• Recent Article Comments Widget

    edave

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    The current rushing stats are skewed by all the big running plays. And where did those come from?... Go to last post

    edave 10-01-2014 01:22 AM
    darvon

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    OK. Take your 10/5 as gospel. That divides the NFL into 3 parts, 10/17/5

    A win above your... Go to last post

    darvon 09-30-2014 09:49 PM
    Ragar

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    I think this is definitely a case where we need more information for all the spots after 5.
    ... Go to last post

    Ragar 09-30-2014 09:10 PM
    darvon

    Who Should Replace Dennis Allen in Oakland?

    FInally someone will coach Oakland that can motivate people and get things done.


    ... Go to last post

    darvon 09-30-2014 06:56 PM
    Hoser

    Who Should Replace Dennis Allen in Oakland?

    The Mrs. very much wants Chucky back. Everyone else gets a "meh" from her. Go to last post

    Hoser 09-30-2014 05:33 PM
    Hoser

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    I don't know. Maybe.
    As I've lamented many times already their Bubbas up front aren't their... Go to last post

    Hoser 09-30-2014 05:15 PM
    iwatt

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    Aaron Rodgers is great. The Bears pass D and pass rush is suspect, to say the least. Not ready to... Go to last post

    iwatt 09-30-2014 04:26 PM
    ScottDCP

    Top 10/Bottom 5 - Week 5!

    If they are the fifth best team in the league and not impressing you, you are a super-tough grader.... Go to last post

    ScottDCP 09-30-2014 03:10 PM
    Patrick Sullivan

    Who Should Replace Dennis Allen in Oakland?

    After spending the entire day telling us that Tony Sparano would not be the Raiders' interim head... Go to last post

    Patrick Sullivan 09-30-2014 02:24 PM
  • Contributors


    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • RGIII and Out



    Robert Griffin III was hurt last night, but he promised his coach that he wasn't injured. Mike Shanahan then felt that Griffin III deserved to right to make the decision to keep playing. Mike Shanahan did his player and the team a disservice by doing so.

    In case it is needed, the following is the summary of the events during the Wild Card Playoff game yesterday at Fedex Field. The Redskins began the game with two dominating drives to take a 14-0 lead over the visiting Seattle Seahawks. Near the end of the second drive, the rookie Redskins quarterback rolled right across the field, threw an incomplete pass and landed awkwardly on his already damaged knee. At one point in the beginning of the second quarter, the Redskins had 129 yards to nine for the Seahawks. The visitors came back to make the score 14-13 at the half, but Griffin III looked as healthy as he could have. In the second half, something clearly changed. Griffin missed passes and the team was unable to move the ball. After 129 yards in about 18 minutes, the Redskins managed 74 total yards for the remainder of the contest. During the time that RGIII remained in the game, the Redskins ran just one of their signature read option plays. He gained 8 yards on that play by limping laterally with a slight angle behind great blocking. Eventually, Griffin III had to leave the game when his knee finally gave out with a few minutes left in the game, which lead to a turnover and a field goal that pushed the Seattle lead to two scores. The extent of that final inury should be known soon.

    The story is the classic argument about the coach's job to do what is best for the team and how much a player should be allowed to make decisions for himself. The fact that Griffin III was even playing is an interesting argument to begin with. Just before the game, a report came out that Dr. James Andrews did not clear Griffin III to return to the Ravens game when the injury initially occurred. Robert Griffin III took a little time off from an injury that could sideline a player for weeks and then returned to the starting role.

    There is no doubt that Robert Griffin III is a tough guy, a leader and a very talented quarterback. There is no doubt that Griffin III felt that he needed to be in the game for his teammates. During the post-game interviews, Griffin III referred to "being a man," that "didn't feel like" he hurt the team along with other references to being the guy in Washington. He even admitted that he knew that he was putting himself at risk. Mike Shanahan decided to let an injured player play because he did not do what he should have done as coach. He should have been able to separate emotion from the facts that the untrained eye could see.

    The fact that the reaggravation of his previous injury in the first half did not seem to really hurt his play until the third quarter points to a couple possibilities. Perhaps some Toradol was used before the game and it started to wear off. Perhaps that the temperature in the stadium allowed the pain to set in. Perhaps the rest at the half caused his adrenaline to decrease to the level where the injury began to hurt him. Either way, Mike Shanahan made two terrible mistakes.

