Thom Loverro: There's just no comparison to Redskins' RG3

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Robert Griffin III will have to live with comparisons for the rest of his NFL career.

He'll be compared to his draft night counterpart, Indianapolis Colts No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, for as long as they both are playing.

He'll be compared to other black quarterbacks, which Warren Moon rightly declared as misguided.

"It's the same old crap -- it's always a comparison of one black to another black," he told Yahoo! Sports earlier this year. "I get tired of it. I get tired of defending it."

Moon said this in defense of Cam Newton -- the Carolina Panthers quarterback the Redskins will face Sunday and the quarterback who RGIII has also been compared to, particularly since the two of them will be on the same field this weekend.

Comparisons come with greatness. Nobody debates who was the worst quarterback, Heath Shuler or Danny Wuerffel.

Greatness, though, has different measurables to different people, as RGIII himself pointed out this week to reporters.

"I'd rather be compared to an Aaron Rodgers, someone who has won Super Bowls," Griffin told reporters. "You want to go out there and win."

We have come to be so cynical about athletes claiming they consider team goals higher than individual honors that such claims often fall on deaf ears. But remember what RGIII's predraft quarterback coach Terry Shea said was this young quarterback's favorite motto -- "Big we, little me."

Of course, that's what makes RGIII so great -- and so difficult to find a fair comparison.

On one level, it makes sense to compare him to Newton -- a Heisman Trophy winner who had a rookie season better than most first-year quarterbacks who came before him.

In 2011, Newton threw for 4,051 yards, 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also ran for 706 yards and 14 scores. Griffin is on pace to throw for 3,556 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions and run for 952 yards.

Part of what is going on here is that the transition from college to the NFL for quarterbacks has never been easier. More college coaches are using at least some level of a pro-style offense, and quarterbacks are more prepared than ever when they enter the league.

Combine that with changing NFL rules that make it more difficult for defenses to cope with versatile quarterbacks like Newton and RGIII, and you have the success that you saw from Newton last year and RGIII this season.

All that said, there may be no one to really compare RGIII to because there's never been a quarterback with this speed, talent, strength, intelligence and maturity. I think his greatest asset is that he plays back there like he has a resting pulse rate of 40 -- unflappable.

We are running out of adjectives to describe RGIII. We may have run out of comparisons as well.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and espn980.com. Contact him at tloverro@washingtonexaminer.com.

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Thom Loverro

Sports columnist
The Washington Examiner