NEW YORK -- Robert Griffin III has a fine line to walk.NFL rookies are usually seen and not heard. But quarterbacks are, by the nature of the position, the leaders of their teams. How is the 22-year-old Griffin going to go about taking the reigns of leadership for the Redskins?Like every other aspect of becoming an NFL quarterback, Griffin knows that it will take some time.Its a daily process, Griffin said about an hour after becoming the Redskins quarterback. Its not something where Ill go in Day One and theyll say, Hey, Robert, we believe in you, youre our guy. And some guys will be like that.But the Brian Orakpos and London Fletchers, the guys that are really staples of the Redskins team, I have to earn their trust, and I plan on doing that.Griffin plans on earning that trust by what he does, not by what he says.You come in and show the guys why they can trust in you, why they can believe in you, he said. Not just by saying hey, guys, you can trust me, you can believe in me.Why should they trust in you? Why should they believe in you? You have to go show them and not just say it. Because everybody can say something but not everybody can do it.Walking into a program, taking a leadership role, and reviving it is nothing new to Griffin. He went to Baylor, one of the laughingstocks of college football for many years. He started as a true freshman and helped turn that program around. Now he will take on doing the same for the Redskins, long an NFL punch line.Griffin believes that his Baylor experience prepared him for what he is about to face.Things in life build you up to other things, he said. Going to Baylor and then being able to succeed and help the program get back on its feet and even exceed what it had done in the past helps me do the same thing in Washington.But Griffin is not content with getting the Redskins back to where they were.Its not just about getting back to what the Redskins used to be its about trying to get better, he said.If Griffin can improve on the 10-year stretch the Redskins had from 1982-1991, when they won three Super Bowls and were perennially relevant in the NFL, most Redskins fans would be quite happy.
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.