    The first mistake was to allow a player to make a decision that he should not make. Most players are tough. Most players will continue to play while injured. That is the nature of the sport and the nature of the community in a NFL locker room. If Shanahan knew that he could not step up to make the decision himself, then someone else involved with the organization should have made it for him.

    The second mistake was a failure to see the long-term ramifictions of what that decision did for the team. No one knows if Kirk Cousins could have won the game for Washington if he had a whole half to play instead of a desparation drive or two. What is pretty apparent is that Griffin III was injured and was no longer the dymanic threat on the field that is his trademark. Not only could he not run, he had no juice on the few throws his did attempt in the second half. The best case scenario for the Redskins at that point was to have Griffin III gut out a win only to be unable to play next week. Then the worst case happened. The Redskins lost the game and a serious injury would leave in question whether or not RGIII could begin the 2013 season.

    This is supposed to be the new NFL that cares for the safety of the players. Mike Shanahan probably cares. Unfortunately, his actions were one that followed the old unwritten rules of the game. His hurt his team and his player by letting his quarterback play "hurt."

    Comments 14 Comments
    1. tubbs1518's Avatar
      Thats exactly what I said last night. Shanahan has to be the man and make that decision to pull Griffin.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      people should remember how they reacted to Cutler 2 years ago. The response he received might have colored RG3's ttitude
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      people should remember how they reacted to Cutler 2 years ago. The response he received might have colored RG3's ttitude
      Not to rehash this debate, but I think it was the optics of the whole Jay Cutler situation that did him in. He looked pretty healthy on the sidelines.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      I don't think RGIII's attitude was colored, I just think he wanted to play at all costs. I don't think that mentality in a pro athlete will ever change.

      Following that 2nd drive, he was looked at by Dr. Andrews. He was evidently cleared to go back into the game, whether by Andrews, or by Shanahan. This is mere speculation, but IF Dr. Andrews were to have told the team that Griffin shouldn't have gone back in, and Shanahan overruled him, then Andrews needs to resign as team physician immediately. I'd think he has enough clout in the medical community to not need that Redskins gig.

      That said, unless Andrews states otherwise, we have to assume Griffin was cleared following the 2nd drive. I'd gather that adrenaline had a lot to do with him looking relatively comfortable throughout the remainder of the 1st half. But in the 2nd half, he looked completely different. I heard Ron Jaworski mention this morning that it was clear that Griffin was throwing off his front foot the entier 2nd half. He looked injured, and his play was clearly compromised, crystalized by that 8 yard run. Players have gutted games out before (I root for one that has done so, sometimes against better judgment, for much of his career). But when he's clearly hurting himself and the team, as he was, Shanahan certainly has the clout to jump in there and tell the kid he's done for the day. No one would have questioned his decision, nor RGIII's toughness at that point. Unfortunately, he continued to play, the worst case scenario happened, and the knee gave way.

      This reminds me of the situation involving Dennis Dixon while he was still at Oregon. In 2007, Dixon was a front-runner for the Heisman. Oregon had 1 loss, and was still very much in the Pac-10 hunt, as well as possibly the national championship hunt. Dixon tore his ACL in a win over Arizona State.

      Then, 12 days later, in a nationally televised Thursday game, Dixon was miraculously back on the field. He scored the 1st TD of the game on a 39 yard open-field run, hobbling badly through the 2nd half of that run.

      That play was Dixon's last at Oregon. To this day, every time I see Mike Belotti on an ESPN telecast, I think of that play. It is the coaches job to save players from themselves, especially when a Torn ACL has already been the diagnosis. Belotti's selfish motivations on that night were embarrassing, and should have resulted in his immediate removal as the Oregon HC. As it turns out, he only stayed 1 more year.

      This situation is different, in that it's the pros, and RGIII was not playing on a torn ACL. Unless he was. I'm curious as to what went on in that back room prior to him coming back out for their 3rd offensive drive, and if anyone knew at that point how severe his knee injury may actually have been.

      I'm not assuming anything here, other than he was healthy enough to be cleared by Andrews. But remembering that Oregon game makes me at least wonder if something similar may have happened yesterday.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      Being cleared by Andrews after the first awkward fall is a good point that I hope we get an answer to. I would like to know who technically has the say in Washington. My guess is it is Shanny, not even Andrews. And, yes, that means Andrews probably should not be involved at all.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      I know we've had a little chatter on this in the forum, but I tend to agree with Rich. If I was Shanahan, I might have let RGIII play out the first half. In the second, though, I would hope I would notice how ineffective he was. He only completed five passes after his opening scoring drives. He couldn't run and the rest of the offense wasn't moving any more, either. You would think halftime would be the perfect time to adjust to Cousins in the lineup, but even still, a relief pitcher was needed by the mid-third.

