LaDainian Tomlinson on RGIII’s leadership

November 20, 2013

(Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Sally Jenkins wrote a column for The Post this week taking a harsh look at Robert Griffin III’s leadership style. One excerpt:

You could hear the short-wave crackle of contention in Robert Griffin III’s comments after Washington fell to 3-7. Griffin first leveled criticisms directly at his coaches: The Redskins got outschemed by the Eagles, who “knew what was coming before it was coming.” Then, Griffin made more indirect, passive-aggressive suggestions: Because “all that stuff” wasn’t working, it was up to him to salvage the situation with “a lot of broken plays, a lot of scrambling around trying to make things happen.” Translation: It wasn’t his fault he completed just seven passes through three quarters; it was the fault of the lousy offense — “all that stuff” designed by Mike and Kyle Shanahan….

Good leaders understand that sometimes you can’t control outcomes amid rapidly evolving, high-intensity events, but you can at least control your standard of behavior. The forest fire of dissension is contained because the makers of manners in the locker room, when confronted by reversals, don’t turn on each other.

Is that the private perception inside Redskins Park? Who knows. But some other observers came to the same conclusion as Jenkins. Here’s LaDainian Tomlinson, talking about Griffin Wednesday morning on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Opening Drive:

“RGIII has been saying things in the media, and in my opinion just probably talking a little bit too much at the wrong time. He kind of started a fire, talking about him coming back from this injury at the beginning of the season. So it started there, where he kind of pitched it as he was ready but the coaches were holding him back, and he’s ready to go, and he can’t do anything about it, it’s up to the coaches, he’s going to trust the coaches to do their job, he has done his job. And so it started with that.

“And now here we are, another part where you’re facing adversity and you’re not doing so well right now. RGIII is starting to call out the coaching staff. And not once have I heard him say, you know, it was my fault on this particular play, I didn’t play very well, I haven’t done a great job of getting these guys to play. It’s always about somebody else. RGIII is still a young player, and he’s still learning how to be a leader in the National Football League. That is not how you be a leader. Calling out your offensive coordinator, your head coach. People always respond to you if you blame it on yourself. Always. Nobody likes a guy that blames it on other people. And I just think right now, RGIII is doing that.”

Betcha  a shiny nickel that RGIII blames it on himself during this week’s Wednesday press conference.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · November 20, 2013