In four days Robert Griffin III will make his triumphant return to the field, where we last saw him in January, holding his knee and writhing in pain. You may have heard something about this in the last seven months, which culminated in a he-said, he-said between RG3, coach Mike Shanahan and team doctor Dr. James Andrews.
It was the latest twist in a story that has played out over most of the offseason, one that some folks -- even in the media(!) -- have heard enough about.
Take former Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, now earning a living as a Fox Sports analyst, who explained earlier this week why Griffin is always in the headlines.
“Well, because he inserts himself in it,” McNabb said (via the Sports Bog). “And that's the whole thing about it is, one thing you have to understand at the quarterback position, just take a look at what Peyton's doing. Take a look at what Drew Brees is doing. Some of these experienced players who have been in this league, it's not about you, it's about the team. And focus on what you need to do in order to get back out on the football field.”
This isn't the first time McNabb has weighed in on RG3. Earlier this summer he offered this: "If you're coming off ACL surgery, you don't need to be having a press conference at OTAs. Every week? Really? It becomes a circus, a sideshow. It takes away from the focus of what those sessions are supposed to be about: the team.”
RG3's response, during an interview with GQ: "I don't think Donovan is an idiot by any means. But right now, it's probably best we don't talk."
McNabb's Fox Sports colleague, noted NFL analyst Andy Roddick, has some thoughts on Griffin.
“I don't like him needing to be the center of attention in a team game,” said Roddick. “You know, Donovan mentioned that there was always cameras throughout the entire rehab process. We had, like, a day-to-day update on it. I just don't think he needs to talk as much. You don't have to comment on everything. If Donovan says something, he feels the need to comment about it.”
You may not agree with the messengers, but both McNabb and Roddick have a point. We saw way too much of RG3 this offseason and the 24-hour news cycle eventually turned on him. It's not fair, but that's part of the deal that comes with being a high-profile NFL quarterback -- it doesn't take much for an innocuous story to morph into a breathtaking news event.
(By contrast, remember when Tom Brady blew out his knee in Week 1 of the 2008 season? We didn't hear or see from him until the following summer. There's a lesson in there somewhere.)
But worry not. This all goes away Monday night when RG3 and his knee return to the field. And despite concerns about the Redskins' franchise quarterback taking a hit, it's not something that consumes him.
“It'll feel good," RG3 said Wednesday, via the Sports Bog. "Football's football. You're going to get hit when you play the game,” Griffin said. “I don't really worry about it. You go out and play. This is what we get up every morning and do, and we enjoy it. I'm not afraid of it, and not really anxious about it. You just go out and play.”