RGIII: Randall Among First True Game-Changers

Eagles fans may have a tough time developing a healthy dislike for Robert Griffin III.

The Redskins’ signal-caller recently talked about his admiration for a former quarterback who played in this city.

“My dad loved watching [Randall] Cunningham, so when I decided to play football, all we did was watch his highlights,” Griffin told Jeff Darlington of NFL.com. “We’d watch how well he moved in the pocket to avoid defenders and make plays — not just with his legs, but with his arm. He was one of the first true game-changers the league saw.”

Darlington’s excellent piece comes on Cunningham’s 50th birthday and is well worth your time. Cunningham has a son who plays QB in high school, drawing interest from schools like Baylor, LSU and UCLA.

He doesn’t watch a lot of NFL games, but the admiration from Griffin is mutual.

“My son and I, we just love these quarterbacks,” he said. “He’ll yell, ‘Dad, RG3 is on! Come on!’ My favorite quarterback of all time is still Steve Young. But these quarterbacks today are great kids in society, and they care about their trade, which I really respect.”

Back during the NFL playoffs, we had a discussion in this space about how Cunningham would do in today’s NFL. The best current-day comparison is probably not Griffin, but Colin Kaepernick. What if Cunningham got to play in 2013 with a coach like Jim Harbaugh? What would he have been capable of?

Below is a YouTube highlight video for your viewing pleasure. My favorite Cunningham play was the bomb to Fred Barnett in Buffalo. Feel free to chime in with your personal favorites.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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