Robert Griffin III
Ongoing sagas seemed to be the theme in both college and professional football over the last week. Within a span of approximately 48 hours the college sideshows had managed to find a peaceful ending….First, Nick Saban signed his John Hancock to a contract with the University of Alabama easing the tensions of a very uneasy Crimson Tide fan base…as they wondered aloud if he was considering heading west for a much speculated job opening at the University of Texas campus. Speculation surrounding the Longhorns turned into truth as Coach Mack Brown announced he’d be stepping down after coaching in the team’s postseason Alamo Bowl appearance versus the University of Oregon Ducks.
I couldn’t see Saban leaving the gold mine he’s uncovered in Tuscaloosa for any other college team—when his eyes gleam over I strongly suspect it would be for something in the NFL…doesn’t make sense to do otherwise, but then again stranger things have happened. I was very glad to see Mack Brown’s classy announcement at a university event Saturday night. For far too long far too many Longhorn fans have wanted to run him out of Austin….I hope, in the words of Sinatra, he is doing it his way. Mack has done a lot for that program and deserves a dignified, respectful departure. Anything else would be reminiscent of Florida State’s glaring failure to do the very same with Coach Bobby Bowden…who put the Seminoles on the map and kept them relevant for quite some time.
I’m not disagreeing on whether it was time for either of them to leave….for the record, yes it was—more so with Bowden (who I was a big fan of) than Brown…but there is never anything wrong with taking the high road when easing someone off the sideline and into a plush chair in the vip box.
On the professional level things didn’t fare as well….is it a D.C. thing? Because the Washington Redskins have the tendency to use the blueprint designed by our country’s politicians….a lot of drama while very little work actually gets done! The benching of quarterback Robert Griffin III by Coach Mike Shanahan set tongues a wagging, fingers a pointing, and heads a shaking. Well you know what they say about opinions? Everybody has one…..and here’s my take on what is developing over at Washington’s headquarters: There are four ego driven individuals wielding their power: an owner, head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback.
Owner—absolutely is not going anywhere…if there was a magic wand that could be waved to get rid of irritating team owners it would’ve been waved a long time ago and both Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones would be living on Bothersome Island these days! More on the latter owner later….
Head Coach—while by no means a candidate for Mr. Congeniality, he does have an awesome resume…two Super Bowl rings have a way of doing that. If terminated, Shanahan would be without a job for only as long as he wanted to be without a job!
Offensive Coordinator—he is the one in the show with the least amount of power. However, see Head Coach on this one….as long as Mike has a job, Kyle has a job…surnames have a way of doing that!
Quarterback—holds a whole lot of power in this but oddly enough has the most to lose….it has been established that owners do not go away and head coaches, provided they don’t burn every bridge in the league, will always have a position waiting for them somewhere within the thirty two team system.
Griffin seems to be likeable enough but who amongst us would be surprised if he was an arrogant know-it-all? It kinda comes with the territory of being in one’s early twenties…add in riches and fame….and it is possible to end up with a young guy who thinks he has the definitive answers for everything from how long to rehab an injured knee to which came first the chicken or the egg! Seriously though, I hope Griffin plays his cards right….the record books are full of athletes who came in with loads of promise only to have things turn in a direction they never imagined…and a Heisman on your resume? Ask Matt Leinart how much that will insulate you from the woes a lackluster performance can bring.
It is all but a foregone conclusion Coach Shanahan will be terminated at the end of the season. I’ll say for the record I don’t believe releasing Shanahan is the answer…this thought actually startled me—defending Shanahan? Who does that? Washington is only one year outside of a division championship. The Redskins simply are not in any position to start from scratch…a better approach would be for everybody to scale it back a bit…yes, that means egos here…and work on what ails the organization and team. Taking the other road will undoubtedly set them back five years at best!
As week 15 winds down I’m going to guess what is going to be the next lead story in the Pigskin Chronicles …hmmm, let’s see….the fact that nobody seems to want to win the pitiful NFC East Division will be trumped by how the Dallas Cowboys managed to literally and figuratively throw away a 29-3 halftime lead & lose to the Green Bay Packers by 1…at home! Given that the Cowboys defense is ranked number 40 out of 32 teams, I’m really not surprised they began to show who they really were during the second half…but what still has me stumped is why oh why did the offensive scheme flip a script…abandoned the running game and began what looked like a hurry up offense when they had a lead—however slight it was…makes zero sense!
My only question now is….who is going to give a memo to the Cowboys owner telling him the General Manager must go!!