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If two receivers were covered, Griffin was instructed to run.

The Redskins closed the regular season on a seven-game winning streak and reached the playoffs. After so many misfires, it seemed the Redskins were finally ready to take off. Griffin struggled to protect himself. Those were big problems for a quarterback who was most effective on the move. It was all about keeping the linebackers and safeties guessing. A five-yard gain was fine. Maybe the next play would be a big one. Much faster than his competition in high school and college, Griffin never took the time to perfect the quarterback slide, and, apparently, none of his coaches cracked down on him about it.

Photo by Brian A.

But back in he went and, clearly hobbled, played four more downs before being removed for Cousins. Shanahan and former Redskins assistants insist Shanahan was told by a high-ranking member of the medical staff that Griffin was fit to play. Griffin sat out the next week and Cousins starred in a streak-extending road win over Cleveland. Cousins completed more than 70 percent of his passes for yards and two touchdowns.

Throughout, Cousins was in command of the huddle and the pocket. On a play-action bootleg in the first quarter, Cousins rolled to his right and delivered a perfect deep ball for a yard touchdown. The drumbeat of the offense was different from what it had been with Griffin.

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With Griffin, something else was going on. The designed quarterback running plays that had become a staple of the offense were mostly missing from the Cousins game plan the backup had only one designed run. Griffin was furious that Cousins was not asked to assume the same risks that the Shanahans seemed so comfortable making him take. He declined to tell Mike Shanahan what he wanted to discuss, saying only it was important. Griffin, Mike and Kyle Shanahan and quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur gathered in the offensive meeting room at the team headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia.

With the coaches seated, Griffin walked to a blackboard and wrote:. Griffin instructed the coaches to let him speak uninterrupted and rolled through a list of grievances, stressing that substantive changes had to occur immediately. Scrap the pass protection scheme and start over, Griffin demanded.

There were 19 plays — primarily those from the series and quarterback draws — that were unacceptable. Griffin, who supported his presentation with video clips of each play, expected them to be deleted from the playbook. Bottom line, Griffin said, he was a drop-back quarterback — not a running quarterback. The Shanahans had planned to increase the number of drop-back plays in the offense as Griffin developed. Griffin ordered his coaches to let him play in a manner in which they believed he could not succeed.


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He was using phrases Dan used all the time. He just had the best year for a rookie QB in the history of the game. You got selected to the Pro Bowl. We went to the playoffs. We tried to get him to slide. We tried to get him to throw the ball away. If he had told me he was hurt, I would have taken him out of the [playoff] game. To hear him … it was really incredible.

Doug really could have helped him through some of those rough times. As the first African-American quarterback to win a Super Bowl, Williams occupies a special place in our culture. No position more than NFL quarterback better illustrated the institutionalized racism of professional sports. African-Americans supposedly lacked the intelligence, leadership skills and toughness to thrive at the highest level in the most important job on the field.

In one MVP-winning performance, Williams took a sledgehammer to that racist myth. Griffin worked in the same building with arguably the greatest human resource available to a young, black quarterback and squandered it. Williams believes he has a responsibility to mentor African-American players — especially quarterbacks. And Williams has been an outstanding mentor. He told me about the organization. He told me about the city.

He told me about things that only we go through that helped me know how to handle myself. The Redskins have said Griffin will not return to the game. Williams and others would have done the same for Griffin. Moon serves as an adviser to Newton, and he has an unofficial role as a sounding board for Wilson. Moon and McNabb also tried to help Griffin. Moon advised Griffin to limit outside distractions, be more guarded during interviews and work harder on the mental part of his craft.

McNabb had hoped to warn Griffin to keep his guard up. However, after multiple attempts to contact Griffin failed, McNabb figured Griffin had no interest in what he had to offer. We can all use the help. Griffin ignored a lot of advice. And why not?

Robert Griffin III

He was a revered three-sport hotshot in high school in Copperas Cove, Texas. During his remarkable rookie season in D. He had no reason to change. The whole postracial concept was laughable then and even more so now, but this was a time before the death of New York resident Eric Garner at the hands of police, and the Ferguson, Mo. This is the world. Finally, a frustrated Gruden turned to Cousins. On sports-talk radio shows and Internet message boards, the Redskins were roundly accused of racism. In the locker room, there was no controversy: Privately, players said Cousins was better.

Anyone who watched practice regularly would have reached no other conclusion. But considering the history of black quarterbacks, though, the anger felt by African-American fans was easy to understand. So those are natural suspicions based upon the complicated racial history of being black in America. This goes back to his first year when he was asked about being a black quarterback. As an African American, I think other people view that in a different way than I do.

Many thought Griffin viewed himself as being better than them. I go back to James Harris and the L. I go back to Joe Gilliam at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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And I will always do everything I can to honor that legacy and leave that door wide open for the generations to come after me. With the multi-year deal sealing Griffin as something of a fixture going forward, only one question lingers: Are the Ravens just going to ask him to continue to mentor Jackson and be prepared at all times to play, or might Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman find an occasional role for him in tandem with Jackson?

I can almost see your eyebrows going up in doubt. The Ravens rolled out a Lamar Package last season; until he became the starter after Flacco was injured in November, Jackson was on the field in a variety of alignments and roles, often with Flacco.

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But the New Orleans Saints also featured a package with a second quarterback in , putting Taysom Hill in tandem with Drew Brees, and it was quite successful at picking up yardage and keeping defenses off balance. After what the Saints and Ravens did with dual-quarterback packages last season, the idea definitely has entered the NFL mainstream. Griffin certainly brings an interesting track record in that regard, as well as an array of skills. He has passed for 9, yards and rushed for 1, in the NFL. If he were to line up in the backfield with Jackson, it would, if anything, set off alarms around the AFC North.

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But putting Griffin on the field in a package increases the possibility of him getting injured, which lessens the odds of him being available if needed. Amanda Nguyen says:. May 21, at pm. Graham Wellington says:.