Ten months ago, Robert Griffin III was regularly referred to as the most popular man in Washington. Stellar play and winning football tends to have that effect. But through nine games this season, the Redskins are 3-6 and Griffin hasn't been nearly as effective.
According to Hall of Famer and former Redskins great Darrell Green, some of the team's struggles stem from lack of leadership, and that includes the second-year quarterback.
"I think that is a problem. I think it is super important to have leadership and I don't think he (Robert Griffin III) really is the leader… I don't know if they have a leader," Green said earlier this week.
Criticism is nothing new for Griffin, who has started each of his first two seasons with 3-6 records.
“You take life as it comes," RG3 said according to the Washington Post. "Life's going to throw you curveballs sometimes. You just have got to figure out which ones to try and hit.
"Right now, it's not a burden. It's a burden if you make it a burden. You've got to believe. It only takes one person to believe so you can have success. I always believe in this team. I always believe in these players and so on and so on. That's what it is for me. It's not a burden.
"Believing" might sound like player speak from a player on a losing team with little hope of salvaging the season. But it was a year ago that the Redskins reeled off seven straight to finish 10-6, win the division and qualify for the playoffs.
Of course, thinking that the Redskins can replicate that success this time around is the equivalent of asking lighting to strike the same spot. Either way, RG3 knows what his job entails.
“I understand what comes with being the quarterback of the Washington Redskins," Griffin said. "I understand what comes with being a quarterback in the NFL. And yeah, it might be a little harder here because of certain aspects of what goes on around this team. I understand that.”
Whether understanding translates into winning is another matter. The Redskins face the Eagles Sunday, the same team that blew them out in Week 1. Then it's 49ers, Giants and Chiefs, before finishing with the Falcons, Cowboys and Giants again.
As for the scrutiny, RG3 says he can handle it.
“I've got tough skin,” he said. “My parents brought me up the right way -- military background, discipline and all that stuff -- and I'm happy to call them my parents and they've done a great job there for me. I have all that inside of me and that's all it takes. You've got to have it inside of you to make it in this world and that's what I have got to do.”