The Robert Griffin III reclamation project officially launches Sunday in Philadelphia.
RGIII begins the season in Cleveland after three years of injury, poor play and benchings in Washington. With the Browns in full-on rebuild mode — shedding players for draft picks seemingly by the week — the expectation is that Griffin is keeping the spot warm for a future high draft pick.
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Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown dismissed the assumption that RGIII is merely a stopgap.
“To be fair to Robert, he’s young in his career in terms of his development as a quarterback,” Brown said, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We will develop him over time. 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 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.”
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In April, the Browns traded the No. 2 overall pick to Philadelphia after deciding Carson Wentz jersey wasn’t the quarterback they wanted to build around. Sunday’s tilt won’t be a referendum on Wentz, RGIII or the trade.
“Both sides should be excited (about the trade),” said Brown. “They went out and got a quarterback that was highly touted that has a lot of ability and potential, and we were able to position ourselves to not only get a wide receiver that we covet but also acquire some additional draft picks and build for the future. As I’ve said before, it’s a decision that both franchises have to make.
“It was a fair trade, it was a good trade for both sides and people love to judge them on the back end. The reality is you have to judge them at the time you have to make the decision and we both felt good. Howie (Roseman) is a good friend and excellent manager of his team and look forward to seeing what Carson develops into, and what our side of the trade turns into as well.”
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This year’s Cincinnati Bengals jerseys don’t look much like last year’s Cincinnati Bengals.
Last year’s team rolled out to an 8-0 start behind a powerful, diverse ground game and a reliable air attack led by the hyper-efficient play of quarterback Andy Dalton jersey.
One season later, though, Cincy hovers at 2-4 and clearly misses a handful of lost ingredients: wideouts Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu; still-injured tight end Tyler Eifert; and the frisky, creative play-calling of Hue Jackson, who left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
“I miss the hell out of him,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Monday, per The Plain Dealer.
Marvin’s Bengals will battle Hue’s Browns on Sunday, temporarily silencing a still-lively line of communication between the pair.
“When my phone rings at 5 o’clock in the morning, I know it’s only one person,” Lewis said. “It’s not Chad (Johnson) either, it’s Chad’s former coach, Hue. I watch their games every week, and text or call him. He’s coaching his tail off, as we knew he would.”
As for the Bengals, playing the Browns could be just what the doctor ordered. Giving up 29.3 points per game — tied for third worst in the league — Cleveland has struggled to halt anyone.
Sunday looms as a juicy matchup for a Bengals team that has slipped from seventh in points per game in 2015 to 30th this autumn. Similar slippage in the ground game, third-down efficiency and a swath other statistics bear the marks of a team that waved farewell to plenty of talent in the offseason.
It says a lot about Lewis and his ability to groom and grow assistants, but the cost this season has been steep for Bengals fans hoping for another fast start.