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Darrell Green thinks RGIII’s fame limited the QB’s chances for success

Darrell Green was out promoting The 4.01K Race for Retirement at Union Station Thursday. (Photo courtesy Prudential Financial)
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Darrell Green may have played for the Redskins for 20 years and won two Super Bowls with them, but the legendary defensive back says Washington’s franchise and the NFL itself have completely changed since his playing days. And it’s something he thinks has hurt the team and star quarterback Robert Griffin III.

“I think that the Redskins today, it’s a different Redskins than the Jack Cooke, Joe Gibbs, climate I was a part of, versus the Dan Snyder, Schottenheimer, Spurrier, Gibbs, Mike Shanahan, Gruden. It’s a total different world,” Green said. “Not only is it a total different internal world, it’s total different external world, in terms of the guys coming out. The young men that are coming into the league… A lot of times they come from where they come from, but when they get [to the NFL] we want them to be something that they’re not. I came from a neighborhood where … there was a certain amount of accountability.”

[Five story lines for Redskins-Dolphins]

The 55-year-old is now a grandfather, an active public speaker and youth mentor. He was at Union Station on Thursday promoting fiscal and physical fitness for those leaving the workforce. The event was a precursor to the cleverly named Prudential 4.01K Race for Retirement, a fun run at RFK Stadium on Oct. 4.

Beyond using the event as a platform to stress the importance of saving money as a means for keeping one’s family prepared for life’s obstacles, the Redskins legend didn’t beat around the bush when it came to the recently benched Griffin. He said the quarterback was put in a position from which it was too difficult to succeed.

“The first time that Robert Griffin III stepped on the field he was not only rich, but he was famous. Incredibly famous. More famous than any player [on the team] and he had never even taken a play,” he said. “That’s a different ballgame. That’s a different management level, and a different need for management skills. Both personal and relational. I think that he’s made mistakes. And I’d say the mistakes he’s made have not been with his feet or his arms, they’ve been more with his mouth. I think the same thing in terms of the [team] leadership. A lot of guys … made mistakes.”

[Still awaiting clearance on RGIII’s concussion]

Despite the tumultuous offseason, the seven-time Pro Bowler thinks Redskins finally have a workable situation as the season begins. The coach has his man to lead the team, something the Hall of Famer didn’t think was ever the case, going back to the Mike Shanahan era. Green doesn’t think Griffin’s career is over, he just needs to find a situation where a coach wants him and his style of play. Which, at this point of his career, is not in Washington.

“I think there’s good optimism for the team, because the coach has what he wants. He wants a conventional quarterback and he got it. His concept is conventional. That works and has won Super Bowls more than not. That’s what he’s experienced and that’s what he has with Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins. So, I think that with that, from that standpoint, there’s nothing to say they won’t be successful. Because somebody finally has what they want,” Green said. “Shanahan didn’t … look like he wanted the Robert Griffin III kind of quarterback, so it was always a tug of war. I don’t think this coach really wanted that kind of quarterback, so it looks like now, all that’s done. Play ball.”