After an impressive debut in the Super Dome, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins now have bigger problems to overcome after their heartbreaking loss to the St. Louis Rams this past Sunday. With “cheap shots” and the recent loss of Pro Bowl LB Brian Orakpo and DL Adam Carriker, the Redskins face new struggles on their road to play offs. This leaves us all wondering, what lies on the road ahead for RG3?
Hopes were high in the DMV after the Redskins demolished the New Orleans Saints on their own turf, and fans began to believe in this 80 year old franchise, again. Despite their loss in St. Louis, the rookie QB proved he could take a pounding after several cheap shots vs. the Rams, describing the hits as “dirty extracurriculars.” He responded to the hits in a professional manner stating, “People want to hit me because they think I can’t take a hit.” Sunday, Griffin rushed for two touchdowns, the first of his NFL career, along with a 68 yard touchdown pass to WR Leonard Hankerson. The last time something of this stature was accomplished was in 1993 by Super Bowl QB, Mark Rypien, when Griffin was a mere 3 years old.
I will say, I’m impressed with Coach Mike Shanahan’s ability to change his coaching style in order to fit the comfort of the rookie quarterback. Now that the needs have been met for Griffin, there are several other adjustments that need to be made.
If one more punt is blocked, I’m going to scream.
It’s almost unheard of for Special Teams coach, Danny Smith to be unsuccessful with his Special Teams unit. However, two blocked punts in back-to-back games are shameful. Special Teams Captain, LB Lorenzo Alexander, basically said what the rest of us were thinking, “It’s hard. It’s embarrassing, really, being on what is viewed as a prestigious unit the last six, seven years and then give up two blocks on what were easy schemes and just not picking it up.” However, blame shouldn’t be put on Punter, Sav Rocca, who has been in the league since 2007 and has only allowed three blocked punts in his career, two of which have come the past two weeks. There’s obviously a lack of communication in this area and that needs to be adjusted, fast.
How can we possibly replace Orakpo?
After the devastating news broke Monday morning of putting LB Brian Orakpo and DL Adam Carriker on the season-ending, injured reserve list for the rest of the season, I believe I can speak for all Redskins fans when I say, we’re screwed. However, there may be a glimpse of hope seeing that they have already promoted Jarvis Jenkins to a starting position in place of Carriker and will have Rob Jackson start as LB to replace Orakpo. As tough as it was to see these two starters go down vs. the Rams, everyone saw this as an opportunity for the younger guys to step up; however, that wasn’t the case. These are tremendous shoes to fill and it’s a mjor blow to the defense as they are both major assets with their leadership capabilities, as well as, Orakpo’s 29.5 total career sacks and Carriker’s “largest arms on the defense.” They both will truly be missed.
D. Hall and Josh Morgan need an attitude adjustment.
It’s not unlikely for a football player to act like a total princess, but in Sunday’s game vs. the Rams, it ultimately cost them their second win of the season. As time was winding down, it looked as though the Redskins almost stood a chance to come out victorious after a forced fumble and a few plays that lead them into field goal range. However, on third down, Josh Morgan decided he would rather have a temper tantrum than secure a win. This resulted in a 15 yard penalty and a botched 62 yard field goal attempt on fourth down. I don’t care what the Ravens fans say, I’ll keep Billy Cundiff over “oh-no, Gano,” any day. Morgan later apologized to his team and fans and Coach Shanahan assured everyone that proper safety precautions were being taken after Morgan received several death threats through his Facebook and Twitter accounts. Aside from the penalty that cost the Skins the game, CB Deangelo Hall had his fair share of fights, as well. However, that isn’t out of the ordinary for his diva-like personality.
If these adjustments can be made in practice through-out the week, I think the Redskins actually have a shot Sunday vs. the Cincinati Bengals (1-1) in their home-opener at FedEx Field. The defense will have to stop QB Andy Dalton who is on his high horse right now after tying his career high three touchdown passes for 318 yards last week vs. the Browns. Griffin will also have to maintain his composure against this injury-stricken Bengals defense.
The event is expected to be sold out and filled with “RG3” chants, similar to what I heard at training camp and preseason. The young quarterback is officially making his debut in front of the 92,000+ fans who have been praising the QB since rumors broke back in March about drafting him. I assure you, many Superman capes will be flying amidst the crowd in hopes that he will eventually be worth the three first-round draft picks given up in order to get him and lead us back to the glory days.