      Trumpet mentioned Dennis Dixon. My first thought, whenever this comes up, is the 2003 ALCS. I was living in Mass. at the time and Sox fans hit the roof after manager Grady Little (who had coached in Cleveland and I always thought was a good baseball man) left a struggling Pedro Martinez in after a visit to the mound in the 8th inning. Martinez gave up three runs in the eighth to tie the game, Aaron Boone won it in the 11th with a walk-off home run, and the rest, as they say, is history. Grady Little was fired and the Boston Red Sox went on to win two World Series with Terry Francona in 2004 and 2007.

      Now, after the game, Little and Martinez said more or less the same thing as Shanahan and Griffin. Pedro Martinez told Little he could get out of the jam, and Little believed in his pitcher and that he'd earned the right to be out there. (In point of fact, I believed in the move at the time, too, because Pedro Martinez in his prime is still the greatest pitcher that I've ever seen. No debates.) This is more or less what Shanahan said about III. The neurotic Boston press went chicken-killer on Little and got him fired when the element of injury wasn't even in play. Football is a little different from baseball--you substitute for pitchers routinely, rarely for quarterbacks--but if you don't think baseball players are tough, you're kidding yourself. No one would have approved of Martinez saying, 'take me out,' and everyone expected Little to do it anyway. Or, at least, thought he should have after disaster struck.

      More significantly, though, Little only risked that season's playoffs on Martinez's arm--and as I've said before, as good as he'd been for as long as he'd been, it's a bet I would have made too, even if my eyes told me he was tired. The Redskins on Sunday played a quarterback who was obviously ineffective for the lion's share of the game and who was clearly hurt. I don't know if he was evaluated and at half someone indicated there was no structural damage to knee. I'm not sure, but I have heard that ligament tears are not wear-and-tear injuries. Either way, as much as Washington gave up to get RGIII and as much as they report to like Cousins, you might think they'd have made a call to the bullpen a little bit earlier.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Point blank, James Andrews is hired to be your team physician specifically to prevent things like this from occurring. He's the best there ever was at what he does. If you're not going to take his advice, then why hire him in the first place?

      Because of that, I'll assume Andrews signed off until I'm told otherwise. No matter how much of a "man" culture there is in the NFL, it's hard to believe someone like Shanahan would be stubborn enough to ignore the advice of Andrews. Maybe Griffin, who's main objective is to play, but it's Shanahan's job to be in constant communication with his team's doctor, especially when Griffin is in the type of compromised state he appeared to be in prior to his knee giving out in the 4th quarter.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Point blank, James Andrews is hired to be your team physician specifically to prevent things like this from occurring. He's the best there ever was at what he does. If you're not going to take his advice, then why hire him in the first place?

      Because of that, I'll assume Andrews signed off until I'm told otherwise. No matter how much of a "man" culture there is in the NFL, it's hard to believe someone like Shanahan would be stubborn enough to ignore the advice of Andrews. Maybe Griffin, who's main objective is to play, but it's Shanahan's job to be in constant communication with his team's doctor, especially when Griffin is in the type of compromised state he appeared to be in prior to his knee giving out in the 4th quarter.
      Can't disagree with a word of that.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Also, again, to get Griffin, Washington is still on the hook for their 2013 and 2014 first round picks. There is quite a bit more than yesterday's playoff game riding on the long-term viability of Griffin's knees.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Because of that, I'll assume Andrews signed off until I'm told otherwise. No matter how much of a "man" culture there is in the NFL, it's hard to believe someone like Shanahan would be stubborn enough to ignore the advice of Andrews. Maybe Griffin, who's main objective is to play, but it's Shanahan's job to be in constant communication with his team's doctor, especially when Griffin is in the type of compromised state he appeared to be in prior to his knee giving out in the 4th quarter.
      Reading some of the stuff out there, I get the impression that Shannahan hasn't listened to Andrews before. This is all hearsay of course. Was Andrews consulted during half time? Given RG3 was wearing the race, specifically designed to support the LCL, and he defintely wasn't in there long enough to take it off, it's hard to see how much of an evaluation could be done in the shed.

      I don't blame RG3. I brought up the CUtler issue because I'm always interested in how similar situations are judged differently.

