There was an interesting story that surfaced recently regarding Cleveland Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III during the early portions of his second season in the league while he was with the Redskins, who paid a king’s ransom to trade up—from the sixth overall pick, if I recall correctly—to move up to the second overall pick to draft him.
According to former Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, via Jason Reid of The Undefeated, Griffin asked to meet with him, the offensive coordinator, and the quarterbacks coach to discuss what was not working with the offense around him—only that Shanahan immediately suspected that he was coached by team owner Dan Snyder in doing so.
Outfitted with a clip reel to highlight and emphasize each point that he made regarding protection schemes and a variety of other elements that were purportedly hindering Griffin’s and the offense’s opportunities to succeed on the field, the quarterback evidently utilized Snyder’s verbiage in airing his ‘grievances’.
Much of this is of course neither here nor there now that he is with the Browns and outside of the influence of Snyder, Shanahan, and the rest of the Redskins—although the AFC North and NFC East do face off this year—but there is still something to be gained from this.
That is, of course, that if there is anything to be salvaged from Griffin as a starting NFL quarterback, then it has to come via tailoring the offense around his capabilities, and perhaps Shanahan was not the sort of head coach to be able to maximize his skill sets. Shanahan also expressed his belief that the trade was not something he gave his support to, but was committed to making it work after the fact.
Whatever background and baggage that Griffin might have been toting along with him up to this point of his career needs to be left by the curbside. He ought to give himself up professionally to the hands of new Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who has shown particularly in the past couple of years to have an adept and creative offensive mind.
If there is any means by which Griffin’s skill set can be maximized with the upside of being a quality starting quarterback, then Jackson, I believe is among those on the shortlist of those who would most likely have the potential to achieve that feat.
That he met with the coaching staff at all, however, I believe also speaks to a player who understands the nature of his game and also saw that what he was being asked to run was not maximizing his own skill set, a fact that stands on its down regardless of whether or not he was coached in the process.
I don’t particularly want the Browns to find a great deal of success, particularly if it in any way impinges upon the Steelers’ path forward, but I have a hard time rooting for any person to fail, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in seeing what a Jackson- and Griffin-led offense might look like.