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RGIII Roasted in Anonymous Poll

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How fickle the court of public opinion is. When he was slinging the ball, running the rock and willing the Washington Redskins to an unlikely playoff appearance on the back of his Rookie of the Year campaign, Robert Griffin III was the humble, team-first prodigy set to usher in a new era of quarterbacking in the NFL.

A couple of poor seasons later and at least one NFL insider has declared RGIII’s career already “done.” In an anonymous poll, ESPN asked 35 NFL representatives – coaches, general managers and others – to place each of the league’s projected starting quarterbacks into tiers from 1 to 5.

Griffin placed in the fourth tier, ranking 28th among all quarterbacks. With no individual receiving a score low enough to qualify for the bottom tier, the results place Griffin is some pretty unenviable company that includes the underwhelming Matt Cassel, wildly inconsistent Geno Smith, Cleveland exile Brian Hoyer and the face of Tampa Bay’s dumpster fire 2014 season in Josh McCown.

The comments weren’t kind to Griffin, with one offensive coach declaring, “he is done. The reason why is the injury slowed his legs, and his ego will not allow him to hit rock bottom and actually grind his way back up the right way.”

Another source reciprocated this attack on Griffin’s humility, claiming “Griffin sees himself like Peyton [Manning].” What could be construed as a compliment – in that Manning is an utter perfectionist and is always looking to improve his game – was dashed by this follow-up statement: “When he looks in the mirror, he sees things that everyone else is not seeing.”

Calling out a player’s physical and mental faults on the field is one thing; questioning his work ethic and character is entirely another. If true, it would seem that back-to-back injury plagued seasons – in which the Redskins have suffered motion sickness from too many rides on the quarterback carousel – have done little to make RGIII realise the importance of self-improvement.

Frankly, it’s not impossible to picture either Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy beating out RGIII for the starting role over the next month. In that scenario, the only thing that will be “done” will be his time in D.C., amounting to another spectacular bust by this once-proud franchise.

Ironically, the man who supposedly sees himself as Peyton Manning may wind up being the Ryan Leaf of the 2012 draft by this time next year.

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