When the Washington Redskins shocked the football world, marching into New Orleans and beating the Saints on Sunday, the spotlight was shining brightly on rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, and rightly so. However, his success was due in part to his wide receiver, Pierre Garcon, and there will be plenty more where that came from as this season progresses.
Pierre Garcon, while he might not be a household name, possesses the ability to help Griffin achieve early stardom in his career, and here's why.
Garcon is a big-play guy
When Griffin passed for 320 yards against the Saints on Sunday, his exceptional performance was only outdone by Cam Newton and his 422-yard debut against the Arizona Cardinals last season.
So who did Newton have at wide receiver to help him flourish during his rookie year?
A speedy playmaker in Steve Smith.
While Garcon shouldn't be drawing any comparisons to Smith, he will serve a similar role for Griffin and be that playmaker on the field that will make Griffin's transition to the NFL that much easier.
Mike Shanahan shares the same beliefs. He stated via the Washington Times, "'He’s a big-play guy. He wants the football, so we gave it to him early and he made a number of big plays.'"
Garcon will make plays for his quarterback when the ball is in his hands, and that's exactly the type of player that a rookie quarterback needs.
Garcon brings experience and polished route-running to the table
I'll admit that I wasn't much of a fan of Garcon during his time with the Indianapolis Colts. In fact, I am always a little hesitant to give praise to wide receivers that come from pass-happy offenses with an elite quarterback at the helm, and that's exactly what Garcon had with Peyton Manning early in his career.
Essentially, I believed that Garcon was simply just a product of having Manning, one of the all-time greats, throwing him the ball.
However, specifically in these situations, wide receivers are in fact able to develop into proficient players with the assistance and tutelage of an elite quarterback, and I believe that's what happened to Garcon.
What Garcon brings to the table is his ability to run crisp routes and make plays after the catch, and that was put on display on his first touchdown catch for the Redskins.
All Griffin had to do was hit Garcon on the crossing route and, boom, there's an 88-yard touchdown pass in the books. It might as well look like Griffin threw the 50-yard bomb to Garcon down the left sideline on the stat sheet.
If Griffin turns into the star that he has potential to turn into this season, Garcon will be a major reason why.