Robert Griffin III, better known as RG3 just received a new lease on his football life. The Cleveland Browns have officially named RG3 their starting quarterback. The news of the Browns’ move comes with little surprise, but it is sure to have some huge implications. That is in terms of what happens on the football field and fantasy football fans who are looking for a sleeper to grab at quarterback.
The Browns’ team website released the news of RG3 being named their new starter after head coach Hue Jackson made it official during practice. Coach Jackson went on to commend the fifth-year player’s effort during training camp.
“Robert has earned the right to be named the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Since he was signed back in March, Robert has made it clear through his actions that he is willing to do everything that has been asked of him to earn this role. Throughout this process he has gained the respect from his teammates, the coaching staff and the entire organization that is necessary for him to lead our offense and really the entire team.”
The impression that RG3 has made is beginning to leave a mark on the Browns’ coaching staff and it’s players. Finally being embraced may allow him to focus fully on football, and rebranding himself as a winner. This will help the Browns in all facets, including the free agency process if the RG3 experience goes well. Coach Jackson has given RG3 some lofty expectations, but his talent and how the offense is structured, he should have a solid comeback season.
“Throughout the offseason program and training camp, Robert has shown improvement every day and we expect him to continue to ascend as he becomes more and more acclimated to the offensive system we will employ this season. I’ve been crystal clear on what we expect from Robert. He fully understands the responsibility and I feel he is ready to handle this role.”
Robert Griffin III being named the starter of the Browns marks a dubious statistic. According to Pro Football Talk, he becomes the 25th quarterback that is slated to start a game for the Cleveland Browns since 1999. If he can perform well and, alas remain healthy, it is not inconceivable that Robert Griffin III could blossom into the Browns starter for the long haul. That would help erase an uneven four seasons with the Washington Redskins.
RG3 will be Browns' 25th starting quarterback since 1999 https://t.co/ct3LHJjPpN— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 8, 2016
The next step for RG3 and the Browns is to create a winning culture. Having a brilliant offensive mind in Hue Jackson as the head coach helps tremendously.
Jackson has worked with several quarterbacks in the past. Most recently he helped Andy Dalton from the Browns’ AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals get back on track. Jackson’s latest work could be his best work of all, with RG3 calling the plays under center. RG3 has the arm strength and he has the accuracy once his feet are set. What he needed refining was he overall footwork behind the offensive line and patience in the pocket.MThe latter could be an iffy proposition.
The 24 Browns starting QBs before RG3 https://t.co/RfsSCWteI5— History of the NFL (@TheNFLHistory) August 8, 2016
According to Pro Football Focus, the Cleveland Browns have the 21st ranked offensive line going into the NFL season. Much of that has to do with the Browns no longer having center Alex Mack. Mack would have given the Browns and RG3 a veteran in place for secured handoffs and downhill blocking. That is not to say the Browns has a patchwork line. Certain players will have to step up and give Robert Griffin III some time to throw and a few running lanes when a play breaks down.
RG3 will have some chances to run, but his arm will keep the Browns in games, while making some fantasy football owners happy.
RG3 staying healthy is something to key in on if you are a fantasy football player. If all goes right, he is that genuine sleeper pick in most fantasy football drafts. There are a couple of factors to weigh in on.
The Cleveland Browns running game is a question mark for now. Duke Johnson is small, yet quick. He has not yet proven to be the running back that keep opposing defenses honest. Neither has Isaiah Crowell. That may force RG3 to throw the football more than he would like to.
Playing from behind may also be a normal thing on Sunday’s. If so, the air attack will be prominent. On the bright side, RG3 will have tight end Gary Barnidge and rookie receiver Corey Coleman. RG3 also gets to throw the football to oft-troubled receiver Josh Gordon. If Gordon can shake the effects of being inactive for almost a full year, fireworks will be on display for the Browns.
If he is healthy throughout the season Robert Griffin III will throw anywhere between 3,200 and 3,600 yards. He should have close to 25 touchdowns, with six scores from running the football also. Because he is RG3 with the damaged reputation now, chances are great that he will be around in the eleventh round. At this stage, he is probably part of the bottom third in the QB rankings on most fantasy football draft boards.
Is RG3 a sure fire starter to play on every Sunday? Not quite. Not just yet. But RG3 is a sleeper pick to have as a backup and use when he has a good matchup.
[Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images]