I know my post on Sunday, was a reasoned defense of carrying out the RG3 Era to at least the end of his 4th year, and picking up his 5th year option for a heavy $12M++.
That was, however, BEFORE Griffin’s tone deaf ramble about “the Peyton’s and the Aaron Rodgers'” and how they need people to play great around them. That was BEFORE Jay Gruden felt the need to publicly shame Griffin with some of the most damning comments I’ve ever heard a head coach utter in a press conference about his own QB.
And that was certainly BEFORE I listened to my radio co-host Mr. Chris Cooley walk us through the game tape on Griffin’s “Tour de Farce” performance against a shitty-ass defense that got flamethrowered by Joe Flacco for FOUR TDs in the 1st quarter.
As I often say about my opinions in sports, and in writing, and on the radio: “I’m wrong as much as they next guy. But I refuse to stay stuck on stupid out of spite.”
I now have some foundation rattling concerns about Griffin as both a passer (forget “pocket” passer, just a passer PERIOD) and also as a professional going forward. To which, some of you, I am sure, will say: “Welcome home. What took so long?”
It hardly means I am giving up on him, and I think he needs to play, play, play through the end of this year. But that said, if he’s not going to make a commitment to improving his mechanics this winter, we’ve got a major problem. If he keeps tweeting and instagramming nonsense and childish back and forth’s with whomever – we’ve got a major problem.
And if he can’t read basic play concepts out on the field, then this whole thing is coming down like the fucking Hindenburg.
If you want to read the transcript of Cooley’s breakdown, then I warn you to grab a stiff drink and close your office door to muffle the cussing. Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post did a great job of a. Transcribing b. Summarizing and c. Presenting the essence of what the film showed from Sunday.
Kudos as well to the Post’s graphics editors, who pulled screen caps of the game, and circled the intended receivers for emphasis.
Finally, a word about the new world of media we are living in as football fans. This kind of high level shit was UNTHINKABLE just 10 years ago. For one, the vaunted “All-22” footage was kept under tight wraps by the NFL. Now, if you have an iPad and $99 you can buy every team’s for the entire season!
Secondly, smart ex-players who put in the time to do it, can really help explain game tape to average fans and writers. Cooley may sound like a grown-up man-child on the radio (he is, and that’s why I love him) but he has a mind that can really un-ravel complicated things. In fact, he once told me: “Czabe, I’m like a raccoon. Ever see a raccoon decide he’s going to get into a trash can somehow? That’s like me. I will sit there and not quit until I figure out how it works.”
I laughed. He’s right. And a great analogy.
It also helps that Cooley now does color commentary for the team on radio, and is still close enough to people “inside the building” who can help with access to certain things. I always kid him that he better be careful with these brutally honest film breakdowns, lest he be kicked out of the Burgundy and Gold kingdom for good! That hasn’t happened… yet. And I hope it never does.
Because not only does he go out of his way to make sure there’s no confusing his analysis for personal attacks on specific players, but the old football adage has never been more true: “The eye in the sky, don’t lie.”
This was one week for Griffin. A terrible one. How he responds to all of it (on field struggles, and off-field “drama”) is entirely his choice. And it will likely set a crucial direction for his NFL career going forward.