Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is scheduled to address the media at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday for the first time since his comments after Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay sparked a wave of negative headlines, Instagram posts and a public reprimand from Coach Jay Gruden. Could this be the most anticipated mid-week news conference of Griffin’s career?
There’s been no shortage of unsolicited advice for the Redskins quarterback over the last couple of days about how he should handle the media. Former teammate London Fletcher would seem to endorse Gruden’s “the less you say, the better” stance.
Boomer Esiason, Phil Simms and Bears receiver Brandon Marshall discussed the fallout from Griffin’s Sunday news conference on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL.”
“Here’s what I learned this week,” Esiason said Tuesday. “I learned, number one, that RGIII should be off of Twitter. Forget the social media, forget all of that stuff and start concentrating on your position and your position only.”
Esiason returned to this point later in the show.
“I just want him to get out of the social media realm because I think he should concentrate on one thing, and that is playing quarterback, and being the best quarterback that he could possibly be for the Washington Redskins,” he said. “Now I watched his postgame press conference. He said 99 percent of all the right things about how he had to get better, how it was about him and trying to become the better quarterback, and then all of a sudden he compared himself to Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, and I think that’s why a couple of his players and his coach felt like they had to go after him.”
“I think the coach and his players did the right thing,” co-host Phil Simms said. “I think it was about 50-50 between what he did right and wrong when I watched that press conference. Look, he’s been empowered by the organization and the owner. He’s treated and treats people differently than most quarterbacks do in the NFL. You gotta remember this as a player, you’re not part of the process. He thinks he is down there in Washington, so he can do whatever he wants. Now, Jay Gruden, being a first-year coach, is trying to reel him in, and he has a chance to save his career, I think, by doing this and holding him to a higher standard. This will be interesting to see if it works out.”
“I agree with you, but there’s two things for me,” said Marshall, who, it should be noted, responded to an Internet troll via Twitter this week and offered him thousands of dollars to fight. “One, that’s my problem with this new-age media and new-age journalism, where you can say all the right things and then they twist your words a little bit. Like you said, he said 99 percent of the right things and they held him accountable for what he didn’t say right.”
Esiason recommended that young quarterbacks, including Griffin, be shown a compilation of last week’s press conferences from Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan to learn how to address the media following a loss.
As a guest on the NFL Network’s “Around the NFL,” former Redskins GM Charley Casserly suggested that Griffin keep things short and sweet.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, this is on a path of destruction right now,” Casserly said. “First of all, when you watch RGIII play, this was the worst game I’ve ever seen him play. Jay Gruden talked about the negatives, I don’t have to go through them any more, but this is the worst game I’ve ever seen him play. I think number one, RGIII has got to have three-word, or three-sentence press conferences and then cut it off right there. ‘Hey, I didn’t play well enough’ — that’s it. And then stop rambling on about the rest of the football team. You gotta stop there. And Jay Gruden, I think what Jay did, Jay felt, I think, he had to get the team back for the things that RGIII said. So I think that’s why he did that. He may have thought he went a little too far, but neither one is giving you good sound bites.”
And NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest said Griffin should let his play do the talking.
“Every time RGIII goes to the podium he’s talking about something that he shouldn’t be addressing in front of the media or anybody else,” McGinest said. “If you want to be a superstar, if you want to be great in this league, then you have to put the time in, you gotta student of the game. You gotta work endlessly, especially at the quarterback position. Now, as far as you saying what everybody else needs to do and pointing all that stuff out, your play has to be on point at first. I like what Jay Gruden did. I like him coming and saying, ‘Okay, since you want to come out here and critique everybody, let’s critique you publicly as well.’ And there hasn’t been a coach there that has done that yet. It’s always kind of saving him and saying that, ‘Well, we’ll talk about it later or I haven’t heard this.’ I just think that all of this needs to be in-house. RGIII needs to stay out of the media. We don’t want to read any more tweets, we don’t want to hear any more postgame interviews. We want to see you go out and perform at a high level like you started to do your rookie season. That will say it all.”