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Monday, January 07, 2013

Kilgore: Stephen Strasburg and Robert Griffin III: The inevitable and cloying comparison

The choices say more about the mores of the respective sports than the men making them. Football is brutal and vicious, and players are pumped with all manner of painkillers and drugs to get them through Sunday. You wonder if ANY coach would have pulled Griffin if he thought Griffin gave them the best chance to win. Baseball keeps counts on the number of pitches thrown. Baseball players are tough, but they can also walk when they are 60.

Both Griffin and Strasburg faced their dilemma with the same rub-dirt-on-it ethos. Shanahan said he based his decision on what Griffin told him – that he was “hurt” and not “injured.” Strasburg raged at the decision to shut him down and repeatedly told Nationals brass he felt fine. Players always want to play.

When Rizzo made his decision, he took all competitive considerations out of play and made what he believed was a purely medical decision. When Shanahan made his decision, he placed victory above all and, if Dr. James Andrews’s quotes to USA Today tell the full story, may have willfully ignored medical opinion.

JE (Jason) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 12:33 PM | 179 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: football, injuries, nationals, nfl

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   1. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4340841)
Interesting anecdote from today's Slate piece on yesterday's game


If the Redskins had held onto their early lead, this would have been a tale of heroism. As pointed out by a Pro Football Talk commentator, then Broncos coach Shanahan told Terrell Davis he should keep playing through migraine headaches in Super Bowl XXXII even though the running back couldn’t see. “Just do this, you don’t worry about seeing on this play because we’re going to fake it to you,” Shanahan said. “But if you’re not in there they’re not going to believe that we’re going to run.” Strategy trumps safety. And when the team wins, everybody’s happy. On the NFL website, the send-the-blind-player-on-the-field maneuver is celebrated as an “MVP moment.”
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:15 PM (#4340846)
Mike Shanahan is maybe the purest embodiment of the NFL ethic we have at the moment, especially since he's not the one whose body is at risk.
   3. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:22 PM (#4340857)
I'm always amused by the NFL evolution commercials where they talk about how they are making the game safer and safer. Seems to be a rather huge disconnect between all the various tentacles of the NFL.
   4. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4340861)
The same Mike Shanahan who trains his linemen to chop block as much as possible? I am shocked, shocked that he would recklessly endanger the health and livelihood of players for a competitive edge.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4340862)
Ethics aside, I'm not convinced at all that a damaged RGIII is nearly as effective as a 100% Kirk Cousins. Even as a strategy it seems like pulling RGIII was the best option.
   6. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:26 PM (#4340863)
The Nats' slogan for 2013:

"This time it counts!"
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4340866)
Strasburg and Robert Griffin III: The inevitable and cloying comparison


There is no "comparison." Griffin was hurt. Strasburg wasn't.

Why people are confused about this is anyone's guess.
   8. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:31 PM (#4340869)
This is a non-controversy as there are countless examples of players going onto the field while injured in playoff and championship situations from Willis Reed to Kirk Gibson to Terrell Owens. The fact that this situation involved RG3 shouldn't make a difference. If he feelt like he can play and he gives his team a chance to win then he should play. This isnt the 70's where he was in danger of losing his job if he didn't go out there and " man-up".
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4340871)
He was playing hurt, and thus was not effective, and thus risked further injury including a career-threatening injury. It's a horrible way to treat a franchise quarterback.

And he got hurt reaching back for a fumble; if he wasn't healthy enough to do that, he shouldn't have been out there.

But yes, even as a game strategy it was horrid. Shanahan thought his best chance to win was with a peg leg quarterback who couldn't do what he needed to be able to do?

   10. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:40 PM (#4340873)
There is no "comparison." Griffin was hurt. Strasburg wasn't.

Why people are confused about this is anyone's guess.


Um, because the comparison is over usage and handling. The Nationals had an injured pitcher that they then developed a rehab plan for, a plan that called for their star pitcher to be shut down at the end of the season and not play again until next season come hell or high water. The Redskins had an injured QB that they then sat for a game and then ran out there week after week for the rest of the season come hell or high water.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4340876)
There is no "comparison." Griffin was hurt. Strasburg wasn't.

Why people are confused about this is anyone's guess.


Um, because the comparison is over usage and handling.


I'd guess that the main reason they are being compared is because they play in the same city.
   12. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4340877)
This is a non-controversy as there are countless examples of players going onto the field while injured in playoff and championship situations from Willis Reed to Kirk Gibson to Terrell Owens. The fact that this situation involved RG3 shouldn't make a difference. If he feelt like he can play and he gives his team a chance to win then he should play. This isnt the 70's where he was in danger of losing his job if he didn't go out there and " man-up".

