The Eagles game on Sunday feels like an unspeakably weighty pivot for the Redskins debate. Win, and there’s lots of looking at the upcoming schedule and talking about possibilities. Lose, and it’s all State of the Franchise stuff again.
Darrell Green got a jump on that latter debate this week, during an appearance on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”
“What’s the state of affairs in Washington?” James Brown asked Green during a roundtable discussion with Phil Simms and Cris Collinsworth.
“It’s not very good,” the Hall of Famer said. “It’s not very good….I think that it’s been rough, but it looks like the kid — and I’m talking about RGIII — it looks like he’s starting to get it back. But I just feel so bad that you would have a system where it’s all predicated on this guy running. He’s the second rusher on the team. It doesn’t work, in my opinion.”
“Who’s the leader of that team?” Brown later asked Green. “Not the face of the team; who’s the leader?”
“I think that’s the problem,” Green answered. “I think it’s SUPER important to have leadership, and I don’t think he really IS the leader.”
“Who do you think is the leader?” Green was asked.
“I don’t know if they have a leader,” Green replied, while everyone else shouted about London Fletcher. “Well, London Fletcher is, but I’ve been that old player before,” Green continued. “And you’re a moral leader, people love you and respect you, but you’re really not the leader. You’re not. And really, you shouldn’t be. Because in my opinion, the leadership should come from the offensive side of the ball, because the game is such an offensive-based game.”
Green said he didn’t think anyone on the team resents Griffin, but seemed wary when talking about his celebrity.
“I’ve always heard this old saying, rich and famous. Throw the rich out,” Green said. “Before the kid ever took one snap, he was more famous than anything you could think of. And at 23, 24 years old, 21, whatever, I think that’s a lot of pressure. And so you go back and you look at everything he did last year, that was great. But then the injury comes on; that’s a lot of pressure on this kid….
“I played 11 years for Joe Gibbs, Super Bowl championships. I played nine years for a bunch of other coaches. That nine, plus the 11 I’ve been out: It’s been 20 years of losing. So I understand the pressure, and this kid came in as sort of the savior. And what people would expect is that what you did last year, come back and do it again, let’s just do it again.”
The counterpoint was provided by Collinsworth of all people, who seemed far more bullish about the future than the former Redskin.
“I think if they stay the course here, this is going to work, and work in a big way in Washington,” the NBC Sunday Night Football analyst said.
“Stay the course meaning?” Brown asked.
“Don’t fire the coach,” Collinsworth said. “I mean, they’re going to try to fire the coach at the end of the year. It’s crazy. You just take what the system is. It’s perfectly built for him. Let them develop him as a pocket passer; next season, they’re going to be the favorite to win the division….
“Robert Griffin is an unbelievable leader,” Collinsworth later said. “Teams are built now around first-, second- and third-year players. They’re the great majority of the players on the team. And Robert Griffin is the guy that’s gonna take them where they want to go if they just leave the whole thing alone. Next year, you’ll go, oh my gosh, we almost blew it up, it would have been the dumbest thing ever.”