RGIII needs to man up and shut up

BY Jason Whitlock • August 12, 2013

Like most young people, Robert Griffin III fails to recognize God’s intent in blessing us with two eyes, two ears and one mouth.

The Creator intended for all of us to do four times as much listening and observing as talking. That’s how we learn and evolve. When we constantly run our mouths we oftentimes expose ourselves in unflattering ways.

RGIII exposed himself Monday afternoon. Just beneath the tough-guy, ultimate-warrior bravado he trumpets to the media lurks some major, Kirk Cousins-fueled insecurity.

Griffin doesn’t like the way he’s being handled by the Washington coaching staff because he doesn’t want Mike Shanahan, his teammates or Redskins fans to think the backup QB is a viable option as the starting QB.

“I don’t like it. I don’t understand all of it,” Griffin said of the coaching staff’s cautious approach to his return from a major knee injury. “But (Shanahan) gave me his word. ... When you give your word to somebody that’s all they have so I’m just banking that they will stay true to their word and I’m staying true to mine. I’m doing everything they ask me to do without any gripes.”

No gripes? Really? Sounds like griping to me.

“My integration to the team has been fixed without any aspect of how I’m doing personally with my knee surgery and with my knee rehab,” Griffin griped. “It’s pre-determined. That’s the one thing I don’t understand. What coach says, and he’s 100 percent right, I don’t have to understand it. I don’t have to like it. If he plays me Week 1 and I’m ready to go then I’ll give him a salute and I’ll play my butt off for him.”

Griffin is the Golden Child of the NFL right now. The media loves him. He’s an exciting player and a great quote. People are afraid to criticize him because they want access to him and they don’t want to be accused of unfairly criticizing a talented black QB.

I’m an RGIII fan. But I don’t particularly care about having access to him. I got my own friends. And I’m not going to cripple a talented black QB by blowing smoke up his rear.

Griffin needs to talk less publicly and deal with Shanahan privately. Griffin also needs to overcome his fear of Cousins, who was selected in the fourth round of the same draft as Griffin. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is not going to let his high-priced, meter-moving QB sit just because Cousins looks good in the preseason.

During last season’s playoffs, Griffin stayed on the field long after it was obvious his knee injury made him completely ineffective. I wrote a column at the time stating Griffin demanded to stay in the game because of arrogance. I should’ve pointed to arrogance, insecurity and selfishness.

He wanted the glory of leading the Redskins to victory, and he wanted to deny Cousins a role in it. Griffin’s foolishness cost Washington the game, a contest it led 14-0.

I’m not the only one who knows this. Mike Shanahan knows. Trust me, Griffin’s teammates know. Griffin’s attempt to play hero cost the Redskins a playoff victory over the Seahawks. He should’ve been benched at halftime. Shanahan couldn’t do it because his mouthy, leverage-having quarterback would’ve complained to the media.

Instead, Shanahan absorbed all the media hits for leaving Griffin in the game and jeopardizing the QB’s health. Griffin selfishly jeopardized his own health in that playoff game. He still wants to risk his own health -- in exhibition games.

This isn’t leadership or a sign that Griffin is hyper-competitive. He’s insecure.

His insecurity is starting to make me think Kirk Cousins is a better football player than I think. To me, Cousins is a dime-a-dozen young backup. But, hell, maybe he’s Kurt Warner, Tony Romo or Trent Green.

If Cousins is who we think he is, Griffin has zero to fear. As soon as he’s healthy, he’ll be the Redskins starting quarterback and back on track to compete with Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson for rulership of the young QB throne.

Right now, Griffin comes across like a kid in love with drama and running his mouth. He wants to be the lead story on SportsCenter more than he wants to build a relationship of trust with his head coach.