Sally Jenkins: ‘I Think It Was Inevitable’

Robert Griffin III may have played his last down for Washington, as he’s been benched in favor of Colt McCoy for this Sunday’s game in Indianapolis.

What do we make of this? Is Griffin done in D.C.?

“Well, I think it was inevitable once you saw Robert Griffin come back from his dislocated ankle injury,” Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He just didn’t look great at any point in the last couple of games and you just wondered how long they were going to stay with him when you had a guy on the team who had a 2-0 record in Colt McCoy.”

Griffin is 52-of-79 for 564 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions in three games since returning from injury, during which Washington went 0-3. Head coach Jay Gruden seemed to have Griffin’s back for a while, but now? Not so much.

“Well, here’s the problem,” Jenkins said. “You don’t know what pressures are being exerted on Gruden from above at any particular time, and he’s no different from any other Redskins coach in that regard over the last decade. These sorts of situations always deteriorate so much worse in Washington than they do at other clubs. Other clubs can change quarterbacks and you don’t have a weeklong drama all over the front pages of newspapers. There’s something about the way the Redskins go about things that is just so soap opera and so dramatic. On another club, Robert Griffin would fight for his starting position, lose it, maybe regain it, maybe not, and it wouldn’t turn into this psycho drama. But because it’s Washington, that’s what it is.”

“It’s a shame,” Jenkins continued. “Colt McCoy’s obviously a nice kid trying to make a way into the NFL. So’s Robert Griffin. And they’re trapped in circumstances those two guys didn’t create.”

McCoy, 28, has completed 85.7 percent of his passes this season (36-of-42) for 427 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He’s also rushed for a touchdown.

Still, many Washington fans weren’t too enamored when the team acquired the former Heisman finalist. Did Jenkins feel the same way?

“You know what? I didn’t,” Jenkins said. “Colt McCoy’s career path has been a much more common career path for quarterbacks in the NFL. Look at the guys around the league – guys like Brian Hoyer, guys like Carson Palmer – that people threw into the junk heap. Colt McCoy is on his third team in three seasons. That is really the far more common path than what Robert Griffin experienced in Washington. It’s a very, very small percent of guys who are drafted No. 1 or No. 2 and become the magic bullet for their team.”

“Most men who play quarterback in the NFL experience a lot of disappointment and a lot of growing pains before they become regular, full-time starters,” Jenkins continued. “So it would be interesting in a couple of years to ask Robert Griffin if there’s something maybe he learned from Colt McCoy’s experience. I really think that Colt McCoy is probably going to become a very competent NFL quarterback. I really think Griffin can become one too – if he has the perseverance to struggle through the normal path of an NFL quarterback. People run out of patience with you really, really quickly.”

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