I'd heard all of the press conferences, I'd read all the blogs and I'd even seen the YouTube clips that would serve as actual proof that maybe, just maybe, Robert Griffin III would actually be himself eight months after tearing his ACL. The man began to practice, the man began to preach that he would be capable of playing in week 1, and the Washington Redskins leadership essentially were like, "ummm, yeah."
If you've been following the 2013 NFL season, then you know how this has worked out for RGIII thus far. Those expectations that he'd be able to perform at a potentially-higher level than he did a year ago now feel like a pipedream. NBC Sports' Bryan Crawford believes RGIII ain't quite RGIII ... yet.
He doesn't look to be as comfortable and confident on the field as he did prior to his injury, and although he is a capable pocket passer, Griffin III's ability to make plays is rooted in his explosive athleticism. That's what makes him the elite NFL player that he is.
Crawford's reflection on the Redskins' quarterback puts the actions that the Windy City's beloved point guard decided to take when recovering from his own knee surgery last year in a new light.
Team doctors gave RGIII the hope that he could recover by week 1 of the 2013 NFL season, but Derrick Rose decided that, because he didn't feel "right," he would wait. And wait. And wait even longer. The man waited so long that fans turned their backs on him.
To his credit, however, Derrick Rose never wavered.
So what does that mean for Rose and the upcoming season for the Bulls? Nothing and everything. On one hand, Rose will still eventually have to step onto the court and prove not only to the world, but himself, that he can actually perform at full speed again. The advantage for Rose and the Bulls is that while RGIII must face the urgency that is a pressure-packed 16 game schedule, head coach Tom Thibodeau can afford to take it easy on his prized point guard across the 82-game slate.
This is the benefit of the Bulls being a team worth a damn with or without Rose, while the Redskins feel like mishmashed parts that magically come to life when RGIII is RGIII. There should be no urgency to allow Rose to go all out. Play the man 30 minutes a game, give him as much rest as he needs and let us all hope that the old Derrick Rose will come out of hibernation and return to our perceived normalcy with his game.
We'll probably wince the first time Rose does one of those egregious jump cuts. We'll probably cringe when Rose lands on someone's ankle and is writhing in pain. And we'll probably shudder when Rose needs a random day off. But hey, at least Rose won't have to worry about a blitz coming through the A-gap and getting pulverized by 300-pound defensive linemen with bad intentions. This delayed decision by Rose is going to work out just fine.
Just don't let Rose have to face dragons or ninjas or anything like that.
Here's a toast to Rose, that knee of his, and realizing that good things can come to those who wait.
A happy hour drink recommendation: A Manhattan. Get it with Bulleit Rye Whiskey. Take your time and savor this delicious libation ... just like Rose has done with that knee of his. Pace yourself and enjoy the ride. When you finish, come out with a tempered confidence and find a nice woman and whisper something nice in her ear. Tell her that her hair smells real good and you like her hoop earrings. Or something. TGIF.