While he witnessed the unraveling of the Philadelphia Eagles, former Washington Commanders head coach Jay Gruden defended Jalen Hurts, only to get smoked by his former quarterback, Robert Griffin III. This led to some choice words exchanged between the two.
RG3 — RGIII? RG3 is easier to type, I’m rolling with that from now on — went on camera to further address how, after one press conference, his words were taken out of context and viewed as a slight against his teammates. Gruden then called him out in a team meeting and weaponized that against him, in addition to not having Griffin’s back once he addressed the media.
RG3 then retweeted a bunch of people who took his side. Here’s one example:
That shows exactly the kind of person that Jay Gruden really is. The fact that he tore you down in front of the media after asking you to do what you did shows that he would rather blame everybody but himself and make other people look bad. https://t.co/7RccWm0Zcm
It felt like Gruden always struggled as a communicator. Can’t say his typing skills or lack thereof help his case on that front. Nor does it help that he got the worst of the exchange with RG3 in the end!
First of all DON’T YOU DARE disrespect @TaimatheHawk He is a SAINT and a quality opponent who can fly up to 120 mph. Secondly, what do you have against Pigeons? Don’t you know they were CRUCIAL to our World War 1 victory? The Pigeon name is more respected than your last name. https://t.co/8BKD9joRSE
Having covered the RG3-Gruden beef at considerable length in the prior article, I’ll just sprinkle in the reminder that Gruden had his QB play scout team safety in practice at one point. That’s beyond insulting, stupid, and over-the-top for a coach to do.
If Gruden felt compelled to pull a stunt like that, imagine how bad it must’ve been behind the scenes. Combine all that with the toxicity of Dan Snyder’s ownership tenure, and you had a real sh*t sandwich in Washington.
I often wonder what might’ve happened if RG3 never blew out his knee in the playoffs as a rookie. Or if the franchise ever came to its senses, ousted Snyder earlier, and/or retained any number of the brilliant offensive coaches they had on staff as their new head coach.
These guys were out after Griffin’s second season. I remember reading some exposé at the time about how Kyle Shanahan was just “hiring his buddies” to the staff, with the implication that he was being all nepotistic and surrounding himself with “yes men” on some sort of power trip.
Look at Kyle Shanahan now. He has the San Francisco 49ers as the No. 1 seed and is one of the brightest offensive minds in the sport. Shanahan is gearing up to play against Matt LaFleur’s Green Bay Packers this weekend.
Meanwhile, Bobby Slowik has helped CJ Stroud be the best rookie QB in NFL history, as the Texans are about to play in the Divisional Round. Sean McVay dragged a young Rams team into the playoffs this year and lost by one point on the road. Mike McDaniel’s Dolphins were in contention for the No. 1 seed before injuries derailed their whole year.
All I’m saying is, the now-Commanders organization had all those guys in the building and sent them packing. Griffin never got a real shot after that, largely thanks to Gruden.
Not saying Griffin is faultless and was some generational QB post-injury, but I feel like he got a bad rap due to how his time in Washington ended. Some of that was on him; much of it was on Gruden for putting RG3 at scout team safety, heavily implying he couldn’t play the quarterback position.
Remember last season when the Carolina Panthers did this to Baker Mayfield?
Baker Mayfield in 2018: First pick in the NFL draft
Funnily enough, Baker’s short stint with McVay in LA helped him earn a shot to start with the Bucs this year. All Baker did was lead Tampa to another NFC South title in the first season post-Tom Brady. Then? His 337-yard, three-TD passing performance to torch the Eagles 32-9 is what brought about this whole Gruden-RG3 feud in the first place!
Talk about a full-circle moment. We have Baker Mayfield to thank for this if you really think about it. Another slighted, highly-drafted QB who landed with a toxic organization who RG3 can hopefully experience a little vicarious joy through.