Commentary: Robert Griffin III - The Best Since Sonny Jurgensen
Charles E. Sutton | 6/11/2012, 1:47 p.m.
I know I'm going out on a limb here. But here goes.
Robert Griffin III will be the best Redskins quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen. That's right, better than Doug Williams, Mark Rypien - and yes, better than Joe Theismann. If you're a Redskins fan under age 30, you might be wondering who Jurgensen is. He is the most beloved player in Redskins history, and oh, by the way, a pro football hall of famer. Grab your laptop and look him up.
Of those opposed my position, the strongest case I've heard is that of Theismann. He was a solid pro and in my opinion, underappreciated. He came to town at a time when Billy Kilmer and Jurgensen were still fighting to not only be the starter, but to get the team to the playoffs. Kilmer ultimately led the Redskins to the playoffs for the first time in a generation.
The truth is that there isn't anyone of any real significance in comparison to Jurgensen and Griffin. Since Washington won the 1991 championship, the franchise has had 21 different starting quarterbacks. Of course, Griffin is slated to the 22nd. That explains why Redskins fans have been clamoring for a franchise quarterback.
Mark Rypien had a nice 5-year stint that ended up with the Redskins winning the 1991 title. However, once the Redskins began to age, Rypien was gone. In 1987, Doug Williams won the Super Bowl after he took over for injured Jay Schroeder. But, the Redskins were 4-6 the following season and 1-1 in 1989 with Williams as the starter.
Trent Green had a shot at being a franchise quarterback. He passed for 3,441 yards in 14 games in 1998. However, Green left as a free agent when he couldn't get the big money deal he was looking for.
Let's not forget some of the other quarterbacks along the way, such as Patrick Ramsey, Heath Shuler, Jason Campbell, Danny Wuerffel, John Friesz, and Tony Banks. That's why in my mind, only Theismann stands out with Jurgensen and Griffin. If you're thinking about Kilmer, he was a great competitor, not a great quarterback.
Theismann wasn't a regular starter until his fifth season in 1978. In eight seasons he passed for 3,000-plus yards three times. He missed only one start prior to having his leg broken by Lawrence Taylor.
So, I stand firm in my position. If Griffin can avoid injury, he will be the best Redskins quarterback since Jurgensen. But then again, only time will tell.