It seems reasonable to conclude that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert “SuperBob” Griffin III missed some valuable growth time in the offseason while rehabilitating his reconstructed right knee. This was obvious in the early games of this 2013 season, and while he has played better of late, the missed development opportunities still show up, like on Sunday in Philadelphia in a 24-16 loss to the Eagles.
We saw the RG3 learning curve in the first half Sunday when the Redskins were being crushed 24-0. Then we saw SuperBob take the field for much of the second half when they came back to score 16. They were driving down the field with time running out at the Philadelphia 18 when the RG3 learning curve surfaced again at the worst time. He threw an interception on third down in the end zone that would have made Rex Grossman blush to end the game with another loss and drop Washington to a 3-7 record in the NFC Least.
“I was trying to throw the ball in the back of the end zone,” SuperBob said. “It didn’t get to where I wanted it to go. Obviously I was on my heels. Something I can definitely learn from.”
Here’s something that hopefully SuperBob is learning in his second NFL season that he also clearly didn’t learn in the offseason as well — humility.
The interception at the end of the Philadelphia game was as much about the SuperBob ego as anything — the voice inside his head that says “I can win the game because that’s what I do.”
Not Sunday — and not most days this year.
It’s the difference between confidence and arrogance. It’s the final chapter of the book of leadership.
It’s a lesson that SuperBob needs to learn the rest of what is left of a disappointing season — and this offseason.
He has a ways to go.
When asked by reporters last week about the outside pressures that makes playing for the Redskins more complicated than other teams, SuperBob answered, “Just the big city, bright lights, big media market — those are the things.”
Is he kidding? He treated the bright lights and big media like it was a Las Vegas buffet. He showed up at the Heisman Trophy ceremony wearing Superman socks, and at the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall with specially made Redskins socks that said, “Go catch your dreams.”
Dream time’s over. Wake up, SuperBob.
He played one NFL season and came out with a documentary called “RGIII — The Will to Win.” He turned his knee rehabilitation into an adidas “All in for Week 1” ad campaign. And in between making movies and commercials and working hard to rehabilitate his knee, he found time for him and his Team RG3 to try to strong-arm Mike Shanahan on the style of offense he would run.
So if life as the Redskins quarterback is more complicated because of the bright lights and big media buffet that lay before him, SuperBob would serve himself well to skip a meal or two this offseason and devote that time to learning what he still doesn’t know about playing quarterback in the NFL. And he might want to listen to the coach who has worked with Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Steve Young and John Elway. He’s won two Super Bowls. That trumps one Alamo Bowl.
We’ll know what SuperBob learned on Sunday by how much he feasts on his celebrity when the season is over. We’ll know what SuperBob learned on Sunday by how much we hear from Team RG3 this offseason about the coach, and if the drama that played out this year continues once this off season — or gets worse.
After Sunday’s loss, SuperBob spoke of what comes out of losses like this. “They always say fatigue makes cowards of men,” he said.
That’s a nice sentiment. Here’s another one: “A great man is always willing to be little” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.
SuperBob has been reduced to Robert Griffin III this season — just another quarterback who got outplayed by Nick Foles on Sunday.