The Cleveland Browns offense has struggled with a lack of leadership and direction. The person to fill the leadership void is Robert Griffin III.
The Cleveland Browns are struggling as a football team. There are many reasons a football team struggles, but the primary one is a lack of leadership. The Cleveland Browns are a football team that lacks leadership at the most important position – the quarterback.
That is not to say that there is no leadership at quarterback. Josh McCown is a seasoned veteran whose leadership skills off the field are unquestioned. However, his ability to lead his team to victory is under great scrutiny. His record as a Browns starter is abysmal, as the team has won only one game he has started.
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Cody Kessler‘s ability to lead off the field is not a question. He seems to work hard and come prepared for each game. Working against Kessler is the fact that he is a rookie just learning the NFL game. The plan was for him to sit the entire season and learn. But injuries to McCown and Robert Griffin III have forced Kessler into action far earlier than he is ready.
As a result, Kessler has been a rookie struggling to figure out the NFL game and his leadership development has not kept pace. He is simply not ready to lead an NFL offense.
This brings the Browns full circle to Griffin. With the news that Griffin may be cleared to resume practice this week, the question arises whether or not Griffin should be the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. The answer is obvious. Yes, Griffin should start.
Griffin earned the starting job coming out of camp. He was able to grasp all the on-field related criteria for being the starter. He has the arm strength, understanding of the offense and experience to guide the team down the field.
But what separated Griffin this season from past seasons was his ability to lead his team on and off the field. During the preseason and first game, Griffin was able to control the huddle, galvanize the team and provide a vision for where the offense was headed. He is a proven winner at the NFL level.
Since his absence, the offense has looked lost. The offensive line has had issues. The wide receivers have had concerns over what passes have and have not been thrown. The production from the running back position seems to have fallen off a cliff. This offense needs Griffin.
The coaches made the decision to roll with Griffin this season. If there is to be a fair evaluation of the offense under head coach Hue Jackson, then it needs to be played with the scheme and personnel Jackson envisioned for it.
Jackson envisioned Griffin taking deep shots down the field. This was evident in every preseason game in which long touchdown passes were a regular occurrence. Griffin was also a threat to run the football on read-option plays.