Sep 19, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) falls into the end zone for a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE
By now, everyone has read the stories about Robert Griffin III’s less-than-pleased take on the St. Louis Rams defense. The Redskin’s game last Sunday was definitely a chippy game, starting off with a number of “unsportsmanlike penalties” on both the the Rams and the Redskins, and ended with a another that pushing Washington out of field goal range. Griffin wasn’t necessary as whiny as some of the stories would like you to believe, but fans, analysts, and players are all letting him know what happens when you complain to the media in the NFL. Here are some of the one liners from his comments:
"“There was some extracurricular stuff going on after the plays,” Griffin said. “They were doing a lot of dirty things. I still think they have an extremely good team, that doesn’t take anything away from them, but the game was unprofessional. Who am I to talk? I’ve barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints compared to that game, it was definitely unprofessional and it does need to be cleaned up.”“I remember one play. After the play, the guy said: ‘We’re going to hit you every play.'”“I don’t want to tip-toe the lines of anything that’s happened with bounties or anything like that, but they were definitely going after me,” Griffin said. “They made it a point, obviously, all week to hit me. Some of the shots were cheap of that nature. But it’s nothing I can control. Teams are going to try to hit me because they don’t think I can take a hit. I think I’ve proved over my career that I can.”"
The Saints are not the Rams, and teams are going to be laying hits on the rookie as much as they can, just as they would any other quarterback. Here is how some of the St. Louis Rams players and coaches from around the league responded:
"“We’re going to play our own style of football and I’m sorry he didn’t like it. I hope he has a good day.” – St. Louis Rams OLB, Jo-Lonn Dunbar“It’s not the Big 12… I don’t think we’re a dirty team. I think we’re a team that’s hungry, young and eager to make a turnaround in the franchise.” – St. Louis Rams RB, Steven Jackson“If he took issue with how we played, so be it,” he said. “I’m not concerned about that. I’m more concerned about the Bears.” -St. Louis Rams Head Coach, Jeff Fisher“You want me to say a team is dirty before we play them? Is that what you’re asking me? I see a team that plays hard, that’s what I see. There’s a lot of things going on; I know they’re running to the ball defensively, playing hard. Offensively, they’re playing until the whistle blows. That’s what we’re seeing. We play the same way, so I see a hard-fought football team.” – Chicago Bears Head Coach, Lovie Smith"
For the most part, the response to the comments has been pretty negative. Here are some of the top comments from fans bashing RGIII about the topic.
"“After the play, the guy said: ‘We’re going to hit you every play.’ Well, I’m thinking that the Saints would have said that as well if they weren’t on a watch list…LOL. Seriously there Superstar, you better put your big girl panties on. You have at least 14 more games in which really large, and really fast and really hyped up men are looking to make a name for themselves at your expense and if they can get away with late hits….Now that your a published whiner, expect defenses over the next 14 weeks or so to exploit this chink in your armor.” -Jim Humphries, Bleacher Report“I’d wait ’til he starts going Allen Iverson and starts complaining about practice cheap shots. Then I’d call him a crybaby. Give him a small break. He played against a team full of dirty secondary players and a coach who fails to rehab dirty players in general. Not surprised that he complained about the Rams in this one, but either way, even though he is doing rookie mistakes by going “boo-hoo, they hurt me” in the media, 1. There is no way in hell he will suffer as much abuse as either David Carr or Sam Bradford, and 2. refer to my point above about Jeff Fisher and the Rams secondary.” -Reggie Lopez“NO……. even if you did take cheap shots, you don’t come out and say it! That means they got into your head and other teams will be doing what they can to get in there too.” -OPENLYUGLY“Does he think this whining and crying is going to make other teams back off? He just guaranteed himself more late hits and “dirty play.” The Rams won and the Saints didn’t, the saints game plan isn’t the one other teams will follow.” -hustersrock1“I never here Alex Smith cry about players hitting him. RG3 is a wimp. Go back to peddling subway. HTTR!” -voiceofreason“I’m a life-long, die hard Redskins fan and was irritated at RG3 for the first time last week. He whined after every call that went against our offense last week and now this. We love you Bob, but seriously, shut up and play.” -mike41april"
Still others, namely Redskins’ fans, were not thrilled with the “extra-curricular” hits on their star quarterback. Here are some fans backing the rookie for taking a stand against, what is being perceived as, “dirty play” on the field:
"“I don’t blame him one bit for talking about this. It wasn’t hard shots he took during game play that were the problem, it was the three or four times the rams would start to get up off of him and then slam his head back to the turf with their forearm 5 seconds after the whistle. That is NOT NFL football. There would have been about 15 personal fouls and two or three ejections if the regular refs were in charge. Did you guys even watch the game?” -chasefan31“Jeff fisher is the dirtiest coach in football. He and Greg Williams are great buddies.” -rooneyruleblues“Fisher has always coached that kind of team: one that plays dirty. Good players don’t have to take cheap shots at opponents because they have the ability to stop them without them. Courtland Finnegan is as dirty as they come cause he can’t cover a cup of coffee if he tried. There’s a reason he got his @ss whooped by Andre Johnson last year. It’s not because he’s “good.” -Joseph Jones“Although I’m a Skins fan, I’m saying this in objectively, Dunbar is dirty. Anyone who watched that game would agree….unless you’re a Rams fan.” -Mark Shaw“Roger Goodell is starting to look like a hypocrite. If player safety is the big mission, then why hasn’t there been any fines or suspensions over that monstrosity of a game. Worst play I’ve ever seen; there was nearly a cheap shot, late hit, head hit (Fred Davis) or dirty play on almost every single down. Goodell where you at Mr. Player safety!” -LeMar Bowers"
Of course, I am inclined to side with the majority of the NFL on this topic. Quarterbacks get knocked down more often than not during passing downs, especially on long extended plays. Bradford is on the ground more than almost any player on the Rams’ roster, but he gets back up quietly, steps into the huddle, and lays out the next play for the team. He is level-headed, not allowing those extra pushes or bumps to get in his head, but just plays the game of football. What else do you see from the Rams that you didn’t from the Redskins last week? The offensive linemen and receivers helping Bradford up after every play, shoving the defensive lineman and linebackers off of their quarterback. A real leader, a real quarterback get that kind of respect from his teammates, and does not need to beg for it from the media.