The fact that there are fans and people within the game making the decisions that think doing this is a "non-controversy" is what makes it so controversial.
   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4340879)
This is a non-controversy as there are countless examples of players going onto the field while injured in playoff and championship situations from Willis Reed to Kirk Gibson to Terrell Owens


Reed scored like 4 points, Gibson had one at-bat. If they wanted to bring RGIII on the field for a 2 point conversion, it would be similar. They wanted him out there as QB all the time, in the most violent team sport we have. I don't see how you can compare those situations.

I don't know what Terrell Owens situation you're referring to.
   14. simon bedford Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:45 PM (#4340882)
bobby Baun went out and scored a stanley cup winning goal on what turned out to be a broken ankle.
   15. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4340884)
I don't understand why Griffin is getting flack for this. It's 100% on Shanahan.
   16. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4340885)
I don't know what Terrell Owens situation you're referring to.

Nothing big. Played in the Super Bowl with a broken leg, had a great game, team still lost because Donovan McNabb literally threw up all over himself.
   17. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4340888)
In the 1956 FA Cup Final, Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann broke his neck with 17 minutes left. At that time, substitutions weren't allowed in soccer. Troutmann finished the game, making several spectacular saves to help preserve the 3-1 win.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4340889)
I don't understand why Griffin is getting flack for this. It's 100% on Shanahan.


Because of his dumb comments after the game about how he was "stepping up and being a man" by playing, and how he was the team's best option, and how he was hurt but not injured (whatever that means), and because he played even though he knew he was putting himself more at risk by being out there.

Everyone gushes about how smart Griffin is; perhaps that's the case, but these comments were very dumb.
   19. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:52 PM (#4340892)
Um, because the comparison is over usage and handling. The Nationals had an injured pitcher that they then developed a rehab plan for, a plan that called for their star pitcher to be shut down at the end of the season and not play again until next season come hell or high water. The Redskins had an injured QB that they then sat for a game and then ran out there week after week for the rest of the season come hell or high water.


Strasburg in August of 2012 was not injured.
   20. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4340893)
But yes, even as a game strategy it was horrid. Shanahan thought his best chance to win was with a peg leg quarterback who couldn't do what he needed to be able to do?

They sprinted out to a 14-0 lead and only fell behind with seven minutes left in the game. Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place on the way to 3 for 10. Are you so sure he was wrong?

Every football game has the genuine risk of a career-threatening injury, yes being compromised ups that risk but it's the playoffs. Unlike baseball, the better team generally wins, you have to at least try.
   21. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:53 PM (#4340895)
Nothing big. Played in the Super Bowl with a broken leg, had a great game, team still lost because Donovan McNabb literally threw up all over himself

For the most part Terrell is the outlier for the playing hurt group. For starters his injury happened 7 weeks earlier and by the time the Super Bowl came around a shot of pain killer basically removed any obstacle to Terrell playing normally. That isn't to say Terrell didn't have to work his butt off to get back into playing shape and his healing process didn't require a ton of medical treatments.
   22. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4340899)
Strasburg in August of 2012 was not injured.

So? That isn't the point. Again, the Nationals had their star pitcher get hurt. They then decided that the best way for their star pitcher to heal from the injury was to take on a light load even if that meant he wouldn't play in playoff games or in crucial games at the end of the season. The Redskins had their star QB get hurt. They then decided that the best thing for the team this season was to sit RGIII, which I believe they were required to do by NFL rules, for a game and then send him back out there for the rest of the season and the playoffs regardless of his health or at the very least not giving his long term health any kind of real thought.

Each team was faced with a similar situation and they chose to go down different paths.
   23. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:58 PM (#4340902)
Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place


Cousins threw for 31 yards, more than Griffin had after the first quarter.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 02:59 PM (#4340903)
They sprinted out to a 14-0 lead and only fell behind with seven minutes left in the game. Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place on the way to 3 for 10. Are you so sure he was wrong?


If they were going to win, it wasn't because of RGIII. You don't win in the NFL with 14 points, and Griffin passed for a total of 84 yards. How was he effective?
   25. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:00 PM (#4340904)
I'm always amused by the NFL evolution commercials where they talk about how they are making the game safer and safer. Seems to be a rather huge disconnect between all the various tentacles of the NFL.


Your mistake is assuming the NFL campaign is anything other than empty PR and CYA attempts to ward off future lawsuits from players. The funny thing about all of this to me is the fact that Griffin's knee was the secondary injury of that game. On the second scoring drive, two plays before passing for his second TD and a 14-0 lead, Griffin scrambled to the weak side sideline. He wasn't tackled hard, but tripped backwards, sort of weebled to the ground, and in the process slammed the back of his helmet into the frozen turf. He was "slow getting up," a fact that the announcers talked around by suggesting that his knee brace had slipped. It was clear to anyone watching, though, that he was slightly concussed from the helmet to ground contact, to the point where you could actually see one of the referees near the chains look at the Redskins sideline and point at Griffin with this "you need to check him for concussions" look on his face.

