- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
FENNO: RG3 returns to Redskins, but has a long way to go
Every other Redskins player ran out of giant inflatable helmet before Griffin in the last minutes before kickoff. The end to ‘Operation Patience,’ the nickname he gave to his dissatisfaction over not playing during the preseason, appeared in sight. Same with the offseason where each utterance, each phase of his recovery that didn’t include a single mention of a setback from the organization, each training camp drill in Richmond was parsed. Finished. Fireworks blasted off when he emerged.
Bam. Bam. Bam.
Griffin, in full view of the packed stadium, dropped to his knees and pounded the turf. The crowd’s roar grew. This felt like a revival. The months of drama and off-message bickering? Gone.
But Griffin wasn’t himself. Not at first. That’s to be expected after an injury that would’ve sidelined lesser athletes for another month or two. But the everything-is-great message from Griffin, Shanahan and company didn’t allow for the possibility of an adjustment period. The lack of game experience showed. Griffin’s footwork was off. Throws didn’t zip like normal. He locked onto receivers. Routine swing passes floundered. Timing wasn’t there. One deep ball dropped to the turf with no receivers nearby.
Forget last season’s array of exotic formations and creative uses for Griffin’s unique ability to scramble and rocket passes. Instead, the Redskins used him with all the aggressiveness of a high-priced vase wrapped in layers of protective bubble wrap.
“I think everyone involved,” Griffin said, “coaches, doctors, trainers, everyone’s relieved — parents, fans — that I came out of the game OK.”
After Mychal Hendricks tossed him to the ground in the second quarter, Griffin drew a flag for intentional grounding. The third hit Griffin absorbed in the half left the quarterback slow to push himself up from the turf. He limped for a minute, then found his footing.
That’s how Griffin’s return went. Ragged, ineffective, at times, and absolutely necessary.
Glimpses of the old quarterback returned in the second half, those moments when he makes escaping trouble in the backfield to fling the ball downfield look simple. In the fourth quarter alone, Griffin rolled up 169 of his career-best 329 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns. The erratic start faded. The damage, though, had been done in the 33-27 loss to the Eagles.
But the fast-paced recovery overshadowed the equally challenging task of returning to play football’s most demanding position in situations bearing little resemblance to the languid days of training camp.
The wait ended Monday night, but the healing continues.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Declassified cables from Berlin Wall tell tale of drama, dare,
- Judge denies settlement motion in NFL concussion lawsuit
- Jay Gruden's long and winding road to Washington
- FENNO: Championship game provides an opportunity to listen to those who play
- FENNO: For Redskins, nonsensical is the new normal
Latest Blog Entries
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Brewer signs 1 of 4 pro-gun bills passed Wednesday
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.