(left) has been unimpressed with RGIII in 2013. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Pierre Garcon said on ESPN980 last week that Robert Griffin III is no longer as fast as he was in 2012, on account of the knee brace Washington's QB now wears. Apparently, nothing Griffin did in a Week 3 loss to the Lions changed Garcon's mind.
Garcon essentially reiterated his argument on Monday, as reported by the Washington Post.
"He’s not fully healthy, obviously," Garcon said. "He’s running a little bit more [recently]. But last year’s RG3 was a lot different from this year’s RG because of his knee. It’s not surprising. We’ve been talking about it the whole offseason."
Griffin took a little exception to Garcon's earlier comments, saying on a conference call with the media: "There’s no knee issue. I love my receiver. If he wants to race, then we can race." He may bristle similarly at Garcon's most recent assessment of his running abilities.
The bigger question, though, is why Garcon feels the need to continue harping on this issue. Griffin's inability to rediscover his 2012 magic has been the headlining story in Washington's 0-3 start, but it's hardly the only problem in the nation's capital. In fact, Griffin rushed for more yards Sunday (37) than he had in Weeks 1 and 2 combined.
The Redskins might have scored their first win, too, if not for a couple of key fourth-quarter mistakes: one by Griffin came when he fumbled on his own while diving at the end of a 21-yard run, his longest of 2013.
Griffin and head coach Mike Shanahan have maintained all along that Griffin has stayed in the pocket more out of situation than necessity. His stats bear that out to some extent, too. Griffin currently leads the league in completions with 88, and he's on pace for 5,200 yards through the air -- 2,200 more than he threw for last season.
That heavier aerial attack has come about, at least in part, because the Redskins faced huge first-half deficits against Philadelphia in Week 1 and Green Bay in Week 2. Garcon might argue that the early offensive struggles (and thus the need to throw) go hand in hand with Griffin's rustiness. But Washington's start has been far from an exclusively RGIII-related problem.
Also worth noting: Griffin now has three games under his belt, matching the number he likely would have played had he been cleared for the preseason. So his performance may be in line for a natural uptick in the coming weeks, regardless of Garcon's analysis.