Of course, the NFL is far too deep into the "concussions and CTE are caused by vicious hits from Ed Reed and James Harrison" PR campaign to have something so simple as falling over and bumping the helmet on the ground be "dangerous." They can paper over "illegal hits" to "defenseless receivers" no problem, turning safeties and linebackers into the Bad Men Who Hurt Others. And those hits are so vicious it just makes sense to the fans and advertisers invested in there not being an existential problem with football. But the facts are that the little hits like the one that concussed Griffin on that play are just as dangerous as a flying helmet to helmet tackle over the middle. But football can't have that be "true," because that *is* and existential problem for the game.
   26. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:03 PM (#4340909)
Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place


Cousins came into the game down 10+ with no reps and no rhythm. He should have been playing every snap after the second TD.
   27. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4340912)
They sprinted out to a 14-0 lead and only fell behind with seven minutes left in the game. Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place on the way to 3 for 10. Are you so sure he was wrong?

Are you sure you watched the game? The offensive line completely crapped the bed from at very least the botched RGIII snap to the end of the game. Hell, even Cousins was a victim of a botched snap. Cousins came in with a little over 5 minutes to go and down by two scores. The Redskins attempted no rushing plays and what's more Seattle knew they weren't going to be rushing. Seattle blitzed him like crazy and the offensive line completely folded under the pressure. There aren't too many QBs on the planet that are going to come off smelling like roses in that kind of environment. Cousins, when the line held, looked more than competent to pilot the offense yesterday* and if the refs and his receiver were a little bit better at their jobs he would have done even better than he did despite the line folding.

*obvious 12 play sample size caveat.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4340913)
.
Cousins came in and sailed the ball all over the place on the way to 3 for 10. Are you so sure he was wrong?


Yes. Cousins came in to a panic game that was in disarray in the final minutes.
   29. Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4340915)
Cousins came into the game down 10+ with no reps and no rhythm. He should have been playing every snap after the second TD.


Agreed. Also, he could've used some recievers with hands instead of cast iron pans.
   30. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4340917)
Agreed. Also, he could've used some recievers with hands instead of cast iron pans.


And on at least one play, his receiver was tackled before the ball got there.
   31. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:10 PM (#4340923)
If they were going to win, it wasn't because of RGIII. You don't win in the NFL with 14 points, and Griffin passed for a total of 84 yards. How was he effective?

Because he's RG3 and teams have to account for what he brings to the table. They came out and went 80 yards-touchdown, 54 yards-touchdown. Of course at some point, the jig is up. He's not moving, there is no reason to worry about him running so the adjustments get made. The Redskins didn't have any answers at that point.

Still, they nearly pulled it off. They weren't going to beat a rolling Sea Hawks team with Cousins anyway.

Cousins came into the game down 10+ with no reps and no rhythm.

So what. You either do it or you don't. Joe Webb got all the reps and had all the rhythm. He still sucked. These guys are backups for a reason.
   32. JE (Jason) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4340928)
They sprinted out to a 14-0 lead and only fell behind with seven minutes left in the game.

It was nothing short of a miracle that the Skins didn't fall behind until then. Even though the Seahawks did not score in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, the offense was driving down the field every time they got the ball.
   33. Bourbon Samurai Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:14 PM (#4340929)
Cousins has looked quite good when he's played. Given real time to work, I would've been pretty confident with him at the helm.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4340934)
This is a non-controversy as there are countless examples of players going onto the field while injured in playoff and championship situations from Willis Reed to Kirk Gibson to Terrell Owens. The fact that this situation involved RG3 shouldn't make a difference. If he felt like he can play and he gives his team a chance to win then he should play. This isnt the 70's where he was in danger of losing his job if he didn't go out there and " man-up".


The fact that there are fans and people within the game making the decisions that think doing this is a "non-controversy" is what makes it so controversial.

Well, "non-controversial" decisions like Shanahan's actually do become controversial, but only after the player goes out and gets re-injured and his team loses the game. Otherwise it was just "Win one for the Gipper" and "Nah, it only grazed an artery, no big deal, who do we play next?"

But this has been the prevailing football ethic ever since the game began, and every time anyone tries to change it, you get an enormous backlash that says "They're trying to make this the Flag Football League". It's going to take a long and uphill fight before injuries like Griffin's are taken seriously by both the coaches and the players.
   35. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4340935)
Still, they nearly pulled it off. They weren't going to beat a rolling Sea Hawks team with Cousins anyway.

Where is the evidence of that? The defense held them to 13 points through 3 quarters with 3 of those points coming off of a RGIII int. After the first two scoring drives RGIII and the Redskin offense did absolutely nothing and another 3 points were scored because of the botched snap fumble. Could a team that could actually threaten to complete a pass and have Morris as RB score 18 points or so? Don't know but I think the chances of that happening were much better than expecting an RGIII led team to score 25 or more points.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4340943)
Cousins also looked great beating Baltimore a few weeks ago. Baltimore's not quite as good as Seattle, but the defense is up there. I think a healthy Cousins gives you at least as good a chance of winning as a hobbled Griffin, and when you factor in the ethics of putting a hurt QB out there AND the fact you're risking a long-term investment, and its a no-brainer to pull RGIII.

