London Fletcher on RGIII: ‘Believe me. The kid is a leader’

November 20, 2013

London Fletcher, here leaving the field in Philadelphia, stands behind Robert Griffin III as a leader. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post0

Washington Redskins inside linebacker London Fletcher said that he has no questions at all about quarterback Robert Griffin III’s leadership qualities and abilities. Fletcher said that Griffin is the victim of high expectations, but that he handles those pressures with the polish of someone beyond his years.

Fletcher stood by the second-year quarterback a day after wide receiver Santana Moss sparked controversy over Griffin’s leadership when he said that the quarterback should have taken ownership for an interception that he threw to kill a potential game-winning drive in Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Griffin said that his receivers didn’t get open and that then he didn’t throw the ball far enough while trying to heave it out the back of the end zone. Moss said it would have been better if Griffin, as the leader of the team, had just said, “At the end of the day, I was seen with the ball in my hand last, as a quarterback I’m saying, and if it didn’t get done then I’m going to let you know it was me.”

Moss also said “whether you’re the receiver, the quarterback, the guys making the tackle, whoever, regardless of the outcome, good or bad, you have to at some point, stand up and say ‘me’ or ‘I.’ ”

But Fletcher said that there’s no question that Griffin is a strong leader.

“The thing about leadership is, if you ask 10 people about leadership, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. Again, this is a great young leader, man,” Fletcher said.

He went on to say, “I think sometimes, I don’t think people really appreciate how great this kid is. Last year, he stepped on the scene and did so much stuff. He was asked to be the savior of the franchise for a team that hadn’t had a franchise quarterback in 20-some-odd years. He came in with them giving up all the draft picks that they gave up to get him and he came in with those expectations and exceeded those. He carried himself in a manner that is very rare that young guys do. The guy has great, tremendous leadership qualities and intangibles that you can’t – you don’t coach leadership. And, leadership isn’t always the guy yelling at somebody – the loudest guy in the room, the most vocal guy. People lead in different ways. It may be encouraging, inspiring when you see a guy on third and seven and he dives for a first down to keep a drive going. That’s inspirational, that inspires a team. Some of the things, believe me, the kid gets it. It may be a text message he sends to a group of guys, or a conversation that we have. Believe me. The kid is a leader.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice at 1 p.m. Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III are expected to speak to reporters afterward.

More on the Redskins:

Moss says Griffin should say ‘me’ or ‘I’

D.C. Sports Bog: Tomlinson on RGIII’s leadership | More

Outsider: Griffin missing chances, struggling with mechanics

Jenkins: A lost season might become measure of Griffin’s character

Shanahan sticks with Griffin, even as he struggles | Carriker practices

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Post Sports Live, has RGIII regressed?

The Post Sports Live crew discusses quarterback Robert Griffin III's performance in the Redskins loss to Philadelphia and whether there's any reason back-up Kirk Cousins should start instead. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)
Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mike Jones · November 20, 2013

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