The only surprise in Robert Griffin III winning the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Award was that he personally showed up to accept it.
I wondered if the Savior of Redskins football could walk to the stage after surgeries on both knees, on his left knee to remove body parts for use on his right knee. It was encouraging to see him there. Redskins RB Alfred Morris said last Thursday that Griffin was pushing the limits of his rehabilitation in typical RGIII fashion.
“It’s just about being smart. I was ahead when I did [knee rehabilitation] in 2009. I’m a little bit ahead right now as well, as you guys can see. I just got to make sure I be smart about it and think long-term rather than short term.”
Those quotes are from a washingtonpost.com story today. Griffin meant it to apply to his rehab, but I hope he is thinking about his play style, too. For a man who said he was not a Michael Vick running quarterback, Griffin ran with Vick-like abandon in 2012. He ended the season in typical Vick fashion – injured.
Only near certainty is that Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is expected to open training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 3, 2013
Adam Schefter reports that Griffin will open training camp on the PUP list. Griffin insists he will be ready to play by game one. The playoff game against Seattle triggered doubts about the Redskins' and Griffin's decision process on Griffin's health. How's this going to end?
It's clear the Redskins, in typical NFL thinking, expect Griffin to be personally responsible for avoiding injury. Thinking long term rather than short term is the only way for Griffin to go. It would do a lot for Hog Heaven's peace of mind.
Year-end awards are meant to honor regular season accomplishments. Fans, bloggers, and pseudo-analysts like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin tend to be shallow thinkers cursed by recency (made-up word).
Fellow members of the QB Golden Class of 2012 Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson made the playoffs. Wilson had a playoff run that propelled him to Pepsi MAX Rookie of the Year honors. Hog Heaven wondered if post-season appearances would turn the AP's ROY voting away from RGIII.
We needn't have worried. Griffin won in a landslide. The vote was presaged by honors Griffin won all season long. He was a seven-time winner of the NFL's Pepsi MAX Rookie of the Week Award. Alfred Morris won the award three times and back-up QB Kirk Cousins won once. Redskins rookies rocked the award 11 of 17 weeks.
The future is bright for the Washington Redskins. We need Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, Morocco Brown and Scott Campbell to work that magic again to keep things going. The team has another year in the penalty box after the league's theft of $36 million salary cap. Washington gave up its first round 2013 Draft pick in the trade for RGIII.
The Redskins front office is stronger and smarter than it has ever been in the Snyder era and it is wondrous in our eyes. I can't wait to see what they come up with. The game between the seasons is as compelling as the game itself.
Link: Robert Griffin III's stats on pro-football-reference.com.