It's going to take a long and uphill fight before injuries like Griffin's are taken seriously by both the coaches and the players.


I honestly think its going to take an on-field death before we see any real change, unfortunately.
   37. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4340945)
These guys are backups for a reason.


Because they drafted RGIII in the first round?

You know who else was a backup QB? Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, and a whole host of other QBs that would prove to be good enough to be starting QBs.
   38. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4340947)
It was nothing short of a miracle that the Skins didn't fall behind until then. Even though the Seahawks did not score in the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth, the offense was driving down the field every time they got the ball.

Yeah, the only way that the Redskins were ever going to win that game would have been if Griffin had been 100% the whole way. If Cousins had come in after Griffin slammed his helmet against the turf, they might have been able to pull it out, but without a healthy Griffin, the entire psychology of the Redskins is different, and without Griffin, the Seahawks are a clearly superior team.
   39. Greg K Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:28 PM (#4340954)
I'm always amused by the NFL evolution commercials where they talk about how they are making the game safer and safer. Seems to be a rather huge disconnect between all the various tentacles of the NFL.

I think it's a case of, if someone goes out of their way to contsantly remind you of something about themselves...I'd be a bit suspicious.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:29 PM (#4340957)
Joe Webb sucks. Joe Webb is a backup. Therefore all backups suck?
   41. jobu Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4340958)
Given how well RGIII played vs. the Cowboys, there is no realistic scenario that would have had him on the bench to start the game. The real question then, is when he should have been pulled. I thought he looked passable in the first quarter of the game, and the Skins clearly got decent results. The uh-oh moment for me was when he limped around the left end and out of bounds for a (IIRC) 7-8 yard gain.

That all said, you wonder what Russell Wilson is going to have to do to be the guy that people are talking about, and not be overshadowed by the other rookie quarterbacks. Maybe if he can be the last rookie starter whose team is alive in the playoffs....oh, wait.
   42. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4340960)
You know who else was a backup QB? Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme, and a whole host of other QBs that would prove to be good enough to be starting QBs.

Add to that Johnny Unitas and Russell Wilson, who was thought to be a backup to a backup when he first arrived at camp.
   43. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4340963)
Drew Brees was a backup. Tom Brady was a backup.
   44. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:33 PM (#4340965)
After the first two scoring drives RGIII and the Redskin offense did absolutely nothing and another 3 points were scored because of the botched snap fumble.

Right, if you take out the scoring drives they were quite ineffective. Thanks for the insight.

Where is the evidence of that?

Because he's Kirk Cousins, a seventh round rookie who's barely played. What's the evidence that a player like that would be good in a situation like this? What's that? It's difficult to provide evidence of some hypothetical? Then don't ask me to do the same.

We've got the Joe Webb example, and the T.J. Yates example, and the whatever-the-name-of-that-guy-was-that-stepped-in-for-Cutler-in-Chicago example. These things don't generally go well (unless you've got Frank Reich).
   45. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4340974)
Well, "non-controversial" decisions like Shanahan's actually do become controversial, but only after the player goes out and gets re-injured and his team loses the game. Otherwise it was just "Win one for the Gipper" and "Nah, it only grazed an artery, no big deal, who do we play next?"


No, Andy. The Twitter-verse was lit up with calls to remove Griffin from the game, before [his career ended] he got hurt.
   46. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:36 PM (#4340976)
Because he's Kirk Cousins, a seventh round rookie who's barely played.


Or a fourth round rookie, with a complete game win and a fourth quarter comeback win.
   47. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4340978)
Given how well RGIII played vs. the Cowboys, there is no realistic scenario that would have had him on the bench to start the game. The real question then, is when he should have been pulled. I thought he looked passable in the first quarter of the game, and the Skins clearly got decent results. The uh-oh moment for me was when he limped around the left end and out of bounds for a (IIRC) 7-8 yard gain.

I think he looked good in the 1st quarter because Seattle played him as if they were expecting him to be fully functional. Once they realized he wasn't it was curtains for them.
   48. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:37 PM (#4340979)
Len Dawson, Craig Morton, Jeff Hostetler, Doug Williams, Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, and Kurt Warner were backups.

According to Fred Smoot, its a torn ACL/PCL. Rub some dirt on it, it'll be fine.
   49. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4340980)
Cousins also looked great beating Baltimore a few weeks ago. Baltimore's not quite as good as Seattle, but the defense is up there.

I can't tell if this is serious or not. He threw two passes in that game.


Or a fourth round rookie, with a complete game win and a fourth quarter comeback win.


I stand corrected. Fourth round.
   50. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4340982)
Where is the evidence of that?


Because he's Kirk Cousins, a seventh round rookie who's barely played. What's the evidence that a player like that would be good in a situation like this?

