My friend Rick Snider of the Washington Examiner made some national waves with his column saying that Robert Griffin III would be the Redskins best quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen.Said Gregg Rosenthal on NFL.com, Griffin hasn't faced a single blitz or a live tackling drill. He hasn't even played against a veteran NFL player in practice. But he's already getting placed ahead of Joe Theismann, Billy Kilmer, Doug Williams and, uh, Rex Grossman.Snider may be getting ahead of himself a bit but if you look at the record, Griffin would not have to be an elite quarterback in order to surpass the three signal callers that Rosenthal mentions seriously (the mention of Rex, I think, was in jest). He would just have to be somewhere between good and very good for the duration of a couple of contracts.Kilmer did lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl and although his passes werent pretty they were often effective. And the Redskins won two thirds of the 74 games he started over eight seasons. He made the Pro Bowl once, after that Super Bowl 1972 season.Theismann was the Redskins starter for eight seasons, from 1978 until he suffered that broken leg at the hands of Lawrence Taylor in the 11th game of the 1985 season. The Redskins were 77-47 (.621 winning percentage) in the games he started. Theismann went to the Pro Bowl twice and was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1983. The Redskins went to back to back Super Bowls with Theismann at the helm. They won it all in 1982 and lost to the Raiders the following year.Williams had the great playoff run following the 1987 season, capped by his marvelous MVP performance in the Super Bowl. But other than that stretch, Williams really doesnt have a place on the list of all-time great Redskins quarterbacks. In four years in Washington he started just 14 games and the Redskins were 5-9 in those games.Rosenthal didnt mention Mark Rypien, the Redskins other Super Bowl winning QB. He started 72 games for the team with the Redskins going 45-27 (.625). He made the Pro Bowl twice.Kilmer led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1972. None of the other three led the league in any major statistical category for a season. Jurgensen led the NFL in completion percentage twice, in yards passing five times, and touchdown passes twice.The biggest hurdle that RG3 would have in surpassing the post-Sonny quarterbacks would be in winning games. Although winning is highly dependent on other factors like having a solid defense and a running game, as Griffin himself said, the quarterback gets all the credit when the team wins and all them blame when the lose. Whether that is fair or not that is how he will be judged. To equal the winning percentages that Theismann and Rypien posted, the Redskins wold have to average about a 10-6 record every year. To match Kilmers winning percentage, Washington would have to go 12-4 year in and year out.Theismann was solid in the clutch; the folks at Pro Football Reference give him credit for 19 fourth-quarter comebacks and 24 game-winning drives. Griffin had a number of moments like that while winning the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and he could duplicate them in Washington.Theismann is the Redskins career leader with 25,206 passing yards. The NFL was just entering its pass-happy era during his career. It is easy to see RG3 breaking that record relatively early in his career. If Griffin averages 4,200 passing yards per season, a season that remarkable was Theismanns day but routine now, he would match Theismanns record by the end of his sixth season.And then there are things like playoff appearances, playoff success, and getting to and winning Super Bowls. It would be hard to put Griffin on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of Redskins quarterbacks unless he leads the team to a Super Bowl.
Is it crazy to give a quarterback who threw for more than 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns last season the same MVP odds as a guy who went 0-3 in three starts and tossed just four scores in 2015?
According to the sportsbook Bovada.lv, no, it's not crazy at all. So that's why, when looking at their opening odds for the 2016/17 NFL MVP, you'll find Kirk Cousins right next to Mark Sanchez, with both signal callers listed at a long 150/1.
Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Tannehill, David Johnson, Alshon Jeffrey, Le'Veon Bell and Sam Bradford also check in at 150/1. Some of those names, like Jeffrey and Bell, should makes Redskins fans feel good, since they're both premier players at their position. But others, such as Sanchez and Bradford? Yeah, not so much.
The top five guys most likely to win the award are Aaron Rodgers (4/1), Ben Roethlisberger (7/1), Cam Newton (15/2), Russell Wilson (8/1) and Tom Brady (9/1). Meanwhile, if you squint hard enough, you can see Robert Griffin III near the bottom of the list at 250/1.
Not that this reminder is necessary, but here's a reminder anyway: Anything can happen in this league, so these rankings are not the be-all and end-all. Last year, for instance, Newton had 50/1 odds of being named MVP, and then he went out and did it anyway.
So, with that in mind, while Cousins is no favorite, perhaps his loaded arsenal of targets can help him claim the valuable piece of hardware. The NFL is a wild place, after all — but still probably not wild enough for Sanchez to rise to the top of the sport, which is why him landing next to Cousins hurts more than a little bit.
Longtime Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday morning from complications stemming from a cardiac arrest.
He was 67.
Green spent ten seasons as the Vikings head coach, amassing a 97-62 record which included four NFC North titles, eight playoff appearances and one NFC Champuionship game appearance.
After taking a break from coaching, he returned in 2003 to coach the Cardinals, spending three years at the helm, finishing with a 16-32 record.
Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington was lined up across from Smith-coached offenses throughout much of his career.
As a former Penn State Nittany Lion, Arrington had much respect for Green, a Harrisburg, Penn. native and former coach at Northwestern, a fellow Big Ten school.
Green was one of the NFL's great people and great characters.
While he will always be remembered for his most-game meltdown after the Cardinals blew a 20-point lead to the Bears in a Monday Night Football game in 2006, Green's lasting memory will be his commitment to respecting the game and teaching it the right way.
For a franchise that's known for assembling some incredibly stout defenses throughout its history, the Steelers have recently constructed an offense with a surplus of talent all over the depth chart.
But that offense was dealt a major blow Friday morning.
Le'Veon Bell, the team's star running back who in just three seasons has become one of the league's most feared players, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy, according to ESPN. The reason for the penalty, though, isn't because he failed a test, it's because he missed one.
The appeal process is reportedly still going on, but if Bell doesn't win that process, he'll miss the first quarter of the 2016 schedule.
While the news obviously hurts the Steelers, it benefits the Redskins.
Washington is hosting Pittsburgh in the season opener on Sept. 12, and its run defense wouldn't mind seeing No. 26 on the sidelines in a sweatshirt during the matchup. The Black and Gold do still have the very capable DeAngelo Williams — who rushed for 907 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 while filling in for an injured Bell — plus the always dangerous Antonio Brown, but their unit will of course be less threatening without its top tailback.
ESPN reports that Bell's appeal date hasn't been determined yet, but it should be heard before any meaningful football starts. He was also suspended for the first two contests last year following an arrest for a DUI and marijuana possession that occurred in August 2014.