November 14, 2013
Green questions Redskins' leadership

By John Keim

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins don't have leadership. That's a conclusion drawn by former Washington Redskins corner Darrell Green. He said London Fletcher is too old to still be that guy; and Green said Robert Griffin III is not the leader on the team.

Griffin
Fletcher
Green was part of a roundtable discussion on "Inside the NFL" when the Redskins, naturally, came up. The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg has the full exchange here. I'll focus on some of the comments, starting with leadership.

"I don't know if they have a leader," Green said.

The others, apparently, brought up Fletcher.

"Well, London Fletcher is, but I've been that old player before," Green said. "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."

It's an interesting point. Green is not around the team often, but he is a smart guy and offers a different perspective. The only problem with this assertion, as someone who covered Green and respected him and still enjoys talking to him when I see him, is that Fletcher was a stronger leader. Green was respected for his play and for what he stood for. But as a cornerback it was difficult for him to provide the sort of leadership Fletcher has during his career.  Because Fletcher is the defensive mouthpiece, he's in a much different spot than Green was at the tail end of his career. You can debate his play all you want, but I wouldn't say Fletcher can't lead anymore.

Later in the show, Cris Collinsworth raved about Griffin.

"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.' "

Collinsworth, also NBC's Sunday Night Football analyst, then lobbied for Mike Shanahan to remain as coach.

"It's crazy," Collinsworth said. "You just take what the system is. It's perfectly built for [Griffin]. Let them develop him as a pocket passer; next season, they're going to be the favorite to win the division."