The Washington Redskins Are Misusing Robert Griffin III’s Talent

by Michael Drahota | Posted on Thursday, August 28th, 2014 | 0



Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III hasn’t exactly made a seamless transition into new head coach Jay Gruden’s pro-style offense this offseason, looking awkward in preseason games while failing to mount significant progress.

After a down 2013 that saw Griffin not fully recovered from a torn ACL that ended his stellar 2012 rookie season, RGIII was poised for a big bounce back in this year. However, according to ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski, Griffin has regressed in his fundamental understanding of the game (courtesy of the Washington Post):

“When you get to big-boy football, which is the NFL, there is a way to play the game. There really is, for consistent play. And you have to play from the pocket. And I know when draft time comes around, the first thing you read about [many quarterbacks] is his running ability, his ability to extend the play, for all these mobile quarterbacks.

And I think that’s about number six or seven down on the attribute priority list: The ability to make plays with your legs. Because you have to play from the pocket, you have to play smart. You know, it could be a spectacular play or it could be a dud, and that’s not what you want at the quarterback position. You want consistency, play in and play out. Consistency game in, game out. Consistency season in, season out. You’re not getting that from RGIII.”

That’s some very harsh criticism from Jaworski, who is apparently joining the bandwagon of RGIII haters not even two years after he took the league by storm under then head coach Mike Shanahan’s offense.

The belief is that RGII will get hurt by unnecessarily risking his body when he can’t perfectly adhere to the pocket passing style of the NFL. But that was never RGIII’s game, not in college, and not now.

He’s a mobile quarterback in every sense of the term, one that makes plays by extending them with his legs and creating something out of nothing. It’s not his fault that he isn’t exactly what Gruden and his coaching staff wanted for their style, because they knew what they were getting when they signed on.

If they tried to make RGIII something he’s not and failed, well, that’s their fault.

At the end of the day, if Griffin takes advantage of the many weapons at his disposal in Washington and begins to makes plays that win games, his doubters will probably be the ones quick to say they knew he had it all along.

That’s the fickle nature of today’s NFL.

Regardless, you have to adapt to the talent on your team, and it doesn’t seem like Gruden and his staff are doing anything close to that. You can try to make a quarterback something he’s not, but that’s an uphill battle, and one you’re most likely to lose.

No, Griffin should not be putting his body in avoidable risk when taking off with the ball; that’s how he got hurt in the first place. But to say that a former track star’s only option is to become a prototypical pocket passer is ridiculous.

It’ time for the Redskins to realize what they have and adapt to it, and with the NFC East ready to put up points in droves, they had better figure out how to use their star quarterback’s talent very soon.

About the Author

Both an avid NFL fan and analyst, I’ve been following professional football since the late 1980s. I’m also an avid fantasy football player with several league victories under my belt. Check out my NFL articles on TSM for the latest NFL news, highlights, predictions, and more.

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