Tis the season: Reach out and give a warm compliment to this week's opponent. But keep it Professional Grade. This is your chance to tell the other team "I like the way your face looks...when you throw an interception." Or maybe "Thanks for making us feel right at home ... in the end zones." Let's see what you've got. Be creative.
In the spirit of the season, this week's GMC Playbook question asks us to say something nice about our team's opponent this week. And to make sure it's a Professional Grade compliment.
... An excellent example of what not to do.
The New York Giants are having their second truly bad season in a row, so it might not seem as though we would have any room here to talk, but oh. Oh we do.
Since this is a quarterback driven league, let's use their quarterback situation as an example.
Since Eli Manning was drafted Washington has gone through 10 starting quarterbacks. The most stable and dependable quarterback of that stretch: Jason Campbell.
In 2012 they traded up to draft Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III no.2 overall. They couldn't miss on such an obviously talented prospect, could they?
Well, as it turns out, the Rams' asking price -- 2012 1st & 2nd round picks, as well as first round picks in 2013 and 2014 -- made building around Griffin difficult. Making matters worse, the Rams turned those four picks into six players who are either starters or major contributors.
While trading what amounted to six players for one was bad enough, the coaches at the time, Mike and Kyle Shanahan, immediately put their franchise quarterback in the line of fire. Griffin was a uniquely athletic quarterback, and his coaches gave in to the temptation to take advantage of that, making him one of their primary offensive weapons using the read-option. While it did make him tremendously successful his rookie year, Griffin has largely failed to develop as a pocket passer.
And finally, running that much got him a beating from defensive players. A beating that ended his rookie season with a torn ACL. Of course, here the Redskins showed the league how not to manage an injury.
Spurred on by an confluence of pressures -- commercial advertising campaigns, team PR campaigns, and an almost inhumanly rapid recovery by Adrian Peterson -- Griffin rushed and was rushed back from his injury. The result was a quarterback with diminished athleticism and shaken confidence.
And a divide opening between head coach and the franchise quarterback. As that divide deepened, Dan Snyder began to side with his charismatic, marketable, and expensive quarterback. That ultimately led to Griffin being benched and Shanahan being fired. A cycle which seems to be repeating in Jay Gruden's first year.
So, my compliments to the Washington Redskins for being a shining example of what not to do, and my thanks for making me happy to be a Giants' fan, even in a down year.