Is the Redskins' Robert Griffin III looking over his shoulder?

Is the Redskins' Robert Griffin III looking over his shoulder?
November 30, 2013, 10:15 am
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Jim Haslett and the Redskins defense prepare for the Giants

Is Robert Griffin III insecure?

He almost always expresses great confidence in himself and his teammates on the podium in front of the media. On the field, he usually appears to be the guy in charge.

However, we now have some reports coming out that Griffin might not feel very secure in his job. Last week it was Ian Rapoport and Mike Silver talking about it on the NFL Network. Now it’s Albert Breer on another league entity, NFL.com.

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“Redskins coaches have noticed an insecurity with Griffin this season, and some in the organization believed part of his motivation to quickly return from ACL surgery was driven out of fear that Kirk Cousins would make a run at his job,” Breer wrote yesterday.

The notion that Cousins, a fourth-round pick, would provide serious competition for Griffin, a player the Redskins gave up a ton of draft picks to acquire, seems silly on the face of it. But life in the NFL can take some strange turns and it’s certainly possible that Griffin was concerned about getting the Wally Pipp treatment if he missed the start of the season.

Breer said that such a situation “isn’t uncommon” and a similar dynamic helped drive Tom Brady to his Hall of Fame career. Griffin’s insecurity may stem from his experience when he was being recruited by colleges.

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“RGIII initially was committed to the University of Houston and had Stanford as his highest-profile suitor,” Breer wrote. “The University of Texas did offer him a scholarship—but as an athlete, not a quarterback. Considering that where you come from is a part of who you are and that Cousins was running the Redskins' offense through the entire offseason, it's not hard to see the source of some of this friction.”

Like most other emotions, insecurity can be a positive driving force or a negative one. If he has a quarterback playing timidly, afraid of making a mistake, and looking over his shoulder that’s bad. But if it drives him to spend extra time on the practice field and the film room both during the season and in the offseason program, it can help the player improve.

How Griffin handles competition, real or perceived, will go a long way to determine how the next chapter of his career unfolds.   

[Related:Three Redskins questionable for Sunday]