Griffin is a gifted quarterback who, in just five games as a pro, demonstrated he can do just about everything ... except, of course, continue to take the pounding he absorbs each weekend.
And that's where Washington has a dilemma. Because it cannot ... it must not ... have him sidelined again and again.
Only how do you tell a young man not to run and elude tacklers when it's that quality that makes him so special? You don't, which is why the Redskins have an issue they must resolve.
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Essentially, Griffin's greatest asset is his greatest liability. He's a marvelous athlete who excels as a runner ... except when he's caught ... and you just saw what happens then. Griffin suffered his first concussion as a pro, and, where there's one for a quarterback who likes to run and play a wide-open game, there will be others.
Trust me, I witnessed Steve Young's career spiral downward as he continued to incur concussions late in his career. But Young was in his mid-30s by then. Griffin is a rookie, with his career ahead of him and greatness forecast by nearly everyone who catches a glimpse of him.
But what makes Griffin so promising is what makes him so vulnerable, and that's a conundrum for the Redskins.
Griffin is their future, and they must protect him. But how? They can try to reel the guy in and make him more of a pocket passer, but that wouldn't make sense. I mean, what makes Griffin so dangerous is his ability to make plays on the run.
So they can try a more conservative approach and do what San Francisco did with Young late in his career, which is minimize hits outside the pocket by reminding him ... no, by practicing him ... to play smart football.
That means sliding to avoid the big hit. It means using the sidelines as a safety net, running out of bounds when you have the chance. And it means never returning to the read-option, which is guaranteed to shorten the career of any quarterback not built like Tim Tebow.
That, I would suggest, is the Redskins' only option, not only because it's wise but because it's necessary. Granted, Griffin may sacrifice a few yards here or there, but playing it smart doesn't necessarily mean playing it safe. What it does mean is not playing it reckless.
More important, it could extend his career.
I know it sounds easy, but it's not. It never is with young players who believe they're invincible. But Griffin's no dummy. He knows he's not invincible, and he was just reminded by Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
"It's all about inside and outside the numbers," said former coach Brian Billick, now an analyst for Fox and the NFL Network. "When you're outside the numbers, you can always get out of bounds. He could've gotten out of bounds [when he was hurt], but he took that one last step [to get another yard]. But he'll learn, particularly when you show him that defenders don't want to risk hitting a quarterback who has given himself up.
"So that part is easy. The harder part is inside the numbers where you clearly have to slide. You must have that sense of when you need to get down and when you've had enough -- and that's the tough one. Rookies feel they still have to show their bravado, how tough they are and that they'll take one for the team ... until, that is, they get old enough to know that it's more important to show you're smart enough for your team than it is to show you're tough enough."
That's a lesson the Philadelphia Eagles preached this season with Michael Vick, who might be the greatest running quarterback in NFL history. Vick incurred so many injuries throughout his career that he made it through a 16-game season only once, and the Eagles decided enough was enough.
For them to succeed, they must convince him to play smart -- and so far the results are mixed. Vick is taking a multitude of hits -- some of them brutal -- but he hasn't missed a game. The downside: He's committing critical turnovers at an alarming and historic rate, with 11 through five games -- or more than all but six teams.
Sliding to avoid hits or running out of bounds to avoid tacklers is not instinctive for guys like Vick and Griffin. It's simply not what they've done through their careers. Only they must if they're going to last in the NFL, which means it's up to Washington coach Mike Shanahan or his son, offensive coordinator Kyle, to get the message through to Griffin.
"You've got to coach them," Billick said. "Basically, you have to show them films of the other quarterbacks who know how to do it. That's why Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees stay alive so much. When they do get outside the pocket, typically they're going to get out of bounds."
But Brady, Rodgers and Brees are veterans. Griffin is not. He's a veteran of five NFL games.
"So how easy will this be for him to learn?" I asked Billick.
"Nothing's easy when it comes to young people," he said. "What do they say? Youth is wasted on the young? All it takes is a couple of hits like the one he just got, and he'll realize that he's not in Kansas anymore. [The message must be]: You've got to get out of bounds because these people are big, fast and nasty, and we need you to last longer. But he'll get it."
And he'll get it because he must. The choice is simple: Continue what you're doing, make the Sunday night highlights and incur more and more concussions until they drive you from the game ... or ... wise up and do what you can to protect yourself and extend your career.
Which is no choice at all. The risk, of course, is that the Redskins curtail some of what makes Griffin extraordinary, but Billick doesn't think that happens, and neither do I. The first year the 49ers worked with Young on taking a different approach to the game they went to the NFC title game, with Young going 12-3 as a starter and producing the third best passer rating of his career.
So the plan can work.
"Do you give up a yard or two?" Billick said. "Sure. But you're not giving up the big play. Because the big plays down the field aren't you running around anyway; they're you running around to buy time to throw the ball down the field, not run it down the field."
It makes sense to me. The question is: Will it makes sense to Robert Griffin III? The Redskins' future ... and the future of their star quarterback ... might depend on it.