Cousins came in at the end of the Baltimore game and led the tying scoring drive in a game the Redskins won in OT. He then had a very good game (26-37, 329 yards and 2 TDs) against a Browns team that had been on a hot streak in the previous month. He finished the regular season with a 101.6 QB rating, a small sample size but still pretty damn impressive. Obviously he's not on the level of a healthy Griffin, but at the point that Griffin walked limping off the field in the 2nd quarter, it was clear that Griffin was a shell of his healthy self.
   51. jobu Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:40 PM (#4340984)
Steve Young was a backup for 4 years, not starting for the 49ers till he was 30.
   52. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4340985)
Because he's Kirk Cousins, a seventh round rookie who's barely played. What's the evidence that a player like that would be good in a situation like this? What's that? It's difficult to provide evidence of some hypothetical? Then don't ask me to do the same.

We've got the Joe Webb example, and the T.J. Yates example, and the whatever-the-name-of-that-guy-was-that-stepped-in-for-Cutler-in-Chicago example. These things don't generally go well (unless you've got Frank Reich).


In fairness to Cousins, he saved the day against the Ravens and then beat the Browns on the road. They wouldn't have been in the playoffs without what he'd already accomplished for them this season.

That said ...

This is was a no-win situation. If you make the move of pulling RG3 up 14-0 in the 1st quarter and then LOSE with Cousins ... well, I would argue Shanahan gets roasted in the media far worse than he's getting it today. Granted, with hindsight, it would've been the correct decision. But I'm not going to fault the coach too much for playing his best player - especially if the player kept reassuring him he could still go. And I say that as someone impressed with what I've seen of Kirk Cousins - I think he's a future starting QB somewhere in the league.
   53. simon bedford Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4340986)
the dolphins had a perfect season using a back up for many weeks.
   54. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4340987)
So what. You either do it or you don't. Joe Webb got all the reps and had all the rhythm.


Joe Webb is a guy drafted as a wide receiver and then kept at QB as a project, who got thrown into starting at the last minute having literally never taken an NFL snap before. Kirk Cousins was drafted specifically to have a talented backup QB behind RGIII and has won NFL games this year. It's idiotic to compare the two situations or the two players.

Drew Brees was a backup. Tom Brady was a backup.


Matt Schaub was a backup.
   55. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:41 PM (#4340988)
Aaron Rodgers was a backup for 3 years.

There was a moment during the game yesterday where RGIII ran/limped to the sidelines to gain a few yards. At that point, they should have pulled him from the game. No one would have complained (he was noticeably hobbling) and if they still lost they would have had an excuse.


The baseball equivalent is watching a starting pitcher struggle in the 8th inning to get the ball over the plate, having a manager come out and ask him "How do you feel?", the starter saying "I'm a little gassed but I can get the next guy out.", and the manager leaving him in.
   56. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4340991)
I think he looked good in the 1st quarter because Seattle played him as if they were expecting him to be fully functional. Once they realized he wasn't it was curtains for them


And because he concussed himself on that play.
   57. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4340992)
I see, he had a nice game against the Browns. Excuse me, a 'Hot' Browns team. I'm convinced then.

With that line and those receivers against that defense, they would have needed Griffin to win. But he broke down, so they lost. End of story. They weren't winning in Green Bay anyway.
   58. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:44 PM (#4340993)
Right, if you take out the scoring drives they were quite ineffective. Thanks for the insight.


Everything looks "insightful" if you cherry pick sentences and not read the entire post.

But anyway Shanahan had to know that once Seattle adjusted to the fact that RGIII wasn't RGIII anymore that the Redskins' offense was going to sputter. I don't see how Shanahan coming into this game could expect his team to score 14 points in their first two drives of the game but even if he did expect that does he expect his team to score 21 points in the game? 25? 30?

I would love to know how many points he thinks his offense was going to score in that game with RGIII as QB. I thought they were incredibly lucky to get 14 points and I remember the announcers were commenting on RGIII lack of mobility in the first quarter and that eventually Seattle was going to adjust. If they could see it and if I could see it then Shanahan and his coaches could see it as well and probably saw it well before game time.
   59. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4340995)
I think he looked good in the 1st quarter because Seattle played him as if they were expecting him to be fully functional. Once they realized he wasn't it was curtains for them.

I thought he hit his hand or something. His throwing was fine in the 1st quarter. After that he was clearly off.
   60. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4340997)
With that line and those receivers against that defense, they would have needed Griffin to win. But he broke down, so they lost. End of story. They weren't winning in Green Bay anyway.

So they weren't winning without a healthy RGIII so they send out a hobbled RGIII who then get hurts and then they keep him playing until he gets hurt again? So they weren't going to beat the Packers so they play an injured RGIII in this game? These are your reasons for playing RGIII?
   61. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4340999)
Joe Webb is a guy drafted as a wide receiver and then kept at QB as a project, who got thrown into starting at the last minute having literally never taken an NFL snap before.

