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.
The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.
That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.
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Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?
Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years.
History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically.
Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.
Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.
No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.
The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be.
More offseason questions:
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!
Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.
Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field.
Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.
The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month.
Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery.
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!