The View From Pluto: It's Game Over for the Browns and RGIII
The Browns are on to plan B just one game into the season. The young team has lost quarterback Robert Griffin III for at least eight games with a shoulder injury suffered during Sunday’s loss to Philadelphia. WKSU commentator Terry Pluto says the Browns had been saying Griffin could be their long-term solution at quarterback. Now, he says it's time for the Browns to move on.
Pluto says there were concerns about Griffin's durability when the Browns signed him in the off-season, but they were hopeful. "It seems like when he gets hit hard something breaks, something snaps, something tears. Or there's a concussion," Pluto says.
"The Browns would have to be even more out of their mind than normal to decide that he is the answer in 2017."
Pluto says Griffin hasn't had a fully-healthy season in the NFL since his rookie year in 2012. He suffered a serious knee injury at the end of that season. In 2014, he suffered a dislocated ankle. "Even last year, he didn't have any injuries because he didn't take any snaps. But in the preseason, he played and he got a serious concussion," Pluto says.
The end for RGIII and the Browns
"He's done," Pluto says. "He may come back and play a few games, but the Browns would have to be even more out of their mind than normal to decide that he is the answer in 2017. You can't look at him and say, even if you think he really can play, that he is a viable long-term answer because he can't stay healthy."
"If you're a Browns fan, you start watching a lot of college games," Pluto says. "You've got to start scouting for somebody."
It's McCown's team...for now
Usher in 37-year-old Josh McCown, who is the Browns new starter. "Thank goodness they didn't trade him because [teams] are always looking for a veteran back-up quarterback."
Pluto says McCown's experience can be an asset. "If you want to find out how some of your young players on offense will do, like Corey Coleman and Terrell Pryor, you need a quarterback who sort of knows what he's doing to get everybody lined up the right way and run the plays. Josh can do that."
Likelihood we'll see a rookie at QB?
Pluto says the new backup, rookie Cody Kessler, looks lost. "When he played in the preseason, he was just totally overwhelmed. He just stood there, mostly. And the problem is if your quarterback is like that, there's no way you could really get the other players in position even to show what they can do. With Josh McCown, they can do that."
But, McCown has had his own list of injuries. Concussion, bruised ribs, sore shoulder, bruised hand, broken collarbone - all last year. "He played eight games; he missed eight games. Hue Jackson, the coach, needs to sit Josh down and say, 'Don't get hit. I need you to play. Throw the ball away. Slide. Fall down. Beg for mercy. Don't be a hero.'"
Pluto says it's very likely fans will see Kessler in action. "You could just bet on it. They average three quarterbacks a year. It's going to happen. They picked up another guy, Kevin Hogan from Stanford. They liked him in the draft. He's on the practice squad." And, he's now third in line to start.
"So, after one game, the Browns are on plan B. There's 15 more games to go. We're not sure how many plans," Pluto says.