Robert Griffin III: Why Aren't His Linemen Helping Him Up This Year?


If you were watching last night’s offensive disaster in Washington, you may have noticed something amidst all this other chatter about Robert Griffin over recent weeks. His teammates weren’t particularly helpful, after the play was over, while he continually got blasted.

Phil Savage, the former GM of the Cleveland Browns, was one of those who noticed:

Just more RG III drama where we are making a big deal of something, or actual fire and smoke?

Here are some of the plays from last night. This is after an Aldon Smith sack. Trent Williams throws on the brakes.

How many are standing around while their quarterback is buried on this one, as he lays crumpled on the ground?

Here is Tyler Polumbus giving maximum effort (and he will come up later).

Here’s the closest a teammate came, as Will Montgomery went toward Griffin, though Justin Smith is the one that helped him up.

Those weren’t the only examples. You can see more here and here and here.

Now, here’s the interesting thing. It may have been more noticeable last night because, well, he was getting hit about as frequently as ever, and it was a primetime game. However, this is not something new this week with all the drama from last week over leadership and taking responsibility.

I went through each of his sacks this year to see how frequently his teammates were helping him up after a sack. I counted only three times that a teammate helped him up after a sack. (I also had two others where teammates appeared about to help when Griffin got up by himself). Chris Chester after a sack in the Green Bay game, Kory Lichtensteiger in the 3rd quarter of the most recent Eagles game, and Will Montgomery, after Griffin is laying on the ground for a very, very long time after hitting his head, in the Cowboys game (below), with nobody else reacting to their quarterback being down. That’s 3 out of 26 sacks this year.

So, this is not necessarily new to this year. You will also notice the tackles, Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus, are missing.

Here are Polumbus and Williams reacting in the very first game of the year against the Eagles, late with Washington trying to come back. Perhaps he needs to call Williams some names like an official.

Here’s Ed Hochuli helping him up in the Minnesota game. That’s right, referees and opponents have helped him up more this year than his teammates after sacks.

Here’s another from the second Eagles game that garners a lukewarm reaction from the linemen.

What was it like last year? I also went and viewed the games after Griffin came back from his knee injury, including the playoff game. He was sacked five times. He was helped up four times, and the other was a rollout where he was far outside the pocket and bounced up immediately. So yes, in just three games last year, at the end of the year, his linemen helped him up more than all of this season.

For contrast, here he is taking a sack near the end of the decisive week 17 game against the Cowboys. I count three teammates, including both Polumbus and Williams, coming over and helping him to his feet.

What is going on in Washington? Who knows. What is clear, though, is that RGIII is not getting much help from his teammates . . . after he is on the ground.