But judging by his reluctance to fulfill the league’s basic media requirements, Garcon is only beginning to understand the Redskins’ importance in the Washington market. The leading players on the team are media superstars — whether they like it or not.
“Coming from Indianapolis . . . he was never that guy over there,” veteran wide receiver Santana Moss said. “He always played great football, but he never has been the guy who got called on and counted on to say stuff. And he’s also not a guy who says a lot. But it’s different here. Guys can deal with it however they want, but you gotta understand that.”
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Being stuck on the sidelines only made Garcon even more reluctant to embrace his new environment.
Garcon was injured on the long, spectacular touchdown catch during the opening day victory over New Orleans. In the game, he had 109 yards receiving and a touchdown while participating in only eight plays. Since then, Garcon has four catches for 44 yards.
The injury was initially diagnosed as similar to a turf toe, which isn’t considered serious. Shanahan said the injury was a “pain tolerance” issue, which is usually coach-speak for“the guy needs to toughen up.”
Not the case this time, Shanahan said. He told me that Garcon is one of the toughest guys on the team (“one of the best blocking receivers I’ve ever had”), but the Redskins have no choice but to shut Garcon down. “He just can’t push off on it,” Shanahan said. “We have to wait.”
About the only good news for Garcon is that rookie superstar Robert Griffin III is his teammate. Fans are so locked in on Griffin’s every move that they’re not as focused as usual on the team’s problems.
Today’s NFL is a passing league. The elite teams have big-play, deep-threat wideouts. That’s what Garcon is. He has the speed. He has the hands. He just has to get himself right physically and rap with the scribes and TV and radio folks a little. It’s not that difficult.
If Garcon puts it all together, Griffin would sure be appreciative. Because as great is Griffin is, he could be even better if the Redskins’ most talented receiver is back on the field and his head is totally in the game.
For previous columns by Jason Reid, visit washingtonpost.com/