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Redskins need RG III the leader

4/4/2014

The Washington Redskins made a statement this week by signing wide receiver DeSean Jackson after he was dumped by the Philadelphia Eagles.

They acquired an explosive deep threat who can bring versatility to an offense.

Which brings us to the man throwing him the ball, Robert Griffin III.

This is RG III's team. It's time to stop the griping and casting aside blame. It's time for accountability and time to earn respect. It's time for him to become a true leader

When he gets knocked down on the turf next season, it would be nice to see his teammates pick him up. Watching the franchise quarterback have to pick himself up so many times made me question how much respect he had in his own lockerroom.

Jackson isn't one to check his tone. He's going to say what he feels on and off the field. It's up to Griffin to make sure he understands where his teammates are coming from, especially his play-makers. It's also up to Griffin to make them understand that he's all about winning. That's what leaders do in this league.

He has the support of a new coach in Jay Gruden. He has the support of owner Daniel Snyder.

But he still needs to earn the support of his teammates. To do that, he'll have to show them he can help them play to their strengths, which will no doubt lead to victories.

It can -- and should -- start with his new weapon in Jackson. Nothing is more important to that offense then a Griffin-Jackson relationship. If they can feed off each other's skills, the team will be dangerous. If that relationship goes sour -- a distinct possibility -- it could quickly become the scapegoat for failure.

While Griffin spoke glowingly to the media about Jackson, I didn't think he started things off on the right foot by saying on twitter that he would not be giving up his jersey number, 10, for Jackson.

If you're the leader of this team, the franchise quarterback, don't air dirty laundry -- or real laundry in this case -- on Twitter. A private explanation that you are the leader, but would not be perceived that way if forced to give up your uniform number should certainly suffice. It should have ended there.

If Griffin wants to push the Redskins to another level, the level they achieved in 2012 when they won the NFC East, 2014 will be about him stepping up as a leader. And his relationship with his new wide receiver will likely go a long way in determining if he can achieve just that.