Legendary Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann believes Robert Griffin III can be successful by blocking out the critics and focusing on his role with the team.
Joe Theismann's had a front-row seat to the professional career of Robert Griffin III, watching the Heisman winner take the league by storm as a rookie before being affected by injuries the next two seasons.
A countdown of the top-10 images of quarterback Robert Griffin III during the 2014 season.
Theismann also knows what it takes to win in the nation's capital, having guided the Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XVII with a return visit to the big game the very next season.
So with Griffin III already being handed the starting job this offseason, Theismann believes the former Baylor star could take off once again by learning to lean on his teammates – something Theismann, himself, had to master throughout his 12-year career with the Redskins.
"He's so competitive that I think sometimes he takes a tremendous burden on his own shoulders," Theismann said in a recent interview with Redskins.com TV's Larry Michael. "That was the one thing that I had to learn. It wasn't all about what I did -- it was, 'How can I help the other guys do their job better?'"
Theismann understands how the quarterback position can be taxing, both physically and mentally. The former Notre Dame standout – who maintains his own Twitter account, @Theismann7 – said today's quarterbacks have it way worse than he ever did, however.
It's important, Theismann said, for Griffin III "not worry about what anybody says" in an era in which fans and haters alike can contact athletes directly on social media.
"There are always going to be critics," Theismann said. "We never had to play under this type of scrutiny, where everything we did off the field was an issue. Every voice inflection being analyzed. Every facial feature being analyzed. How you wear your hat, what you wear to an interview, how you sit at an interview. What's implied in what you say."
Griffin III's on-the-field adjustments are much simpler, Theismann said. By leaning on the talents of teammates around him – and by getting better adjusted to second-year head coach Jay Gruden's offensive schemes – the Redskins could see a major turnaround in 2015.
"Understand what your role is in this offense," he said. "It is not to be the running back. It's not to rush for 900 yards. It's to make sure that Alfred Morris can rush for 1,500 (yards); to keep the chains moving so that other people can (get) more downs; give yourself a chance to make more plays; and protect yourself."
The last suggestion – self-protection – has been a challenge for Griffin III, who has already suffered and recovered from major knee and ankle injuries in his three-year Redskins career.
But by leaning on his teammates and continuing to develop his skills as a pocket passer, Theismann believes Griffin III could be a star for years to come.
"One of my credos to any young quarterback is real simple: your No. 1 responsibility is to keep yourself healthy enough to be able to practice and play every game and every day," Theismann said. "If you do that, you're gonna work every day and you're gonna get better just because of the fact that you're out there."