22 days, 1 hour, 41 minutes and 44 seconds until the 2012 NFL Draft.
(Not that I’ve been keeping track or anything.)
As per usual, the offseason has been full of rumors, speculation and confusion. Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn, and the latest, RGIII. And now the Redskins have officially acquired the second overall pick in the draft, trading their 1st and 2nd round picks in this draft to the St. Louis Rams, as well as their 1stround picks in the 2013 and 2014 drafts. A move, we can all assume, to acquire the Baylor quarterback and Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III.
I will admit, I did cringe a little when I heard how much the Skins would have to give up for him. I mean, fans and critics alike have almost been programmed to react with a “here we go again,” or “I thought this is what we were trying to get away from” attitude. That’s history’s fault. But in my opinion this is different; this is worth it. And here’s why:
The last QB the Skins drafted that even bordered on “successful” was Jason Campbell in 2005. Before I anger any die-hard Colt Brennan fans, let me define my parameters of “success:” you have to have played in regular season games with the team. Whether you believe we should have kept Campbell or not, it’s inarguable that he was not the future of our franchise.
Last year the Skins had an incredibly productive draft, acquiring new talent and filling roster spots that had long since been filled with a chaotic carousel of players, many of whom were well past their prime. There are still many holes that need to be filled. But this is not the past, where we have traded an enormous amount for a short-term, superficial fix. Much of the foundation has already been set. The absence of a quarterback, a consistent quarterback, to rally around will continue to hinder the ability for the team to build chemistry and develop as a cohesive unit. And besides, the front office has never been anything short of aggressive in free agency.
Many people have argued that we should wait until next year before making such a huge sacrifice. To me that argument rests on the assumption that we will have a similar position in the draft next year, that this season will be a repeat of previous years. That is the bigger sacrifice. Fans and players have waited long enough. It’s been what, 20 years since we won a Super Bowl? We need to get the ball moving now (no pun intended).
Still, with Washington being as noncommittal in the QB position as they have been for the last decade or so, giving up so much for a man who hasn’t been tested on a professional stage does make me a little nervous. One of the things I keep thinking about is how Mark Rypien, the last Super Bowl caliber quarterback, was drafted in the sixth round of the 1986 draft. But then I remember all the quarterbacks the Redskins have drafted in any round since then who lead the team nowhere. Times have changed, and it’s time the Redskins do so as well. We need a good quarterback. We need a man who can be the face of the franchise, a leader in the locker room and a force to be reckoned with on field.
We need RGIII.
In loving memory of Lorraine Bialek