Thom Loverro: Predraft work of Redskins' RGIII seems to be paying off

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Life is a little crazy for Terry Shea these days. The legendary quarterback coach is not sure if he has a job or not on the coaching staff of the Virginia Destroyers of the United Football League because he's not sure there is even a league.

But when he needs a little boost, he just thinks about the 10 weeks he spent this spring preparing a young man for the NFL Draft, and how special that time was.

Shea is the quarterback guru who worked with Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III for nearly three months. He had a front row seat to what was coming to Washington, and what the rest of the NFL has watched in amazement in the first six weeks of the season.

"He was very special," Shea said of his star pupil, RGIII. "I thought he could be the best quarterback in years to enter the draft."

Prior to the draft, RGIII and Shea worked on the drop-back techniques and types of passes required for an NFL quarterback.

"We spent four weeks trying to perfect throws," Shea said. "He was very fluid with his physical movement. I put him through the entire battery of drops, in particular so he could demonstrate that he was not just a shotgun quarterback. It is a learned skill, and he proved to me he could learn something in a very short time. He handled it all with tremendous confidence."

The second phase of RGIII's training was on preparing to make NFL-type throws, which he easily mastered as anyone who has watched him so far this season can see.

"Every route has a different pass that is prescribed to it," Shea said. "He showed at Baylor that he had different touches with the ball and wasn't just a rifle-armed quarterback. He further developed that part of the skill when we were together, but he had it at Baylor.

"We worked with raising his elbow to have a higher release point. I felt he would need that because of the reach and size of NFL players on defense. In a matter of two or three reps, he would catch on like he was doing it his whole career. He understood what it meant to put touches on throws."

Shea has watched RGIII continue to execute the work they did.

"He looks as special as ever," he said. "His accuracy has probably taken some people by surprise. I saw that for 10 weeks. He didn't throw that many interceptions in college because his mind works so quickly. We watched film every day, and his mind was on fast forward."

Shea's favorite memory speaks volumes about RGIII.

"His favorite football quote is, 'Big we, little me,'?" he said. "That pretty much says who Robert Griffin III is. His ego will not interfere with his ability to lead a team."

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

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