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RG III Cannot Be Blamed For the Mess That Is The Redskins

So, it was not Robert Griffin III’s fault that the Washington Redskins are a mess after all, huh?

Can’t flag him for yesterday’s debacle—Griffin mostly watched from the sidelines as the team, under the direction of Colt McCoy, flamed out like a lit candle in a windstorm.


It was easy to blame the quarterback. Too easy. Although a lot was wrong with the Redskins—as a 24-0 l0ss to the St. Louis Rams at home indicated—Griffin was the focal point of the animus spewing out of the coach’s office and from impatient fans.

Griffin is not absolved from blame. As the leader, as he was quick to remind us as a rookie (which did not put him in the good graces of a lot of players), a lot of it falls on him. He was nowhere near the player he was when healthy as a rookie or when he played in a scheme that played to his strengths. And he distributed excuses over accepting responsibility for bad efforts by the team and him.

But the Redskins are not his mess. He’s just a part of it.

McCoy learned what it is like to play QB in D.C. Midway through the third quarter Sunday, fans chanted “RGIII, RGIII.” And they got him, but only because McCoy was injured behind that line that could not protect Griffin, either.

Drama started before kickoff, though. London Fletcher, the linebacker who retired from the Redskins last year and who likely will be in the Hall of Fame, pointed to the defense in general and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in particular as trouble spots. He would know.

“Why does Jim Haslett still have his job as a defensive coordinator after five years now of just ineptitude at the defensive coordinator position?” Fletcher asked Sunday on CBS Sports Network. “He’s clueless as a defensive coordinator. He lacks attention to detail. He lacks feel on how to call a game. Some of the calls he used to call when I was playing were head-scratching. They were so bad, I used to change them, like, ‘We’re not running that.’ And we’d get off the field and he would ask, ‘Why did you change the call.’ (I would say), ‘Because that’s just a dumb call. That’s why I changed it.'”

Jay Gruden, the real problem in D.C., did not search for a new defensive coordinator when he was hired. Bad move.

“(Haslett) is a guy that does not know what he is doing,” Fletcher said. “And the Washington Redskins—and Jay Gruden in particular—better watch his back and get Jim Haslett out of the door. Jay Gruden better get him out the door because he’s probably back-stabbing Jay Gruden like he did everybody else—like he did to Scott Linehan in St. Louis and like he did to Mike Shanahan in Washington.

“This is a guy that would take the ’85 (Chicago) Bears and turn them into a mediocre defense. He is clueless. He has no idea what he is doing. Believe me, I had a front row seat for four years.”

Gruden is at the heart of the franchise’s frustrations. He has not coached up anyone. He kept a sorry coach in Haslett. He ruined Griffin’s confidence. His team is not prepared week-by-week. None of that has to do with Griffin.

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