- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

For the most part, there is no quarterback controversy inside the Beltway. Robert Griffin III is Washington’s starter, face of the franchise, championship cornerstone and future Ring of Famer.

But that’s not the case outside the DMV.


SEE ALSO: Robert Griffin III promises to play well in opener on Sunday


Everywhere else in the continental 48 — the Rust Belt, Bible Belt, Great Plains, Northeast Corridor and Wild Wild West — RG3 is simply a leading character in the national entertainment show known as NFL football. Whether he fails or succeeds is irrelevant at the moment.

Viewers are thoroughly engrossed because he remains an interesting story line. And nothing spices up a drama like a little contention — imagined or not.

Nine other quarterbacks were selected in the 2012 draft after Andrew Luck and RG3 went one-two at the top. One even landed in the same locker room with Griffin, an unusual and intriguing twist that drew extra attention from the start.


SEE ALSO: LOVERRO: For Robert Griffin III, ‘Will to Win’ no longer sufficient


First-rounders Ryan Tannehill (middling) and Brandon Weeden (a bust) landed starting jobs immediately with Miami and Cleveland, respectively. But other QBs faded into the background as quickly as their names were called.

Second-rounder Brock Osweiler remains gainfully employed in Denver as Peyton Manning’s seldom-used backup. Sixth-rounder Ryan Lindley recently was cut by Arizona, his original team, and signed to San Diego’s practice squad. Seventh-rounders Chandler Harnish and B.J. Coleman are out of the league, having never seen regular-season action.

Boring.

But two other quarterbacks in that draft have expanded beyond their third-round status and individual markets to become national characters in their own right. They have joined Griffin on the stage he set when he followed up his Heisman Trophy with the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

One, Russell Wilson, won the Super Bowl last season and leads Seattle as it kicks off the NFL season Thursday night against Green Bay. The other, Nick Foles, threw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions last year while leading Philadelphia to the NFC East title, a feat the Eagles are widely expected to repeat.

Can RG3 keep up? Can he recapture the magic? Can he retain his job? Tune in next season!

Forget about Luck, who’s virtually the sole reason Indianapolis reached the playoffs in each of his two seasons. Washington would’ve picked him, too, if given the choice.

But Wilson and Foles (and to a lesser extent, Washington backup Kirk Cousins) have become significant subplots to the RG3 drama that fascinated the country from the beginning and has grown ever since.

Start with the king’s ransom in draft picks and the breakout rookie season. Throw in the gruesome knee injury and the 3-13 sophomore campaign. Add a few TV commercials for ubiquitous national brands. Mix it all together with his playful eyes, camera-ready smile and me-against-the-world attitude.

Story Continues →