Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Electric Robert Griffin III

Welcome to Pittsburgh
Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has competed more than 70 percent of his pass attempts this year.

Darting and juking like Electric Jello in shoes, Griffin is quick, elusive and routinely flashes legitimate high-end track sprinter's speed.

He can throw the deep ball accurately.  He doesn't throw many interceptions.  He is poised, calm, passionate, exciting, humble, personable, likeable.  He provides a beacon of hope for Washington Redskins fans.

The Blast Furnace
Not this Sunday! 
Not on the slow quagmire of  Heinz Field.  Not in his second consecutive road game, which, for some reason typically takes a toll on young teams just finding their way.  And not against Dick LeBeau's defensive schemes, whatever they may be on Sunday.

To be fair, Griffin has a pretty fair coach on his side in Mike Shanahan, and he has a strong running game behind him, too.  Shanahan has always been the master of zone blocking schemes that turned obscure late-round running backs into stars, and this year is no different with rookie Alfred Morris, a sixth-rounder out of Florida Atlantic University.  And Shanahan has resurrected old-school, 1950s-style option offensive schemes designed to give Griffin room to run, improvise and flourish.  Call it the Run 'n Fun.

Unleash the Dogs of Black 'n Gold
The Redskins have a good team this year, even though their record is only 3-4.  They could win the game on Sunday vs. the Steelers.  Joey Porter's Pit Bulls says they won't.

The Steelers have looked eminently beatable this year, but this is the kind of game the Steelers win.  This is the time of year the Steelers forge their identity.  Their find their resolve.  The game on Sunday could turn into a shootout, or it could be ground 'n pound.  Either way, it should be fun, and full of surprises. 

On a Less Sanguine Note ...

The Honorable Presiding Judge Donna Jo McDaniel was scheduled to preside over the preliminary hearing for Steelers nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu on Tuesday -- just the first step in a long, arduous legal process wherein he faces five felony charges and 10 misdemeanor counts stemming from his alleged actions at about 2:30 a.m., Sunday,  Oct. 14.

It takes a "Plam" reader to know what might happen next.
Ta'amu remains suspended from the team for about another week, which gives the Steelers time to figure out their next step.  We didn't learn anything of consequence from Coach Mike Tomlin's weekly news conference today, but last Tuesday, he said "there are other ramifications" that he is "not at liberty to discuss."  Whatever that means.

Maybe Ta'amu serves the two-game suspension and ... what? Returns to practice? Will he really contribute to the team?   Does anybody really think Ta'amu's mind will be on football X's and O's anytime soon? Is he going to immerse himself in film study and learning the playbook?

It's impossible to predict, but we wouldn't be surprised if the team extends the suspension, based on the outcome of today's legal proceedings.  We have to wait and see.

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