In an unfortunate development on Wednesday, the Washington Redskins announced that rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III would be sidelined due to surgery on his LCL and ACL. After a superb debut season, Griffin's knee finally gave out in a playoff loss to Seattle when he dove after a bad snap and twisted his leg awkwardly.
Dr. James Andrews, who completed RGIII's surgery successfuly, estimated that the 22-year old quarterback could be ready in time for the regular season opener in 2013. Whether or not Griffin is ready to play should be immaterial in the eyes of Washington's front office; at issue is the fact that the freakishly athletic signal-caller has a serious injury history and his long-term viability is in question.
Mike Shanahan had no choice but to risk Robert Griffin III's health in the playoffs. That's because he gave himself no option. He did it by helping create the situation where the Redskins had to rely on a hobbled Griffin in the first place.
Shanahan mortgaged the future on winning now, when he traded for Griffin in the 2012 NFL draft. He and general manager Bruce Allen gave up a second round choice and two first round picks to select Griffin. Dealing away more than one prime resource for strengthening the team, means you have to win sooner, rather than later.
Especially if you only have 11 wins in your first two seasons. That was the problem facing Shanahan and he decided that he simply had to get Griffin.
Shanahan willingly made the trade to select Griffin against the backdrop of a league-imposed salary cap penalty. He was prepared to sacrifice the picks and deal with the cap limitations, because he needed Griffin to win now.
This undercurrent of desperation created the potential for the kind of chaos that has engulfed the Redskins' return to contention.
The Dallas Cowboys were right to fire former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. NFL.com reported the dismissal and the news should be welcomed after two seasons of defensive underachievement.
The fact is Ryan's brash antics became more of a distraction than a boon, during his time in Dallas. More importantly, he failed to back up many of his boasts. Ryan couldn't turn a talented, yet underperforming group of players, into an effective, cohesive unit.
One of the main problems was simply too much scheme. Ryan mixed his fronts almost on a play-by-play basis. He included, 3-4, 4-3, 46 and psycho looks. Those looks were matched with multiple, complex blitz combinations.
That diet of heavy pressure often relied on risky, single coverage. That put a lot of pressure on the secondary, regardless of its personnel. No defense should need six starting-quality cornerbacks to make its schemes work.
The Philadelphia Eagles will interview ex-Chicago Bears boss Lovie Smith for their head coaching vacancy on Thursday. That's according to a report from philaldelphiaeagles.com.
Smith has surprisingly generated plenty of interest since being dumped on the coaching scrap heap by the Bears. That's despite missing the playoffs in three out of his last four seasons in the Windy City.
He did however, take the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2006 and consistently produced fierce defenses. That could appeal to an Eagles organisation that has seen a star-studded unit collapse during the last two seasons.
Even with personnel like Cullen Jenkins and Nnamdi Asomugha, the Eagles ranked 29th in points allowed in 2012. Smith's expertise is on the defensive side of the ball and he built his best Bears teams on ball-hawking, aggressive units.
When Robert Griffin's knee collapsed beneath him during last nights NFC Wildcard game, the entire state of Washington held it's breath. The future of the franchise, the man who has transformed them from NFC East bottom-feeders to division winners in one season, was on the turf in agony and there was nothing anybody could do about it. Not then, at least. It was evident last weekend at Dallas in their crucial title decider that RG3 was not at one hundred percent.
His runs were limited and he was sporting an obvious limp. However, he managed to hold it together as the Redskins ran all over the Cowboys to claim a playoff spot. All week long the media speculated about the health of Griffin. He stated on more than one occasion he felt better than he had done the previous week and the knee was healthy enough for him to have a serious impact on proceedings on Sunday.