Is it too much to ask to look up a stat or two before your latest round of idiocy? Joe Webb has certainly had more positive moments in the NFL than Kirk Cousins.
   62. Greg K Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4341000)
The baseball equivalent is watching a starting pitcher struggle in the 8th inning to get the ball over the plate, having a manager come out and ask him "How do you feel?", the starter saying "I'm a little gassed but I can get the next guy out.", and the manager leaving him in.

I see "Little" chance of that ever happening.
   63. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4341002)
Joe Webb is a guy drafted as a wide receiver and then kept at QB as a project, who got thrown into starting at the last minute having literally never taken an NFL snap before.


Actually, that's not true.
He hadn't thrown a pass this year, but he had 152 pass attempts in 2010/11.
   64. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4341005)
I thought he hit his hand or something. His throwing was fine in the 1st quarter. After that he was clearly off

He got banged up in the first quarter but he was hobbled already entering the game and clearly had lost a step coming into the game.
   65. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4341006)
Packers? Were they going to beat the Falcons?
   66. Flynn Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4341009)
Steve Young was a backup.

The problem wasn't starting RG3, it was that he tweaked his knee in the first quarter. I didn't see the exact play, but other people have pointed to a specific play. Pretty much from the end of the first quarter he did nothing, and it was obvious he was hurt, so obvious that the Seahawks immediately started putting 8 in the box and daring a guy who could not push off his front leg to throw the ball.

It's the Grady Little decision of football except I don't think the Redskins are gonna win it all next year. If they blow their first chance at a franchise QB for 20 years then Shanahan deserves to live in DC sports infamy.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4341012)
I see "Little" chance of that ever happening.


/// throws chair
   68. jobu Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4341013)
Joe Webb is a guy drafted as a wide receiver and then kept at QB as a project, who got thrown into starting at the last minute having literally never taken an NFL snap before.

Obviously, this is a minor point in the context of the whole discussion, but Joe Webb played significantly in 2010 and 2011 (over 100 passes thrown). He threw some picks, but he looked like a guy that would give you a fighting chance.
   69. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4341015)
The problem wasn't starting RG3, it was that he tweaked his knee in the first quarter. I didn't see the exact play, but other people have pointed to a specific play. Pretty much from the end of the first quarter he did nothing, and it was obvious he was hurt, so obvious that the Seahawks immediately started putting 8 in the box and daring a guy who could not push off his front leg to throw the ball.

Precisely.
   70. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:50 PM (#4341016)
These are your reasons for playing RGIII?

The reason is that they thought he was healthy enough to win, like he did against Philly and Dallas. They jumped up 14-0, so they seemed right. Unfortunately, his health went downhill during the game and things fell apart. What are you going to do, guys get hurt. Yeah, they probably should have pulled him after that QB run where he limped out of bounds.

   71. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4341017)
The reason is that they thought he was healthy enough to win, like he did against Philly and Dallas. They jumped up 14-0, so they seemed right. Unfortunately, his health went downhill during the game and things fell apart. What are you going to do, guys get hurt. Yeah, they probably should have pulled him after that QB run where he limped out of bounds.

So all this back and forth and all this bashing of Cousins and you basically agree with virtually everybody who said Cousins should have been brought in? Ok, nice talking with you.
   72. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:54 PM (#4341019)
Steve Young was a backup.

So really, there are multiple folks that need to be told that there is a difference between sitting on the bench for a few years and growing into the starting role and being thrown into the playoff fire in your rookie season after barely playing all year? There isn't an obvious difference to anyone? If Shanahan had someone more seasoned ready to go he probably would have been more aggressive with the hook on Griffin.
   73. JJ1986 Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4341020)
If Shanahan had someone more seasoned ready to go he probably would have been more aggressive with the hook on Griffin.


I'll assume you don't know who the Redskins 3rd QB is.
   74. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:56 PM (#4341021)
Actually, that's not true.
He hadn't thrown a pass this year, but he had 152 pass attempts in 2010/11.


Huh. I must have misheard the telecast. Thanks for the correction.
   75. Flynn Posted: January 07, 2013 at 03:57 PM (#4341022)
That's because Shanahan's an idiot. Griffin did nothing after the first quarter. Bringing in Cousins and letting him warm up while still up by two touchdowns instead of down by 10 gives you a materially better chance of winning the game.

And even if Cousins is not the next Jeff Hostetler, you aren't doing crap versus Seattle or Atlanta without a semi-healthy RG3. So protect your franchise QB for the next 10 years. It's not like RG3 is 35 with the Over The Hill Gang for teammates. There is a tomorrow, or there was anyway.
   76. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:00 PM (#4341024)
So all this back and forth and all this bashing of Cousins and you basically agree with virtually everybody who said Cousins should have been brought in?

The whole thread is about whether it was irresponsible to play him at all. Someone upstream suggested pulling him after going up 14-0 (although that might have been Sam which shouldn't count).

