When legendary Redskins center Jeff Bostic roamed the gridiron, the Carolina Panthers didn't even exist yet, established the year after he retired.
But Bostic still called this Sunday's matchup "a rivalry game," highlighted by two former Heisman Trophy winners in
Both quarterbacks were Week 1 starters and took the NFL by storm. Where Newton put up better stats, Griffin III leads in wins and limiting mistakes.
"I think Robert’s done a really tremendous job," Bostic said. "You don’t expect a lot from a rookie quarterback, but this guy has come into the league very well-prepared at Baylor. He’s making good decisions with the football, making a lot of plays with his legs, which we knew he would."
Bostic agreed with Griffin III and head coach Mike Shanahan, classifying Sunday's game as a must-win. But more importantly, Bostic called this a revenge game after last year's beat-down in Charlotte.
"Last year, the Panthers came limping in at like (1-5) and upset the Redskins," he said. "From a rivalry standpoint and a revenge standpoint, that’s got to be in the back of the Redskins’ minds.
"Is this a game that’s a critical must-win for this team? Yes it is. Take care of business at home."
Bostic and many other Redskins Alumni are back in town this week for the Redskins Homecoming game, a tradition started by general manager Bruce Allen in 2010.
Bostic joked that his age made him ideally suited for studying film, but was sincere in his praise of the Redskins roster, which he said is headed in the right direction.
"I told Mike Shanahan ‘I like what you’re doing. Keep collecting pieces,’" he said. "Obviously RG3 is one of those pieces that’s going to be an integral part of this thing. They’ve got a running back (
"Keep collecting those kinds of parts."
Bostic will be introduced pregame along with more 150 other alumni, and will be on hand to honor his former position coach, Joe Bugel, who is being inducted into the Greatest All-Time Redskins at halftime.
Bostic shared a few stories about his playing days with the Hogs, but circled all of his praise back to Bugel and the faith he had in his players.
"[Bugel] took a bunch of young linemen in 1981 that had no experience or very little experience, taught them how to play football, taught them how to bond together, and taught them how to fight," Bostic said. "When you look at the success that the Redskins organization had throughout the 80’s and early 90’s, put that on Joe Bugel.
"This is one of the few franchises that enjoyed a 10-year span of going to four Super Bowls. But we did it with three different starting quarterback and three different starting running backs. That is not done throughout the NFL."
Bostic praised the Redskins ownership and front office for the Homecoming game festivities, noting how special it was to remain involved with the organization.
"It’s beyond flattery," he said. "I was fortunate to wear the burgundy and gold for 14 years, and to be back in front of the best fans in the world, and to be recognized with the guys that you went to battle with--it’s a great honor.
"I can’t say enough about the Redskins organization—[owner] Dan Snyder and [general manager] Bruce Allen—for recognizing the old guys and keeping them a part of the Redskins tradition."