Among my thoughts Tuesday morning:
Logos and endorsement deals don’t do a whole lot for me, one way or another. It’s part of the game and it’s built on popularity more than achievements. Robert Griffin III entered the NFL as a popular player, based off his play and his Heisman. His rookie year certainly helped. Last season did not. But I learned long ago that there’s more to endorsement deals than just on-field success; it’s why Brady Quinn had his own deals, too. Brady Quinn. The 22nd pick when he came out. So I shrug my shoulders and move on.
Griffin remains popular and certainly any company that signed him to a contract is banking on the fact that last year will be an aberration. By the way, the Redskins tapped into that popularity and his charisma when trying to lure free agents. Same concept: Griffin as the pitch man. He was a major figure in the recruitment of free agents. The Redskins, too, are banking on Griffin’s return to prominence.
Here's what Jay Gruden said on the logo to SiriusXM NFL Radio: “He works out more than anybody I’ve ever seen. If I ever felt like that was an issue, or if he was spending more time trying to create logos than he was working out and getting himself ready to play, then there’d be an issue. But there’s no issue in my mind. I think nowadays, these quarterbacks and these players in general, they have people do a lot of work for them. They have these mangers, these agents and these commercial people working for them, and they’re doing all the work. I don’t think Robert’s doing any. He’s just signing off on it. Adidas is doing all the logo things for him. So if it’s extra money for him, have at it. As far as dedication and his desire to win and his work ethic, that is not to be questioned. He’s unlike anybody I’ve ever seen as far as that’s concerned.”
By the way, the personal logo idea was set in motion long ago, before even last season. My guess: It was in motion when he signed his initial deal (along with a target period).
I know some want Griffin to just have a quiet offseason but he signed a contract with companies and that means he has to fulfill his end of the deal. That means more offseason work. Eventually, if he doesn’t produce on the field as he did in his rookie year, these deals will go away or won’t be renewed.
Also, Griffin’s name will get mentioned quite a bit anyway even if he never opened his mouth or showed his face in the offseason. He’ll still be the topic of many stories because of his first two seasons and having a new coach and more weapons, etc. He’s a story regardless because the interest in him is high and the position he plays is rather important.
What I’m anxious to see is how he’s progressed as a passer. How much difference has his offseason made thus far? Maybe he’ll never be a great pocket passer like some other quarterbacks, but it’s natural to think he’ll be much better than in 2013 if he has a good offseason.
Just think: In the past two months, heck even in the last month, he’s already put in more time on improving than he could all of last offseason. And there are three-and-a-half months remaining before training camp.
Yeah, no knee brace will help, too. So will the fact that mentally he’s a year removed from the injury and the questions about his knee will decrease dramatically. He’s human; even if you try your hardest to block it all out there still has to be some internal wonder about the knee.
Switching gears: ESPN 980’s Chris Russell tweeted that guard Josh LeRibeus told him he weighed 317 pounds. If that’s the case, then LeRibeus is taking this offseason a hundred times more serious than in 2013. I’ll say this: He had better do so. This is not the coach who drafted him. If LeRibeus took a different approach, they could easily cut him and move on.
What would worry me if I’m Gruden: LeRibeus has a pattern of going up and down with his weight. Can you trust him from one year to the next? He’s the sort of guy they’ll need to constantly apply pressure on in the form of competition. LeRibeus faces a lot of it this summer.
The word out of Denver is that the Broncos were happy to sign center Will Montgomery. He’ll be in more of a power-based scheme. All they want from him is to make sure his initial punch is a strong one and I think Montgomery can handle that. It’s probably best for Montgomery to play in such a system and with a quarterback who unloads the ball as fast as Peyton Manning. No quarterback does it faster.
Montgomery struggled last season after a solid 2012 (which followed a mediocre 2011). The Redskins had thought about replacing him at other times, but he had a good run with his hometown team.