Herm Edwards to RGIII: ‘Go play football’

January 14

(Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Herm Edwards was on “The Sports Fix” on ESPN 980 on Monday, and was asked who has to make the bigger adjustment going into the Redskins’ new coaching regime — Jay Gruden or Robert Griffin III.

“I think the way it all, really, has been laid out, the quarterback,” Edwards responded. “But understand that, as Jay Gruden comes in, I think Jay Gruden is smart enough to realize he’s got to build a system around the quarterback’s strengths. But [RGIII] is gonna have to buy into this. Because if this doesn’t work out and he fails to play quarterback at a high level, now all of a sudden they get rid of the coach — because that’s what they do, they get rid of the coach — now all of a sudden, you’re one of those quarterbacks that you’re getting coaches fired. And you don’t want to be labeled that at all. And I don’t think Robert Griffin’s that kind of kid. I just think this whole thing was handled wrong in the beginning, and I know why. He’s a dynamic player. He’s good in the community, he’s a good public spokesman. But I think too much was put on this young guy’s plate, and I don’t think he handled it very well. Hopefully going forward he realizes that – and the people he visits with and holds in high regard, the ones that tell him what he should do and what he shouldn’t do – they understand that he is a professional football player first. Your brand will take care of itself if you play well. And I think the more he looks at that from afar, he’ll understand that this is where this is headed.”

Edwards went on to talk about adjustments that he feels RGIII needs to make to his game in order to become an elite quarterback, namely staying in the pocket more and taking fewer hits. Also, more time in the huddle, less time on television.

“I think he’s gotta be more concerned now with learning how to play quarterback and lead the team from in the huddle,” continued Edwards. “Not outside the huddle. From in the huddle. Lead them in the huddle. Gain the respect of the football team from in the huddle. Not on television, not doing commercials, none of that. Go play football. And I’m not just telling Robert Griffin that. I tell all young guys, go play football. You’re a professional football player. This is not a hobby.”

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Dan Steinberg · January 14