The honeymoon's officially over. Robert Griffin III may have led the Redskins to seven straight wins and the NFC East title a year ago, but he's 0-2 in 2013 and looks like a completely different quarterback. That has almost everything to do with his rebuilt right knee, details that matter little to a rabid fan base desperate for a winner.
On Sunday, the Redskins were steamrolled by the Packers, and even though RG3 finished 26 of 40 for 320 yards (3 TDs, 1 INT), he looks nothing like the player who put the team on his shoulders as a rookie. But he aims to change that, even if that means expecting more from his teammates.
"If those guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader then I can do that," Griffin said afterward, according to CSN's RealRedskins.com. "I got some of that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person but if they want me to be hard on them, I'll be hard on them."
So what type of leadership changes are we talking about?
"I just not, you know, I'm not an a-hole," Griffin said. "I believe in positive reinforcement. If something happens, I know he'll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that's just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I'm fine with doing that. ... If that's what we need to get over this hump, to move forward and start winning games I'm definitely going to do it."
The good news is that the Redskins were in this situation last year. They didn't start 0-2, but they were 1-2 on their way to 3-6 before coach Mike Shanahan threw up his hands and gave up on the season. Then, magically, everything fell into place and the Skins won seven in a row and made the playoffs.
Maybe Shanahan needs to give his "We're looking ahead to next year" speech a few weeks early. Short of that, the Redskins need RG3 to play like it's 2012. It doesn't help that the defense is a disaster, a development that will likely get worse before it gets better; Washington's upcoming schedule looks like this: vs. Detroit, at Oakland, at Dallas, vs. Chicago, at Denver.
Unless things change drastically, the Skins could wake up in November and be a one-win team. And that's assuming they can beat the Raiders, which, frankly, is far from guaranteed.
"We'll make it happen," Griffin said Sunday. "We'll figure it out, we'll figure out what's missing right now and we'll make it happen."
Let's hope so because, really, no one wants to see ANGRY SHANAHAN ever again.
* via Sports Bog