It took all of one week for some Redskins fans to go from cautiously optimistic to rabidly confident about their new quarterback and their chances for success in 2012. Put Dale Earnhardt Jr. in that group.

The NASCAR driver and longtime Skins fans was on ESPN’s First Take this week, to help stoke the RGIII flames.

“Every year there was a reason to get back on board and hope it was gonna work, and this is why this year’s gonna be different,” Earnhardt said, wisely. “But I think it’s for real this year,” he continued. “They’re a legitimate team. They can contend.”

Skip Bayless then asked about 10-6.

“I think they can go 10-6,” Earnhardt said. “I feel very comfortable with that. Very comfortable. I think they can win [the NFC East]. I think it’s there for the taking.”

Hey, give him a D.C. sports talk radio show. Or, heck, a D.C. sports blog. Would fit right in.

The driver was also asked to break down RGIII’s first game.

“Everybody I think in the Redskins world is really extremely thrilled right now,” Earnhardt said. “He did an awesome job. He just really came out poised, and they had a great game plan, eased him in and got his confidence built up for the rest of the game. His confidence was really high early in the first quarter, and it just carried on....

“You know, when you’re a fan of the Redskins, I wasn’t really shocked,” Earnhardt continued. “I was hopeful that they would have a good game. I knew that it was gonna be tough to compete with the offense of the New Orleans Saints — they would put up 40 points, hard to compete with that. But you wanted him to have a good day, and you wanted to leave the game knowing that the next decade would be pretty strong for our team. So we’ve surpassed those expectations, surpassed all that. He just seems like he has it all — seems like he has it upstairs, he’s got his head on straight, and he seems he’s got all the intangibles and just does everything right.”

So he’s in love, too. Everyone’s in love.

(Via @RobWoodfork)


RGIII on cover of SI

Mariucci says RGIII most athletic QB ever

SportsCenter covers Griffining

Dale Earnhardt Jr. hangs out with Dan Snyder

Earnhardt has high hopes for RGIII