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Editorial: Dear media, there's no RGIII in team

Nov. 2, 2010

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

In July, the media sat before coach Art Briles and Baylor football players for the Big 12 football media day. While they were no doubt curious about the team's take on the upcoming season, there was another buzz in the room concerned with who wasn't present.

The first question everyone wanted to know: Where was Robert Griffin?

"Everybody knows Robert Griffin," Briles explained. "A lot of people don't know about Antonio Johnson. They don't know Danny Watkins, that he was a firefighter and a hockey player before he ever played football. They may not know about Phil Taylor, that he's a transfer from Penn State and that he's transformed himself into what we think he needs to be as a football player to contribute to our football team."

Clearly Griffin's 20 touchdown passes and seven rushing touchdowns have helped the team toward its 7-2 record and more conference wins this season than any season since 1995. But just as importantly, fans need to realize and acknowledge the efforts made on both sides of the ball at all positions.

Watkins, for example, represents perhaps the most underappreciated yet hardest-working crew on the field in the offensive line.

Success like that of Griffin and running back Jay Finley relies on the

line's protection.

From casual fans and heavily enthused fans alike, Watkins and the offensive line often only garner attention for negative plays and penalties.

It is much easier easy to watch Finley burst through the line and dash up the field without giving any consideration to the men creating the big play opportunity.

Taylor is a part of the defense that, despite allowing high point totals early in the season, has made the plays needed for Baylor wins. On Saturday it was evident in an interception that Griffin later turned into a touchdown and a fumble that buried any threat of a

Texas comeback.

Nationally, Baylor players have been rewarded for their efforts. ESPN gave senior safety Byron Landor a helmet sticker, awarded to only a few players each week, after he recorded 15 tackles in the win over the Longhorns.

He is the second player in as many weeks to earn a helmet sticker, the other being Jay Finley for his homecoming game efforts.

Finley has risen up for 813 yards and six touchdowns already this year, 52 yards and one touchdown shy of his career season highs set in 2008.

Younger players, who might not have gained any acclaim yet, have also answered the call this year. Freshmen Rodney Chadwick and Tyler Stephenson, two players unknown to most fans, filled in for Baylor's injured defensive backs, containing Texas' receivers and preventing long, potentially game-changing plays.

Griffin is a talented quarterback, and Texas coach Mack Brown even suggested he should be discussed for the prestigious Heisman trophy.

But in between the touchdown strikes and crowd-igniting runs, there are teammates making it all possible.

Some argue that football is the ultimate team sport, and regardless of one's side of the argument, the entire team should receive the praise it has earned.