RG3 Says He’s Ready for Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There are plenty of similarities between Robert Griffin III and Carson Wentz.
Starting with the fact that both were the No. 2 overall picks in their respective drafts and each was earmarked to be the face of a franchise. That ship has sailed for RG3 in the nation’s capital, of course, but Wentz is just embarking on his roller-coaster ride in Philadelphia and his first test happens to be against Griffin’s new team, the Cleveland Browns, on Sunday.
Most forget that RG3 had one of the better rookie seasons for a quarterback in NFL history with the Redskins back in 2012, throwing for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns against just five interceptions and adding another 815 on the ground while leading Washington to seven straight wins down the stretch to capture the NFC East.
He also was carried off on his sword during the wild-card playoff game against Seattle, tearing both an ACL and LCL. The dual-threat QB was never the same physically and things went downhill quickly with two different coaches, Mike Shanahan and Jay Gruden.
By last season Griffin was shelved completely in favor of Kirk Cousins, a fourth-round selection the same year the ‘Skins took RG3, who just happened to lead Washington to its first NFC East crown since that star-crossed ‘12 campaign.
As a player who has already been through what Wentz is about to go through, RG3 offered his counterpart for this Week 1 matchup some advice on how to proceed.
"You just have to try and come in and lead by example," Griffin said on a conference call with Philadelphia-area reporters. "I tell all of the rookies coming in, come in and show everybody. Don't tell everybody. Show everybody what you can do in the film room, on the practice field, in the game and let the rest fall where it may."
The Browns' first-year regime, namely chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and head coach Hue Jackson, have made some news recently by confirming that the reason they traded out of the No. 2 overall slot this time around was because the organization did not believe in Wentz as a potential franchise-level signal caller, perhaps unneeded bulletin-board material but something RG3 feels didn’t affect him.
"I signed here way before the draft," Griffin explained. "Had we drafted Carson, I would have been here with him to mentor him and help him as we competed for the starting job. I don't look at it that way and I also don't have the time or the brain space to worry about those kind of things.”
Wentz expressed a similar sentiment at his Wednesday afternoon press conference.
“I’m focusing on the future and don’t really want to address that,” he said.
As for the game, Griffin understands he will be facing a completely different defense than the one he got used to seeing while with the Redskins.
"The personnel has some carryover with it," Griffin said. "But, I am very aware that Philly is starting a new chapter (with Jim Schwartz). ...You can see it on the tape the way they fly around. I know these guys ... Fletcher Cox and the other guys, they have a lot of them. It's going to be a challenge. ...It's a totally different coordinator and they have a totally different mindset.”
One that Griffin feels he’s ready for.
"I look forward to getting out there and playing against these guys because I know that it's going to be a challenge,” the Baylor product said, “but we're going to go out there and be ready for that challenge."
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen