Robert Griffin III is starting for the Cleveland Browns this Sunday and has the chance to make a positive impression upon the front office.
The Cleveland Browns plan to start Robert Griffin III this Sunday as they host the Cincinnati Bengals. Griffin has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since he hurt it in the Week 1 loss to Philadelphia.
Along with Griffin starting, Hue Jackson will be eyeing his first victory with the Browns Sunday against his former team. Jackson is up for a challenge with Griffin back at the helm as the Browns are face-to-face with the reality of a winless season with four games still to play.
With the announcement of Griffin being named the starting quarterback this week and presumably for the remaining four games, it is clear Griffin will have his work cut out for him. After an offseason of hope and optimism surrounding the comeback of Griffin, he quickly found his way on the IR after Week 1.
This season was supposed to give Griffin a full 16 games to prove to the Browns organization that he was capable of being the long-term answer at the quarterback position moving forward.
The first step of that for Griffin was removing the injury-prone label he has added over his career. He has failed in that aspect, but the organization is excited to see him over the course of the last four games.
Coach Jackson had high praise for Griffin’s growth as a player and for his leadership throughout the offseason. Griffin now will be pressed in to action with two big tasks at hand: win a game for the Browns, and play well enough to have the opportunity to be or compete for the starting quarterback position in 2017.
Griffin has a tremendous amount of talent and athletic ability but his development has been stunted mainly by injuries and coaching changes. The front office is not going to demand perfection and a miracle performance from him, but will want to see steady improvement over the last month of the season.
Keys to Griffin’s success include sliding and avoiding the big unnecessary big hits from defenders, as well as showing the ability to accurately deliver the football from the pocket, and limit turnovers and mistakes. Showing progression and leadership over these four games will prove to make or break Griffins tenure in Cleveland.
The front office will look to explore every avenue of improving the quarterback position in the offseason. However, if Griffin impresses the coaching staff and front office, he will be given the chance to compete and earn the job again in 2017. Griffin was asked on Friday by the media if he can still be the quarterback of the future,
"“My job is to go out there and make them believe that. Every single day that you come into the building, you have to show the coaches, show the organization that you are going to do what it takes to be that guy. That has not changed just because they named me starter or just because you are playing. It is an everyday thing. It is not just a Sunday thing. That has always been my focus is just to come in here and show my teammates that I can do this for them. If we all do our job equally, we can go out there and win football games, and that is the bottom line.”"
Hue Jackson has been a huge supporter and believer in Griffin’s ability. If that wasn’t the case the quarterback would not be in Cleveland. If Griffin can remain healthy and show continued development as a passer, the Browns’ 2017 starting quarterback may be Griffin.
However, Griffin must show signs of life as a capable quarterback Sunday, because the organization does not have more time to waste waiting for his development. The first step to his career revival starts Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.