So Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on SportsCenter last Friday morning, appearing with host Sara Walsh. And after some cursory racing talk, Walsh admirably performed her duty as one of the many rogue D.C. sports reporters currently operating in Bristol, changing the subject from (the other) Bristol to, yes, the Redskins.
And specifically, to Robert Griffin III and the media scrutiny he’s been facing, a topic Earnhardt knows well.
“I think he’s starting to understand how he has to really choose his words more carefully,” said Earnhardt, a lifelong and fanatical Redskins supporter. “He understands that no matter what he says, when you put it on a piece of paper or put it in print, it can be taken many different ways. That’s something you’ve kind of got to let roll off your back.
“And I think he does a good job,” Earnhardt said. “He shows a lot of confidence, and I think he understands what he’s doing when he’s in front of the media, and understands what kind of power he yields and how many people are paying attention. He’s got a lot of people watching him, especially coming back from this injury. He’s got a lot of people really curious to see how he’s gonna do, whether he’s gonna start the first week, and there’s all this build-up. It’s a lot of attention, and I think he handles it pretty well.”
Walsh then asked Earhardt about the team’s current quarterback situation, in which the present No. 1 guy is sort of Rex Grossman.
“Yeah, he actually has a bit better team around him right now than when he was the starter, and you can see in preseason games that he’s able to play more effectively,” Earnhardt said. “He still has a few hiccups here and there, but the interception in the [second] preseason game was a bad route on the receiver. So things like that are gonna happen, but I think that he’s got a better team around him. As far as a third-string quarterback, he’s the best one in the league. So I think the Redskins are in good position. It’s the next man up — somebody can’t play, somebody can’t start, somebody can’t get on the field, it’s the next man up. We’ve got a great team with a lot more depth than we’ve had in the last several years. So as a fan of the team, I feel really confident no matter who’s out there.”
DRAKE LAROCHE’S GIANT GLOVE
I don’t know what’s happening here, but it doesn’t much matter. It’s young Drake LaRoche, son of Adam, fielding his position with a glove the size of a large rodent. Via the Nexus.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Joseph White of the Associated Press interviewed Kirk Cousins (of the Washington Redskins). That magical combination led to this:
“I was trying to get an ‘All in for Week 4 of the Preseason’ commercial,” Cousins said Monday. “I could get a T-shirt that says ‘All in for Week 4 of the Preseason.’ That’s not quite as catchy, and I don’t have an endorsement deal with an apparel company. Maybe someone will sign me now. I don’t make enough money to get fined. Maybe I’ll get a deal with some off-brand or something that sells at Walmart or something.”
FRENCH SCHOOL SUPPLY ITEM OF THE DAY
For reasons unclear to all, French school supply sections evidently have a large selection of Georgetown Hoyas merchandise. So reports longtime reader @cjscriven, anyhow.
BOZ CHAT ANSWER OF THE DAY
Thomas Boswell left no doubt where he stands on the oft-debated issue of Robert Griffin III’s total number of carries. He wants it down. This is from his weekly chat.
The Shannies can say what they want but it’s easier to avoid getting hit on a scramble, either by going out of bounds or sliding. On the option, RGIII is going to be forced to cut back into the flow at times and he isn’t always going to see who has him lined up or get down fast enough. So, the TOTAL number of RGIII runs — compared to last year’s total of 120 carries — IS a good reference. It needs to come down a lot. Less called runs — save them for crucial third-down plays in the 2nd half or in the red zone — and much less bravado from RGIII in trying to “finish” runs.
A QB who tries to “finish his runs,” as RGIII often does, is begging to “finish” his career.
You’ll notice that Bryce Harper hasn’t even come close to crashing into a wall since he learned his lesson in LA. So, even super talented, super hyped players with a “tough” image can adapt and learn to survive. I think that one incident, because it was so bad and so scary to Harper, may have added years to his career. He learned a BIG lesson in his second season without, apparently, a big injury to show for it. I think that Haloti Ngata will be the Dodger Stadium Scoreboard of RGIII’s career — the painful reference point that lets him adapt his style of play while he’s still very young in the pro game.
Fred Smoot is touring the best FedEx Field tailgates before the Monday Night Football opener. “I’m coming out there and I’m startin’ early,” Smoot told Hogs Haven. “I want ribs and [bleep], and some apple pie moonshine. We gon’ need a golf cart ’cause I ain’t walking all that damn way. You know we about to make this [bleep] FredEx, right?”
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Nats host the Marlins
Mets at 7 on MASN2. All aboard the No. 2 Wild-Card Wild-Hope Express. All TV and radio listings are here.