Edit: And #75 comes along.

I'll assume you don't know who the Redskins 3rd QB is.

I do. Another post where I can't tell if this is a joke or not. "Alright, we are up two scores, all we need to put this game on ice is some Rex Grossman magic".
   77. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4341031)
"Alright, we are up two scores, all we need to put this game on ice is some Rex Grossman magic".


I'd play RG3 in a wheelchair over Sexy Rexy.
   78. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4341035)
Actually, that's not true.
He hadn't thrown a pass this year, but he had 152 pass attempts in 2010/11.


It's a side issue, but I don't know why you'd want your starting QB to take every snap in every game such that your backup never sees game action.

Why not put the backup in in blowouts, just to ensure he takes some snaps in case, you know, he is suddenly needed in a playoff game.
   79. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4341036)
The whole thread is about whether it was irresponsible to play him at all. Someone upstream suggested pulling him after going up 14-0 (although that might have been Sam which shouldn't count).


I suggested pulling him after the second TD, because two plays prior to that second TD he clearly and obviously concussed himself on a play on the sidelines.
   80. Flynn Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4341038)
If RG3 had a wheelchair the Skins might have had a better chance than they did. The play before he got hurt, where he went on that huge rollout, hobbling away and then took forever and a day to throw the ball, eventually getting sacked before he could figure out how to wing out a spiral on a screwed-up knee, was just pitiful. I mean, if THAT individual play didn't tell Shanahan that Cousins needed to come in then I don't know what would.
   81. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4341039)
Why not put the backup in in blowouts, just to ensure he takes some snaps in case, you know, he is suddenly needed in a playoff game.


There aren't that many blowouts in the NFL.
   82. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:11 PM (#4341042)
because two plays prior to that second TD he clearly and obviously concussed himself on a play on the sidelines.


Is his brain in his knee?
   83. Walt Davis Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:15 PM (#4341046)
This is was a no-win situation. If you make the move of pulling RG3 up 14-0 in the 1st quarter and then LOSE with Cousins ... well, I would argue Shanahan gets roasted in the media far worse than he's getting it today.

Whoa. Player health vs. coach getting heat from the media is "no-win".

Here again a comparison with the Strasburg situation. Rizzo took the heat and stuck to his guns. He might have been wrong about the best way to handle Strasburg but at least he didn't let fear of a media roasting change his mind.

Note, I doubt Shanahan gives a crap about whether he gets roasted in the media either, all he cared about was winning the game.

But, sorry, this is part of the attitude that has to go. A coach should get zero heat for not playing an injured player. And injured player should get zero heat for not coming back soon enough. And at no time should the word of a player be taken over the word of a doctor or trainer.
   84. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:16 PM (#4341049)
There aren't that many blowouts in the NFL.

Yeah, but there have been plenty of games where the backup should have come in at some point and gotten some reps. As I said in the NFL thread, coaches and FO manage to not get fired not manage to win. Pull your QB and blow a 10 point lead and you're the bad guy. Keep your QB in and have him tear his ACL and be out for the season is just one of those thing and you don't get blamed for not making the proper decision.
   85. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4341053)
Whoa. Player health vs. coach getting heat from the media is "no-win".


It's no-win for the coach. He's getting ripped today for playing Griffin. If he pulled him early with a lead (and far less evidence of Griffin's lack of mobility) he's gonna get hammered for overcaution and not playing to win the game.

Here again a comparison with the Strasburg situation. Rizzo took the heat and stuck to his guns. He might have been wrong about the best way to handle Strasburg but at least he didn't let fear of a media roasting change his mind.


I'll give him that. Bad decision in my view, but he took the heat.


But, sorry, this is part of the attitude that has to go. A coach should get zero heat for not playing an injured player. And injured player should get zero heat for not coming back soon enough. And at no time should the word of a player be taken over the word of a doctor or trainer.


Not saying you're wrong, but good luck with that. People talk - whether they have any business doing so or not.
   86. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:21 PM (#4341054)

Why not put the backup in in blowouts, just to ensure he takes some snaps in case, you know, he is suddenly needed in a playoff game.


Because in blowouts, you're typically running the ball to run out the clock. IIRC, Webb has taken snaps this year, but never passed it because well it was a blowout I suppose.

If you're in a blowout and losing, I can kinda see a point in getting a young backup in there to learn a bit, but you're also putting him in a really tough situation where he has the defense licking their chops against the pass every play. Maybe you play it straight up and don't care about the score instead of passing every down, I don't know. I think the league does a terrible job developing QBs, and really should start some sort of summer developmental league.
   87. just plain joe Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:22 PM (#4341055)
There aren't that many blowouts in the NFL.


To me that is the same argument that the gun people use regarding stricter gun controls, it won't stop all of the violence so it isn't worth trying. The same thing might apply in pro football, I'm sure that there aren't many blowouts in the NFL (I don't watch except for the playoffs); that doesn't mean that there aren't some, and that the backup quarterback(s) could get some game experience.
   88. Bob Tufts Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4341063)
I'm still wondering why Ray Lewis (he of the confession of obstruction of justice charge regarding two murders) is to be lauded and used in an NFL/Visa commerical.

