RG3 To Start vs. Pittsburgh

In 2020.

Jim Rome
December 02, 2020 - 9:15 am
Robert Griffin

Getty Images


It’s Wednesday and you know what that means – it’s time for some NFL football. Week 12 continues. But let’s call it what it is: Week 12 1/2 or Week 12ish.

I still cannot believe that in just over three hours from now, the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will be kicking off.

And if that wasn’t crazy enough, if a 3:40pm ET/12:40pm PT/10:40am HT kickoff isn’t wacky enough for you, consider the Ravens starting quarterback situation. Lamar Jackson is out with Covid. That means they have to go with their backup in a huge December game against their rivals.

And their backup is none other than…. Robert Griffin III. RGIII.

RGIII is starting a game in 2020. On a Wednesday afternoon. That makes no sense and all the sense at the same time.

I mean, playing an NFL game on a Wednesday afternoon is insane, but let’s really crazy with it: No half-assing it.  Let’s, to quote my good friend Ed Mylett, let’s just MAX OUT. 

What’s the point of having a normal Wednesday afternoon NFL game? Lean the bleep into it. If you’re going to have to a Weds. Afternoon NFL, you sure as hell better have R G BLEEPING III START IN IT. 

If I had told you nine years ago, when RGIII was winning the Heisman that he’d be an NFL starter in 2020, you’d have said, of course. Because the guy was electric. Absolutely unstoppable.

If I had told you eight years ago, that RGIII would be an NFL starter in 2020, you’d have said, of course. Because he was even more electric. And even more unstoppable. He was a Pro Bowler and the offensive rookie of the year.

Let me repeat that part – he was the offensive rookie of the year in a rookie class that included Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. That is how good and how electric this guy was. He didn’t just beat defenses, he humiliated them. He was an absolute rock star. A UNICORN. 

He was just as likely to throw a touchdown pass that went 68 yards in the air as he was to break off a 76-yard touchdown run. He even had his own viral moment, “Griffining.” 

Do you remember that? It came from a game against the Saints where he completed a short pass to Pierre Garcon. Griffin was knocked down and was sitting on the ground, holding his arms up, as Garcon scored.

That is how iconic this guy was. Just sitting on the ground holding his arms up and suddenly people all over the country were doing that and taking photos of themselves.

Washington won seven straight games to close out the regular season and made the playoffs.   And he was pretty much the biggest thing in the world. And then it all fell apart. And by “it all,” I mean it all. Everything. Not just the season, but everything about RGIII.  

He went from being the coolest guy on the planet to the weirdest guy on the planet. Allegedly.

Late in the season, he injured his knee against Baltimore, but played a few more downs, even though it was clear that he was busted up. And then in the playoff game against Seattle, his knee was destroyed.

And everything went straight to hell from there. There was the report that he called a meeting with head coach Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, and quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur.

He reportedly wrote on the following items on the board:

1 - Change things.

2 - Change our protections.

3 - Unacceptable.

4 - Bottom line.

And then asked to speak without being interrupted and, according to Jason Reid, “rolled through a list of grievances, stressing that substantive changes had to occur immediately. Scrap the pass protection scheme and start over, Griffin demanded. There were 19 plays — primarily those from the 50-series and quarterback draws — that were unacceptable.”

I’m not saying that a franchise quarterback shouldn’t play an active role in determining the course of the offense and the course of his own career. But that is quite a crew he is lecturing about “change things” “unacceptable” and “bottom line.”  That truly takes an amazing set of brass nad to get up on a chalkboard and scratch all that out to all those coaches. More amazing than anything the guy ever did on the field. Not only was he lecturing and talking down to his coaches, but doing it to a guy with two rings, another  guy who went on to change and revolutionize offenses in the league and another guy who would go to the NFC championship game in his first season as a head coach. All while giving up this vibe of sit the hell down, shut the hell up: I tried doing it your way, now we’re doing it my way. Absolutely incredible.

And the following season, there was another incredible report from Mike Silver that Griffin wasn’t happy with the criticism he was receiving from Mike Shanahan and "at Baylor they didn't put RG3's bad plays up on the board in the meeting rooms. Sources familiar with the situation say they've asked the Redskins to do the same but they've refused to this point."

Absolutely legendary. What an outstanding statement. Instead of showing the things I did wrong, how about you show all the things I did right? That was in 2013.

At every turn, it went from bad, to worse, to completely and totally embarrassing. He went from cool to corny. Corny as hell. He left Washington, went to Cleveland, and then came to Baltimore. 

And now that guy is starting an NFL game in 2020. On a Wednesday afternoon.  At 12:40 my time. And it’s an important game for a team battling for a playoff spot.

And even more insane, is who he’ll be playing with. First off, he’s playing with a team that hasn’t practiced since November 22. They have 16 players on the Covid list, including six Pro Bowlers.

But more specifically, Baltimore had hoped that Mark Ingram and JK Dobbins would be able to play. They’re coming off the Covid list and the hope had been that they coming off the list today and fly to Pittsburgh separately.

Except according to reports this morning, they are not expected to play. So it looks like it will be Gus Edwards and Justice Hill at running back.

And for wide receivers, Griffin will be throwing to a group that includes Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, and Dez Bryant.

Freaking insane.

RGIII throwing to Dez Bryant in 2020. The writing room that came up with this plot twist really outdid themselves. Saying something is the most 2020 thing ever, has become the most 2020 thing ever: but RG 3 throwing it to Dez Bryant, on a weds, afternoon really is the most 2020 thing ever. 

Again, if I had said to you in 2012 that RGIII would be throwing passes to Dez Bryant, you would be saying, how many Super Bowl rings do they have? Because RGIII was the offensive rookie of the year and Dez had nearly 1400 yards and 12 touchdowns.

You’d be thinking those guys had so many rings, they could use them as brass knuckles and break faces. 

Instead, one guy is making his second start since 2016 and the other guy is playing in his third game since 2017. RG III to Dez Bryant. They didn’t want to line up Miles Austin on the other side? Maybe drop Alvin harper into the slot?

The stones on RG3.

That’s like if me gearing up for my NFL today hit, and the legend Drew Kalisky gives me my assignment, tells me what he wants me to rant on: I tell him what my rants are, and sends back a few notes and thoughts and I look it over briefly. Shake my head and hit reply with “UNACCEPTABLE.”

You guys have doing this show for years and killing it but there needs to be substantive changes immediately!

1.      My 3 MINUTE ViewS from Rome need to be 30 minutes

2.      In fact, the WHOLE show should just be called ROME

3.      Instead of superstar JB throwing to me, I’m gonna intro myself. I'll ask my own questions, then answer them myself.

4.      Scrap the other segments with legends like Bill Cowher and Boomer. Start over.

5.      Do we really even need to play the games? Just have more Rome

The end.  I can’t wait to watch RG3 today, and then see what he writes on John Harbaugh’s chalkboard after they lose.