      Rich Eisen just tweeted:

      Rich Eisen ‏@richeisen

      I honestly don't understand the criticism of @RGIII. If Favre had done this, we'd (mostly) be lionizing him for his heart, guts, fortitude
      There's alot that goes into this. Likebaility, reputation, misfortune, and good/ill will.

      For good or bad, RG3 has lived all season with the "he might get hurt" label. When he got hurt, it served to validate this for many people.

      My biggest problem is with the Shanny's. Whoever made him run those 8 yards where he was grimacing is an idiot. OK, the kid couldn't plant to throw. That was obvious by the end of the 1st half. So you run the ball and throw short stuff, or you put Cousins in. What you don't do is keep playing the read option, and the play action fake.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post
      Reading some of the stuff out there, I get the impression that Shannahan hasn't listened to Andrews before. This is all hearsay of course. Was Andrews consulted during half time? Given RG3 was wearing the race, specifically designed to support the LCL, and he defintely wasn't in there long enough to take it off, it's hard to see how much of an evaluation could be done in the shed.

      I don't blame RG3. I brought up the CUtler issue because I'm always interested in how similar situations are judged differently.

      Rich Eisen just tweeted:

      There's alot that goes into this. Likebaility, reputation, misfortune, and good/ill will.

      For good or bad, RG3 has lived all season with the "he might get hurt" label. When he got hurt, it served to validate this for many people.

      My biggest problem is with the Shanny's. Whoever made him run those 8 yards where he was grimacing is an idiot. OK, the kid couldn't plant to throw. That was obvious by the end of the 1st half. So you run the ball and throw short stuff, or you put Cousins in. What you don't do is keep playing the read option, and the play action fake.
      Exactly. These are the same fools who would have criticized RGIII if he had taken himself out of the game, much like Cutler had to do. Fact is, this isnt on the player. We should want any player to have that type of toughness to try and go out there for the team, especially as a leader. Ray Lewis did it, London Fletcher has done it, Ben Roethlisberger has done it, Brett Favre, the list goes on and on. It's the coaches responsibility to show common sense. Especially when that coach is a 15+ year Head Coaching vet who has 2 Super Bowls to his name. He's got to be better than that.
    1. iwatt's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      Ray Lewis did it, London Fletcher has done it, Ben Roethlisberger has done it, Brett Favre, the list goes on and on.
      Every single player has done it. We don't hear it every time though. The world is full of O Linemen playing on one leg, or concussed. Then you have the dichotomy of skill players (RBs, WRs and DBs), who are routinely pulled because if they aren't 100%, they are hurting the team.

      QBs can try to play on one leg. Skill players can't. And because the game plan for RG3 made him a skill player at least 30% of the time, he should have either been pulled, or the game plan changed. Nobody questions RBs toughness, but when you see they can't cut or accelerate, you take them out.

      On a happier note, anybody else looking forward to Russel Wilson blowing up Asante Samuel while elad blocking for Lynch

      In all seriousness, that was dumb. One of the safeties could have blown him up but good. Still remember Cutler screwing up his hand in 2011 trying to tackle a DB.

      These are the same fools who would have criticized RGIII if he had taken himself out of the game, much like Cutler had to do.
      Small caveat. Cutler didn't take himself out of the game. He was taken out by a responsible coach and an attentive medical staff. He is as dumb as Favre and RG3 in that sense. It takes a special kind of insanity to be an elite athlete in any sport. One of the main components of that insanity is an incredible lack of self awareness and sense of mortality. People ridiculed Flacco and Eli for saying "I'm elite", but it's that attitude that has them were they are. Even Mark Sanchez believes he is good.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by iwatt View Post

      Small caveat. Cutler didn't take himself out of the game. He was taken out by a responsible coach and an attentive medical staff. He is as dumb as Favre and RG3 in that sense. It takes a special kind of insanity to be an elite athlete in any sport. One of the main components of that insanity is an incredible lack of self awareness and sense of mortality. People ridiculed Flacco and Eli for saying "I'm elite", but it's that attitude that has them were they are. Even Mark Sanchez believes he is good.
      Yes, thank you. I meant to include the word "perceived" to have taken himself out, but was squeezing that thought in during my lunch break. And that's the best point. People have the tendency to overreact negatively to nearly every situation. We tend to be a very hypocritical society when it comes to analyzing our athletes.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      So, that worst case scenario that could have been completely avoided:

      http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/1...rgo-total-knee