Robert Griffin III is finally done in Washington after four seasons, including three tumultuous seasons under head coaches Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden, and if you believe former Washington tight end Chris Cooley, most of Griffin’s teammates are happy to see the quarterback leave.
Cooley, who once said RG3 was so bad he couldn’t assess the players around him, unloaded on the quarterback during a recent interview on ESPN 980 in Washington, exposing the former Baylor quarterback’s relationship with teammates and the immediate tension he sensed between Griffin and fourth-round draft pick Kirk Cousins.
“The offensive line did not like Robert Griffin,” Cooley said. “A lot of the receivers did not like Robert Griffin. The offensive line had a problem with Robert, because they were considered for a year-and-a-half or two years a terrible offensive line that couldn’t protect a quarterback. A lot of that isn’t true. A lot of that was Robert. A lot of the sacks were put on Robert. Want to believe it or not, they were, okay? Football-wise, they were: it was Robert. “Robert never took [responsibility] for that,” Cooley said. “Robert continued to let his offensive line eat the blame. They don’t like it. They hate that, man. That kills them. Perception is the only thing an offensive line has, because 99 percent of people watching football have no idea what an offensive line’s doing. “Receivers didn’t like playing with Robert, because they didn’t get the ball,” Cooley said. “It was never consistent, other than a couple in 2012; they struggled with that. So they didn’t like Robert.”
Cooley played in Washington for nine seasons, including Griffin’s rookie year in 2012 when he took home the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award after throwing for 3200 yards and 20 touchdowns to go with 815 rushing yards.
Griffin regressed in his sophomore season, throwing more than twice as many interceptions and leading Washington to a 3-10 record before getting benched by Shanahan to effort to "go into that third year injury free."
Shanahan was fired before that third season and Griffin did not stay injury-free. Another torn ACL, a dislocated ankle, and a concussion during a preseason game in 2015 opened the door for Cousins to lock up the starting job in Jay Gruden’s dropback-QB friendly West Coast offense.
The rest, as we know it now, is history, with Griffin on his way out and Cousins signing a fat franchise tender. We’ll have to wait and see where Griffin eventually ends up and whether or not the 26-year-old heeds the tough love from Cooley on forging meaningful relationships with his teammates.