Robert Griffin III was a star at Baylor, is a star presently with the Washington Redskins, and will be a star as long as he stays healthy and focused. I had never seen him play outside of highlight packages of singular plays, but on Sunday afternoon I tuned into the Redskins/Giants game from Metlife Stadium, and you can't help but take notice.
I have always rejected the statement that this player or that player is worth the price of admission. No single player is, in a team sport. Now I embrace that statement because there is truth to it and this player is worthy.
Robert Griffin reminds me of Michael Vick, but Vick in his sixth or seventh year. There certainly is an off-field/on-field maturity that logic indicates Vick never possessed within the first half of his career and then some. Yet, the similar skill set on field in comparison to Vick is crystal clear.
Often we envy or admire the accomplishments, abilities or successes of others because we know we will never experience or possess them in any degree. I envy and admire the way Griffin can run, more specifically his explosive acceleration. In football there are all kinds of speeds different from one to another. There is flat out speed which is obvious, how fast you run. There is change of direction speed which is about not losing any momentum once obtained. There is pure explosion speed, that ability to move from still to top speed in the shortest time possible. And there is reaction speed, where you see something happen, react, and adjust accordingly.
When you put them all together with pads on you have "football speed". And it is true, some players who are excellent athletes have poor football speed, some who are poor athletes have superior football speed, and some have both. Robert Griffin has both in the extreme.
There will always be a danger of using that speed in space to gain yards and the risk of taking a shot to a body part, any body part. And really all that Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan can do is condition his star player through repetition and time to live for tomorrow no matter the cost. Or, have him watch a few choice video clips of quarterbacks being slaughtered through the history of the NFL to seal the image in the mind.
There was a lot of humour regarding the discussion of who will be the more productive pro, Robert Griffin or Andrew Luck or others from that draft of last year. Remembering Andy Dalton was a second-round pick, these types of assessments are educated guesses at most.
Not now, but the most productive pro will be Griffin by the time the first week in February comes around. This week the Redskins are at the Steelers and Dick Lebeau as a defensive coordinator has the job of designing an approach to stop Griffin. Not sure if it can be done. They might slow him down, maybe, but stop him? I don't think so.