Robert Griffin III, the fantastic, flashy, second-year quarterback of the Washington Redskins, told the media yesterday that he will not be quiet about how he feels. Specifically, RGIII told the media that he would not "Bill Belichick it" with them, and he will continue to be who he is. This was in response to whether or not he will change his ways after he was criticized for openly expressing his speculation and conflict with his coach, Mike Shanahan, over the timetable for his recovery and return. Before I start on the idiocy of his comments, here is the full quote:
"It sucks. That's why I had to come out and make that statement," Griffin told reporters. "But I sat down and talked to a few people to make a decision. Do I stop being who I am and stop being honest with you guys and give you guys ammunition to turn against this team? Or do I just go into a shell and Bill Belichick it all week? But I'm just gonna continue to be who I am."
Let's put this whole controversy into context.
1. RGIII injures his knee in a 2013 playoff game.
2. Mike Shanahan makes the mistake of allowing RGIII to play, exacerbating the injury.
3. RGIII recovers like a super-human.
4. Mike Shanahan learns from past error, decides to make sure RGIII is 110% before he returns.
If Mike Shanahan let's RGIII play too early, or at least he lets him play when the ultra-competitive super-athlete that RGIII is desires to play, he would absolutely be questioned and criticized for doing so. In addition, if RGIII went in and got injured again, 'Skins fans would be asking for Shanahan's head. So, you would think RGIII would have the natural foresight to see this dilemma that his coach is in. In response, one would think that RGIII would maybe even thank his coach for being so cautious. At the very least, it should compel RGIII to calm his desire to speak to the media about his frustrations. What does treating the media like they are your psychiatrist do for RGIII? How will that help him get on the field sooner? I am baffled as to what he expects him, his team, or his coach to get out his comments. The only thing it does, in my opinion, is create a rift between Shanahan and himself (or at least make that rift public, thus further widening it) and it also establishes the wrong precedent for his teammates from the guy who calls himself the leader of the team.
Now to the comment itself.
RGIII says this sucks. Well taken, let's move on.
His next thought is equally as befuddling as his decision to voice his complaints to the media in the first place. He asks a rhetorical question of his collective shrink, and says do I stop being me and stop being honest, or do I go into a shell and Bill Belichick it? In "Bill Belichicking" it, RGIII seems to imply that it would give his media "friends" more ammo to turn against the Redskins. Or did he mean that when he is honest, it gives the media a reason to turn on his team? I cannot be too sure, but I can say that he is either wrong, or he answered his own question.
To answer his rhetorical question with a few questions, I would ask - how in the world does being quiet give the media a reason to turn against your team? When did Bill Belichick ever give any insight into anything in a press conference? How much can you actually read into the comment "I don't know, we are just trying to worry about next week."?
If RGIII meant the opposite, and he had, in fact, answered his own question - it did not seem to register very quickly. If RGIII being RGIII throws proverbial fuel to the media fire against the Redskins, then YES, RGIII should absolutely stop being RGIII to the media. I saw the NFL special on Bill Belichick, he is hilarious. Would you believe it by his press conferences? Unless you have a seriously sarcastic and dry sense of humor - no. Bill does not stop being Bill, it is called a facade, or a poker face - and it confuses the shit out of everyone.
I do not think RGIII was insulting Bill Belichick by his words, and if he was, it turned out to be more of a statement of fact than a criticism. Sure, Belichick is mum with the media, so yes, that is definitely an observation to make. I ask again, when has that turned out poorly for him? Both Wes Welker and RGIII have now said that they do not want to stop being themselves to the media like Bill Belichick, implying that they do not want to be like Belichick. Essentially, they want to ignore a formula that has worked over and over and over again. Naturally, I think that is psychotic.