And a commerical with a young girl - won't somebody pleae think of the children!

I believe in rehabiliation. but playing football and hitting people hard enough to have snot bubbles come out of their nose while acting like a wild man isn't exactly community service.


As for medications and playing, I was given indocin, butazolidin and DMSO (an illegal PED) in large quantities in 1979 by the Giants organization in order to play through shoulder problems - at the AA level in Shreveport. At that time, no one did a complete medical workup before loading me up with anti-inflammatories to note that I had only 1 kidney and the protocol could have destroyed my working kidney, damaged my liver put me on dialysis.
   89. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4341064)
Is his brain in his knee?


No, his brain is in his head, which he slammed into the frozen turf while falling backwards, clearly concussing himself. If he had been hit by a lineman in the same spot and exhibited the same behavior afterwards, he would have been pulled for testing.
   90. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:27 PM (#4341066)
Clearly? You're the only person I've heard mention this concern at all.
   91. Flynn Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:29 PM (#4341070)
It wasn't like there was one play between RG3 tweaking his knee and the fatal bad snap. He had two whole quarters of hobbling around doing nothing.

If Shanahan can't leverage his gravitas into "Robert was hurt, Cousins gave us the best chance to win, and oh I'm trying not to blow our franchise QB's knee out" then they should just hire his kid to be head coach and save on the salary.
   92. Howie Menckel Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4341073)

Grossman did trounce the eventual Super Bowl champions twice last year by double digits (well, he starred in the first one and after 2 INTs in the first 7 minutes of the second one, he settled down and they were up by 20 pts late....)



   93. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:34 PM (#4341075)
I'm still wondering why Ray Lewis (he of the confession of obstruction of justice charge regarding two murders) is to be lauded and used in an NFL/Visa commerical.


The deificaiton of Ray Lewis has been sickening. Meanwhile, athletes like Bonds and Clemens and McGwire and Palmeiro are vilified.
   94. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4341078)
So what. You either do it or you don't. Joe Webb got all the reps and had all the rhythm. He still sucked. These guys are backups for a reason.

This is a worse argument than you guys even seem to think, and not for all the reasons that have already been pointed out why it's a bad argument.

Webb sucked, and yet the Vikings played him over Ponder. Who is better - but was hurt. Clearly, there comes a point at which you have a better chance to win with your shitty backup playing than with your starter.

That point came for Shanahan the first time Griffin tweaked his knee. He should not have been out there. The kid couldn't run or throw. Waiting until Griffin snapped his ligament and literally couldn't stand up to conclude that the team had a better chance to win with Cousins was stupid, almost no matter how bad you think Cousins would have been.

And ETA: Grossman was inactive for that game anyway.
   95. Bug Selig Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4341083)
Shanahan completely abdicated his responsibility to be the decision-maker. He tried to pin it on the player - any player who is even a starter in high school is going to want to play if he can stand up - that cannot carry any weight in the coaches decision (and it absolutely is the coaches decision). He lied about interaction with the medical staff that never happened. I think he'd have had to stab both Griffin and Cousins in one or both eyes to be more wrong in his handling (or more correctly - spectating) of the situation.
   96. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:41 PM (#4341087)
If Shanahan can't leverage his gravitas into "Robert was hurt, Cousins gave us the best chance to win, and oh I'm trying not to blow our franchise QB's knee out" then they should just hire his kid to be head coach and save on the salary.


Precisely.
   97. Copronymus Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM (#4341089)
Grossman did trounce the eventual Super Bowl champions twice last year by double digits (well, he starred in the first one and after 2 INTs in the first 7 minutes of the second one, he settled down and they were up by 20 pts late....)


Hey, Rex has the most Super Bowl starts of anyone on the NFC side of the playoffs (tied with Rodgers). He's a proven winner!
   98. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM (#4341091)

The deificaiton of Ray Lewis has been sickening. Meanwhile, athletes like Bonds and Clemens and McGwire and Palmeiro are vilified.


Also curious that Melky Cabrera gets suspended for PEDs, people question whether the Giants should have their wins count with him in the lineup. Meanwhile, the Seahawks get a Pro Bowl corner suspended for PEDs, and the talk is only about how they should drop the appeal so he can play in the playoffs.
   99. McCoy Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4341096)
Clearly? You're the only person I've heard mention this concern at all.

If I recall they showed the replay of him banging his head and taking off his helmet all throughout the game and afterwards.
   100. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 07, 2013 at 04:47 PM (#4341101)
Clearly? You're the only person I've heard mention this concern at all.


I am not the only person to have seen it. I am the only person who has mentioned it on this thread so far. Neither of those facts in any way undermines the point. The play happened as I've described it.
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