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Robert Griffin III Warns Washington Commanders Against Jeopardizing Jayden Daniels as Dan Quinn Eyes “Elite Competitor”

Published 04/23/2024, 12:19 AM EDT

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Last season although the Washington Commanders ended with a miserable (yet expected) 4-13 win-loss record, they had a reasonable away record of 3-6 compared to a home record of 1-7. They had started off the season 2-0 and were close to pulling off a key away win against the giant Eagles, but fell short by 3 points. Their season went south after that and Dan Quinn is well aware of the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Over the past years, the Commanders were missing roster stability, and that caused Quinn major headaches in crucial fixtures. Their defense got brutally exposed in their first reality check against the Bills. In the same game, their offense was a mess too as they couldn’t score a single touchdown. That’s why the factor of them getting a chance at 9 picks including 6 inside the top 100 makes it very interesting and equally difficult. However, Dan Quinn’s recent move could complicate things, and while Robert Griffin appeared on The Rich Eisen Show recently, he issued a warning to the Commanders.

Former Commanders QB’s take on Jayden Daniels

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Quinn and Adam Peters have strict quality requirements for their next QB and are ensuring they draft a worthy QB. To achieve that goal, they hatched a plan to invite 22 athletes for 30 visits, and this got Jayden Daniels’ agent livid. On the show, Rich Eisen talked about how Jayden Daniels is “gaming the NFL Draft” to his preferences.

The host pointed out Daniels’ past connection with Antonio Pierce and the LSU QB’s desire to play for the Las Vegas Raiders with the Minnesota Vikings also in the picture. When Pierce was the assistant coach at Arizona State, he had recruited Daniels. He played in Arizona for three years before transferring to LSU. The 23-year-old is grateful to Pierce because when no one believed the high school boy from San Bernardino, weighing 150 pounds, he recruited him and gave him an opportunity. He acknowledged this during the Heisman Trophy ceremony last year after passing for 40 touchdowns and running for 10 more.

Eisen also talked about Magic Johnson’s partially owned Commanders calling 22 prospects to their facility might have rubbed Daniels the wrong way, though the QB hasn’t shed any light on the subject. Sharing his take on the rumors and speculations around Jayden Daniels and the Commanders’ decision, Griffin said, “Outside of Caleb Williams all these guys are really really similar, and really close in their ability. If I lined them all up they could all throw a 10-yard out on the money easy peasy, lemon squeezy but which one of them is going to accept the challenge and be the alpha of the alphas in the room and I think that’s what they were trying to find.” 

USA Today via Reuters

He added, “I think because there’s been so much negativity towards the Washington franchise everyone kind of looks at him with a side eye like what are they doing what are they doing? But what I would say is that the highlights are on the film rich but the character isn’t. And the organization in Washington is just trying to find the right character guys to build a team around and I actually applaud them for that.”

The former Ravens QB stressed that while there may be an antagonistic light surrounding the Commanders’ approach, the management is doing their best to find an all-rounder quarterback. “Because character has not been something that the team has really been associated with for the past 20 years so I want fans to understand if you create a negative environment for a guy like Jaden Daniels coming in, it’s only going to breed more negativity once he’s drafted I hope they just give these guys a clean slate,” he added.

According to RGIII, Daniels will be a good fit for the Commanders, RGIII has earlier said that the Raiders could highly benefit from the LSU QB. A couple of months ago he mentioned that Daniels’ ability “to throw the football, run the beat football,” will make the Raiders a playoff team instantly.

Throughout the segment, RGIII spoke about how the Commanders are looking for someone with character. While we can watch a player’s athletic prowess on tape, it’s hard to judge his character based on a film. This is why coaches like Dan Quinn have stringent filtering criteria.

Dan Quinn breaks down what he needs in a QB

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Recently, WUSA9 did a piece on the Commanders. They met up with Dan Quinn who explained what exactly it is that he wants in his quarterback. In Washington coach’s own words, “I think number one, just a relentless dog competitor. And that has to be at the top of the list because to play this position, there’s going to be highs, there’s going to be lows. You better have resilience, you better be able to really lock in when it gets really hard because that’s going to happen at the top of it, man. Elite competitor.”

The reason Commanders invited Drake MayeJJ McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr. amongst others to their facility was to check who is the leader, how they gel with the rest of the team, and what they think about each other’s success and downfall. While the plan looks well thought out it didn’t go down well with Daniels’ agent Ron Butler.

USA Today via Reuters

Pro Football Talk criticized the Commanders for bringing in four top quarterback prospects for a group visit, rather than bringing them each in individually. Later that evening, Butler responded on Twitter, replying to the PFT tweet with a “thinking face” emoji.

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In 2012, Washington picked RGIII as the second pick overall and he went on to set the record for the highest passer rating in a season by a rookie quarterback. Twelve years later, the team needs another RGIII. Will it be Daniels or someone else? We will know soon.

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Written by:

Abhinav Prakash

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Abhinav Prakash is an NFL Writer at EssentiallySports. He covers several aspects of the game, more specifically core sports events. Abhinav has also covered Taylor Swift in great detail, apart from these stalwarts.
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Edited by:

Aazima Basharat