Though he'll vehemently deny having any sort of ax to grind, Donovan McNabb, one-time quarterback for the Washington Redskins, seems awfully interested in Robert Griffin III and his media presence, according to Mike Wise at the Washington Post. The sentiment McNabb has for Griffin is simple: "It’s too much right now; it’s just too much."
However good his intentions may be, McNabb's attempts to reach out to Griffin are short-sighted and close-minded.
It has been more than a year since the NFL became familiar with the 1000-watt smile and clean-cut personality of RGIII. Beyond being a tremendously gifted athlete, he has proven that he is a high-character individual.
Meanwhile, Titus Young, Evan Rodriguez, Armonty Bryant, Moise Fokou and Alex Ogletree have each received DUI charges in the last three months, but McNabb didn't offer any of them his advice.
Helpful advice is always appreciated, but for McNabb, it feels too much like he's trying to "save" Griffin from Mike Shanahan and his evil ways.
McNabb spent one season playing under Shanahan, and it was arguably the worst season of his career. He had a career-worst 15 interceptions, routinely overthrew, underthrew and outright missed open receivers and reportedly wasn't up to speed on the two-minute offense.
Some may argue that talent was an issue, others may argue that the scheme was an issue, while McNabb will argue that ego played a part in his failure in Washington.
McNabb's time in Washington was brief and unmemorable, if frustrating, but apparently he hasn't gotten over it.
Last year, leading up to the draft, in his appearance on ESPN's First Take, McNabb said:
Here’s a guy, who’s coming out, who’s very talented. Mobile, strong arm, regarded as being very intelligent, football mind. Are you going to cater the offense around his talent and what he’s able to do, or are you going to bring the Houston offense with Matt Schaub over to him, and just have him embedded in it?
Though he was talking about RGIII and how he expected the Redskins to utilize him, he could have very easily been talking about himself and how he was handled by Shanahan and Co.
It would be one thing if Griffin was like too many of his fellow young players, partying, getting into more trouble than necessary. But he isn't. His face is plastered on Subway and Addidas ads, and he posted a picture of himself among boxes of things fans bought off of his wedding registry.
McNabb's advice is misguided because, rather than coming across like he's trying to help a young star wade through the sudden onset of fame and notoriety, it comes across like McNabb is trying to grab onto Griffin's star.
More to the point, it is McNabb saying, "This happened to me, so this is going to happen to you."
The point of McNabb's attempt to mentor Griffin is to warn him that fans are mercurial, and the overexposure will lead to lofty expectations that he may not be able to live up to.
Though Redskins fans have the same obnoxious groups as every other sports team, nothing compares to the love, hate, abhor relationship Philadelphia Eagles fans share with their team.
Eagles fans booed Santa Claus, as well as McNabb on countless occasions, so he knows what it is like to play for the worst fans, not necessarily simply passionate fans.
So what if Griffin is out there every day, giving press conferences? It isn't hurting McNabb any, and it certainly doesn't hurt for the Redskins to put the face of their franchise out for the media to see.
What McNabb fails to realize is that Shanahan is giving Griffin to the media because if he's out there giving a press conference every day, there's no need or desire to speculate that Griffin is less than on schedule in his recovery.
Andy Reid may have kept his injured players out of the spotlight, but Shanahan is not Reid. More importantly, Griffin isn't McNabb.
If Griffin were to take the time during those press conferences to take pot shots at teammates who aren't up to snuff, or be anything less than professional, perhaps McNabb would have a point.
Until RGIII shows himself as anything other than a young man capable of withstanding the weight of the spotlight, whether it be a Twitter outburst, a string of drunken arrests or even acting out on the field, McNabb's words of wisdom are unnecessary.
Whether he's looking out for Griffin's professional well being or personal well being is irrelevant. It is unnecessary, and no one asked him, least of all Griffin.