John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald posted a new article this evening (via the Houston Chronicle) (7:15 CST) refutes the general tone of Chris Mortensen's ESPN report from this morning: that RG3's declaration was "a question of when, not if." That Mortensen's premise might have been wrong is not shocking, as I said before there may be a situation where the two sides (Griffin and his parents) are being pulled in different directions and/or think different things. Even in extremely close-knit families, parents and children are not likely to be on the same page 100% of the time. Those people that say continuously "I won't believe anything until it comes from RG3's mouth!" are probably simultaneously naive and correct. Naively correct, I guess.
The quotes from RG2 (as I have taken to calling Griffin's father, Robert Griffin, Jr.) referenced in that article, however, are somewhat shocking in that they directly contradict the quotes from the Mortensen report. Taking the first Mortensen quotation first:
"He actually has made a strong case to return because he's only 12 hours short of his master's, but he believes he can still accomplish that goal," Griffin II said. "He's still waiting for his official evaluation from the league, but the decision (to turn pro) is not a hard decision."
Compare the above to the quotation from the Werner article on Chron.com:
"I've done a lot of research and gathered a lot of information," Griffin Jr. said. "There is so much for Robert to think about. It will be a very hard decision for him. He's going to have to marinate on it."
HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Something seems amiss here.
The quotations in Mortensen's article are from a conversation on Saturday night, while Werner's apparently came from conversations and statements released today AFTER the Mortensen report. So at some point after the Mortensen report came out this morning, what was "not a hard decision" became "a very hard" one after all.
That's not the only change between the two accounts, either. As I said earlier today, the following quote (Mortensen) makes it seem like RG2 believes RG3 has made up his mind about declaring for the draft:
"I met with my son (Friday) and his schedule is pretty much he will attend the Sugar Bowl here in New Orleans, then next weekend he will meet with five agents and select the right agent to represent him and plan a good pre-draft process," Griffin II said. "After that he will sit down with three of his coaches at Baylor on Wednesday or Thursday (Jan. 11 or 12) and make it official."
Presumably, the decision to be made official on 1/11 or 1/12 would be that of Griffin's declaration. As Mortensen wrote, that certainly sounds like a done deal.
Fast forward to tonight, though, and we have this (Werner):
"Whatever Robert does, he can't make a bad decision," said his father, Robert Griffin Jr. "He hasn't made his decision because he wants to talk to coach (Art) Briles first. From there, he will let people know."
"Robert loves Baylor," Griffin Jr. said. "Winning the Heisman gives him a very powerful connection to the school. Right now, he just wants to enjoy the bowl win. If he stays, there are still some things he can accomplish."
Again, sometime between the Mortensen and Werner conversations, the scheduled meeting changed from a formality out of respect to something that could make a big difference because the decision has not yet been made. That's a pretty significant shift in tone. A shift corroborated by Jeremy Stein, a reporter from KWTX in Waco, on his twitter account.
I will never suggest that a respect member of the media fabricated a quotation or embellished a story. As I have repeatedly argued on Baylor boards throughout the day, I believe that Chris Mortensen, who has reported on the NFL for decades, relayed what was told to him accurately and fully. Based on the quotes as he presented them, his interpretation certainly seemed accurate. I don't believe Mortensen or anyone else (including RG2) lied.
The simplest answer is that when RG2 spoke Saturday night, he told the truth as he knew it at the time; he believed RG3 would/should declare for the draft and that there was a timeline in place for that declaration to occur. The meeting with Briles and the coaching staff this week would be basically a formality. If he said it was a "question of when, not if," he said that because he thought it was true. He said the decision was not a difficult one because it would not be to him. People make the mistake of assuming they are acting with complete information when they are not all the time.
Following the Mortensen report this morning, however, his incomplete information was obviously corrected. The quotes from tonight sound (to my untrained ears) just as genuine as those from the Mortensen report. The difference is that where RG2 spoke Saturday about his own opinion, he spoke Sunday about RG3's opinion. The fact that both articles reference a few of the same things, namely that RG3 has reasons of his own to come back, but discuss those things differently (both reference, for example, an upcoming meeting with Briles and the coaching staff, but obviously treat that meeting very differently), supports the point. At some point today RG2's belief about what was likely to happen changed, so the story changed with it.
I'm not saying that I think RG3 will come back; I think it would be foolish at this point to just latch on to the report I like (and of the two it is obviously Werner's) and ignore everything else. I do think, though, that what we saw today was a fairly definitive indication that this process is far from over, the decision far from made, and that Baylor and our football coaches still have the opportunity in front of them to make their best pitch to keep Robert around for his senior year.