Robert Griffin III, Jimmy Johnson and Marvin Lewis
Two topics prompting plenty of buzz as the Washington Redskins began their offseason workouts Monday were the personal logo unveiled by their quarterback and the fact their new wide receiver was on vacation.
Questions about the amount of off-field activity that Robert Griffin III has going for himself have lingered since the Redskins made the quarterback the second overall pick of 2012 draft. He has done multiple commercial endorsements, even turning his rehabilitation from knee surgery after his rookie season into a campaign that served as a summer reality TV show.
Now, Griffin has his own logo, featuring his initials and his jersey number, 3, in the shape of a block heart. Designed by Adidas, it will appear on a line of athletic wear.
But neither that nor anything else that would seemingly present a distraction to Griffin is an issue for his new coach, Jay Gruden.
“He works out more than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Gruden told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “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.”
Although Griffin’s injuries the past two seasons have raised questions about the wisdom of how frequently to utilize his ability to run, Gruden made it clear that he would not limit his quarterback to only throwing the ball.
“I think when you have the ability that he has,” the coach said, “I think we’d be foolish not to have some kind of option as far as running the football with him.”
Gruden no doubt also plans to take full advantage of the skills of DeSean Jackson, the receiver the Redskins recently signed after his release from the Philadelphia Eagles. But Jackson’s integration into the Redskins’ program will have to wait until he returns from a vacation he had planned before signing with them.
The workouts are voluntary, so Jackson’s absence was allowable. And, as far as Redskins offensive tackle and co-captain Trent Williams was concerned, the questions about Jackson’s off-field behavior raised in the aftermath of his release from the Eagles are a non-issue.
“A lot of the stuff is just he say, she say stuff, and you got to get to know a guy for yourself,” Williams told media covering the Redskins during a conference call. “I haven’t had any type of bad feelings towards him, or any type of bad read. When I met him (at the Pro Bowl) he was a great guy, a pretty cool guy. I don’t think he’s a bad guy. I don’t think his character is bad. I think he can be a great addition to this team.
“In my opinion, we play a game that’s America’s game and there’s a lot of eyes on you. A lot of people just want to pick you apart. No matter what you do, they are going to find the wrong in what you do and forget about the good things.”
CBS EXPECTED TO GET PRIME GAMES FOR PRIME TIME
The NFL schedule is expected to be released later this month, and when it comes out, there reportedly will be a noticeable difference in the quality of matchups through the first half of the Thursday night slate of games than those through the second half.
According to SportsBusiness Journal, CBS, which will broadcast the Thursday night games through the first half of the season, is going to receive matchups that, based on 2013 results, will look more attractive than those NFL Network will carry through the balance of the schedule.
For that matter, SportsBusiness Journal reports, the CBS half of the Thursday night games will be superior to ESPN’s Monday Night Football package.
But that’s what will be concluded long before games are actually played. The reality of the quality of each network’s TV package could prove far different.
As always, the only network that has the opportunity to cherry pick marquee matchups is NBC, which has the option of moving late-season Sunday afternoon games into its Sunday night package as part of the league’s flexible-scheduling policy.
MARVIN LEWIS JOINS LONG LIST OF COACHING FATHERS WHO HIRE SONS
Marvin Lewis has added to an NFL coaching trend by hiring his son, 24-year-old Marcus Lewis, as a quality control assistant on the Cincinnati Bengals’ staff.
Among such combinations in the league where a head coach has hired his son as an assistant are Andy and Britt Reid in Kansas City, Bill and Steve Belichick in New England, Mike and Adam Zimmer in Minnesota, Jeff and Brandon Fisher in St. Louis, Pete and Nate Carroll in Seattle, and Lovie and Mikal Smith in Tampa Bay.
New Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan served in the same capacity the past four seasons in Washington while his father, Mike, was the Redskins’ head coach.
Last season, Norv Turner was the Browns’ offensive coordinator and his son, Scott, was their receivers coach. Norv Turner now is the Vikings' offensive coordinator, while Scott is their quarterbacks coach.
IS JIMMY JOHNSON CLOSER TO BEING ADDED TO DALLAS COWBOYS’ RING OF HONOR?
One would think that, with two Super Bowl victories to his credit, Jimmy Johnson would already have a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor.
Of course, Johnson’s accomplishments apparently have been trumped by a rift with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that led to his departure from the team.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the time could be coming when Johnson finally joins the only coach on the ring, Tom Landry. The newspaper says that Johnson and Jones have mended their relationship and that Johnson said Jones assured him three years ago that he will be a part of the Ring of Honor.
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