At times Robert Griffin III seems to good to be true. He's talented; he's smart; he's a great worker; he's charismatic. The kid sounds, well, perfect.
"At times I would concur with you," said Terry Shea, a former NFL quarterbacks coach and college head coach who spent nine weeks training Griffin this offseason. "After you’ve been with somebody for a while you say I’ll see how he reacts when he’s around another element of people. Well, he’s the same guy. He’s so engaging and he embraces people like he does you can’t help but say I’ll follow this guy forever if you’re one of his teammates."
Shea knows what a quarterback must do to play in the NFL. Though he spent the bulk of his career coaching in college, starting in 1968 at Oregon, he worked for four different NFL teams as a quarterbacks coach from 2001-08. Now he gets them ready for the draft.
In the past three years Shea has tutored Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Blaine Gabbert and Josh Freeman -- all first-round picks. So he has an idea of what works. And he says Griffin compares favorably to Bradford (in terms of accuracy) and Stafford (quick release/velocity).
But, in my Friday email report, Shea said there were two things that stood out to him about Griffin.
"No. 1 is the way he brings such an upbeat demeanor to every time he steps on the practice field. It’s infectious," Shea said. "And No. 2 is the fact that he’s such an explosive athlete he can do just about anything you ask him to do, whether it’s setting that back foot to throw or [throwing] on the run."
Shea also discussed Griffin's work ethic, concerns over his durability and what they worked on during their time together. Hint: he's a big fan.
And it seems Griffin knows where he'll be headed. Really, it's not much of a secret at this point.
"I think he’s really excited to be a Washington Redskin," Shea said. "I know Robert would look forward to being [first overall] and I know his goal when we first met was to be the No. 1 draft pick. If anyone deserves it he does. But in this case maybe it’s not meant to happen."
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