How best to protect RG3 from himself

First, I'm assuming that RG3 will come back from this injury.

Second, I'm assuming that RG3 will continue to receive criticism over what has transpired; and that when RG3 does come back, he will change his behavior in light of those criticisms.

Given those assumptions, there's a narrative emerging in some parts of the interwebs that concerns me. Namely, that this demonstrates RG3's toughness, that RG3 isn't built to take so many hits in a run-heavy offense, and that RG3 is "injury-prone."

Whether or not these things are fair or accurate is irrelevant. My concern is that when RG3 comes back, he will feel pressure to prove:

  1. That he's tough enough to lead the team,
  2. That he can handle whatever hits the offense requires, and
  3. That he's not injury-prone.
Of all the possible lessons he can learn from this, those are the wrong ones. We can already see some of this in his tweets about being in the line of fire and stepping up into adversity.

I believe if the narrative coming out of this focuses on RG3's toughness, whether the read-option offense is "right for him," or whether RG3 is "injury-prone" - those criticisms will create all the wrong incentives for RG3 to change his behavior when he comes back.

Instead, the narrative needs to be about how RG3 needs to make better decisions. How avoiding a hit is a greater victory against a defense (that is out to hit him) than an extra yard. How outwitting defenses is better than out-toughing them, or out-running them.

So as we continue to talk about what happened yesterday, let's make sure the narrative is focused on decision-making, not toughness. On the team winning together, not RG3 carrying the team. Because too much talk about toughness and leadership - all those things will motivate RG3 to be even more aggressive and risky. We need to motivate him to be smarter, not tougher.

Just my 2 bits worth...

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