BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – The Cleveland Browns feel like they may have solved their quarterback quandary with Robert Griffin III.
At least they are cautiously optimistic that they have potentially stopped the QB carousel from spinning. Griffin will be the Browns’ 25th different starter, and 14th different Week 1 starter, since 1999 when he takes the field Sunday in Philadelphia.
As the Browns prepare to open up the season Sunday against the Eagles, their overall view of Griffin has changed – at least publicly – from ‘wait and see’ to ‘he might be the guy.’
“We will develop him over time,” executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said Friday morning. “He’s under contract here two years, but we don’t look at it as certainly just a two-year venture or a week-to-week venture.
“This is something [where] we’re going to have to stick by him, put the right pieces around him and help him learn how to play that position as well. So it’s not a short-term kind of look at him.”
Griffin’s 2-year, $15 million contract in March was an indication the team was taking a “look-see” approach with the former Heisman trophy winner and second pick in the 2012 draft. He came to the Browns will the reputation of being a problem child rather than a leader but he was voted 1 of 5 team captains by his teammates earlier this week.
The last 3 years in Washington were filled with controversy and injury for Griffin, who he did not see the field for a single snap for the Redskins in 2015.
Everyone from Brown to head coach Hue Jackson and his staff have been impressed with Griffin’s attitude, leadership and they like what they are seeing from him on the field.
“Nothing is etched in stone right now,” Jackson said. “We feel good about the things he has done here since the day he came here. He has demonstrated leadership, ability to play the position for us. He has showed the poise that we look for in a quarterback. All those conversations are things we will continue to have as we move through the season.
“Does he have a possibility to have more discussions as we move forward about his long-term commitment to our organization? Yes, but I think you guys kind of know me, I’m just kind of focused on this weekend and this game. I’m sure he is, too.”
In 17 seasons a starter has made it through the 16-game schedule just once for the Browns – Tim Couch during a 9-7 campaign in 2002 but an injury sidelined him for the only playoff game the franchise has played since returning. The Browns are hoping that Griffin will defy the odds, remain healthy and become the second to accomplish the basic feat if starting every game this season.
As for if Griffin is really “the guy,” that question will begin to be answered starting on Sunday.