Robert Griffin III is a rookie.
A good one at that.
The Washington Redskins are also well aware of his maturity and what he means to the Redskins as a team. Today, the Redskins announced that the rookie quarterback is one of three new team captains.
It makes sense.
Let's not fool ourselves. The Redskins are a 3-6 football team. They are also a team that faces 5 NFC East Division games in their final seven games. At 3-6, the Redskins are not yet out of the chase for a playoff berth. With Giants at the top of the division at 6-4, riding a two game losing streak, the playoffs are still a shot for this team. It's a tough road ahead, but with that many division games left, including one against the Giants, the Redskins are in the hunt. Not a great shot, but a shot at least. m
That is precisely why it makes sense, coming out of the bye week, to name RGIII a team captain. He is energized and has made the statements of a leader. That is what the Redskins need. Real leadership. That is what RGIII has provided, even though just a rookie.
Let's also not fool ourselves on the value of RGIII to this team. The Redskins could easily be 1-9 without Robert Griffin III. Griffin has single handedly led the Redskins on scoring drives that sealed Washington wins. He has also been a mastermind at putting the Redskins in position to win several games, that turned out to be losses.
Let's not forget the the 31-28 loss to the Rams was a 28-23 lead late in the third quarter, fueled by a Griffin drive and a Griffin TD dash for seven yards. Yet, the Redskins defense failed to hold the lead. Let's not forget in the 38-31 loss tot he Bengals, Griffin rallied Washington back deep in the third quarter to knot the game up at 24-24. The Redskins defense allowed two TDs in the fourth quarter. Who can forget the improbable comeback against the Giants topped off by a 30 yard TD pass from Griffin to Santana Moss with just 1:32 left in the game. Yet, the Redskins secondary found away to let Victor Cruz open for a 77 yard TD reception just 19 seconds later.
Griffin has provided Washington the offensive spark they needed this season. He has rallied this offense on big time comebacks. He has led the Redskins offense to an 11th overall total offensive ranking. He has helped propel the Redskins ground game to second overall in the NFL in rushing, adding himself 529 yards rushing and second overall in the NFC with 6 rushing TDs. There is no question that this team would be far worse off without Griffin at the helm of the offense. His contribution to this team are undeniable.
Stats aside, Griffin has never given up on this season, to this very day. He has openly stated that the payoffs are a realistic goal, even after Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan commented about the remaining part of the season being set aside for 'evaluation". As Griffin entered the bye week, he was clear that it was a time to clear his head and come back hungrier than ever. He feels completely full of energy for the post bye week run.
Those kind of comments showed true leadership and depicted a rookie quarterback well beyond his years. That is why the Washington Redskins players voted for Robert Griffin III to be a new team captain. The player vote signified complete confidence in Griffin's leadership abilities and the players placed on Griffin as the person to lead this team over the final seven weeks. It was an official acknowledgement by the clubhouse that Robert Griffin III has the reigns of this team, rookie or not. It's called respect.
Griffin will be joined by fellow captains also voted by the team as a whole: DL Barry Cofield, DE Stephen Bowen, LT Trent Williams, LB London Fletcher, and LB Lorenzo Alexander.
In Robert we trust!