Tha Sports Junkies 101

Robert Griffin III for Comeback Player Of The Year


In 2012, Robert Griffin III set the NFL ablaze with one of the greatest rookie season’s the league has ever seen. Before his arrival in the nation’s capitol, 16 quarterbacks started for the Redskins since 1999.

This is a list that includes John Beck, Shane Matthews, and Tim Hasslebeck. Those three won’t inspire much hope for your favorite team on Sunday’s.

So when RGIII led the Redskins to a 40-32 victory on the road against Saints in his first game, Redskins fans abroad thought he was the savior for the franchise. The Redskins hadn’t scored 40 points in a game prior to that in seven season’s.

However, on a rainy December day, Haloti Ngata began the “humbling process” for Robert Griffin III.
Although his 3,200 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, five interceptions, 102.4 passer rating, 815 rushing yards, and seven rushing touchdowns were good enough to garner Rookie of the Year honors, injuries eventually caught up to him.

Griffin‘s time in the nation’s capitol was tumultuous to say the least. He often clashed with coaches and teammates, and even had various escapades with the media. The drama has been well documented.

So,why would another organization give this guy a chance? After all, many observers considered him to be a cancer anyway.

Well, enter the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have had 24 starting quarterbacks since 1999. To put that in perspective, Tom Brady has been the Patriots starter for the past 15 seasons.

On paper, Griffin appears as if he’ll struggle early and often. Other than tight end Gary Barnidge, the Browns offense lacks proven commodities.

He led the team with 79 catches 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns. However, before his breakout season in 2015, the nine-year vet was a career backup.

Corey Coleman has yet to play a down in the NFL, but the former Baylor star has the potential to be a star in Hue Jackson‘s offense.

Coleman is an explosive receiver with 4.3 speed and is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He also adds significant value in the return game.

The running back duo of Isaiah Cromwell and Duke Johnson are relative unknowns, but head coach Hue Jackson has expressed confidence in the group.

“Those 2 guys are as good as I’ve seen in a while,” Jackson said this past offseason during a radio apperance.”Their talent is extreme.”

In Cincinnati, Hue Jackson had one of the better running back tandems in the NFL in Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard.

Cromwell fits the mold of Jeremy Hill, in terms of his size, and downhill running ability.
Duke Johnson, like Giovani Bernard, is more explosive and is a viable pass catcher out of the backfield. Johnson posted 61 receptions last season.

Both Cromwell and Johnson can make life extremely easy for RGIII and the Browns.
A large part of Griffin‘s success early on, stemmed from Alfred Morris, who was a sixth round pick out of Florida Atlantic.

Hue Jackson has shown a strong commitment to the running game. In essence, a solid ground game can do wonders for a young quarterback.

In 2014, the Bengals were sixth (30.2) and seventh (28.9) in rushing attempts this past season.

In Oakland, where Jackson had stints as the OC and HC, the Raiders finished fourth with 30.4 rushing attempts in 2010 and seventh in 2011. (28.9).

Robert Griffin III will succeed in Cleveland because he has a head coach that believes in him. Griffin understands this may be his last chance to avoid that dreaded”bust” label.

Hue Jackson is respected for his work with quarterbacks. He was instrumental in Joe Flacco‘s development from 2008-09, as he was the Ravens quarterbacks coach. Flacco led the Ravens to the AFC Championship game in 2008, and upset Tom Brady and the Pats at home in 2009.

During his time in Oakland, he had the Raiders playing decent football. Getting the most out of Jason Campbell, who was 7-4 before he was lost for 2011 season due to injury.

In Cincinnati, he orchestrated one of the more balanced offenses in all of the NFL. So much so in fact, that backup AJ McCarron looked like a competent NFL quarterback.

Had it not been for the antics of Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict this past January, McCarron more than likely would have led Cincinnati to it’s first playoff victory in 25 years.

In Cleveland, you have a head coach desperate for redemption after being fired after one, albeit, promising season in Oakland.

And a quarterback that was on the path to stardom, got hurt, and his flaws as a pocket passer were exposed.

Robert Griffin III will succeed in Cleveland. Hue Jackson has a proven track record with young quarterbacks. Jackson gets the most out of his quarterbacks, and he’s everything Robert Griffin III needs in a head coach.

Sure the Cleveland roster is unappealing, but so was Washington‘s in 2012. Hue Jackson will take advantage of his skill set and get Griffin to replicate his 2012 success. This was a topic Jackson spoke on, after a private workout with RGIII this off-season.

“It felt like the earth moved beneath my feet. It was surreal and special. It was everything you remember from 2012 and everything you’ve forgotten since.”