1. A better day for Robert Griffin III this week than from when we saw him a week ago. But you always have to keep in mind that the coaches are working on different things each practice. So Thursday we saw more of the Griffin that we saw in college who could use his arm or his legs to beat you. He could be as much an athlete at times Thursday as anything. But the result is that he looked more comfortable. With a player like Griffin, I’d sometimes want to use his legs a little early in a game to allow him to make a play or two – and get in a groove. He threw with better touch on his passes today, after getting to use his legs a bit.
2. Any quarterback who can run does not want to be labeled as a runner. When Darrell Green played, he did not want to just be known as a speedy corner. They want to be viewed as an all-around threat and Griffin is no different. His stats suggest he doesn’t need to defend himself, but his legs are a weapon so why fight it?
Griffin said: “I don’t want people to think I’m just an option quarterback. It’s not something you can prove, I don’t think. Perception is reality so it doesn’t matter how many yards you throw for, what you do in practice or what you do in the games. If you can run a little bit you’ll always be smacked with that stereotype.”
3. It’s not as if Griffin was awesome Thursday, but he was solid (and more multi-dimensional). He did miss tight end Fred Davis on a corner route in the end zone, throwing too far inside. Brandon Meriweather broke up the play, but the pass was off-target. Later Griffin missed Davis again in the end zone, forcing him to dive for the pass.
4. And Griffin couldn’t connect with Josh Morgan in the end zone on another play. However, I liked what Griffin did on the throw. Safety Jordan Bernstine was on Morgan’s left and there was a small opening to his right. So that’s where Griffin directed the throw. Nothing great, but he adjusted and threw to the only spot Morgan had a chance. I also liked how Griffin threw low on a slant to Morgan, resulting in a first down during a full-team drill. Again, he put it where it needed to be based on coverage and only one guy had a shot at the ball.
5. Also didn’t see any throws that should have been intercepted either. That’s a change from last week.Griffin did say he felt better this week, particularly Wednesday.
6. “The defense was getting after it a little bit,” Griffin said, “and we came to the last session of the day and we just tore them up…. It continued out here toward the beginning of practice [Thursday]. It felt good to know as long as you know where you’re going with the ball, as long as you’re aggressive and confident you can complete any pass and do anything.”
7. Griffin nearly connected with fullback Darrel Young on a last-second toss that traveled about 40 yards in the air, thrown as the rookie was backpedaling away from the rush. Young jumped and had his hands on the ball but it fell incomplete.
“Every time we line up on defense and we see him on the other side of us we know he’s a threat,” corner DeAngelo Hall said of Griffin, “whether he’s running out of the pocket or making the play down the field. You saw it at the end of practice, him extending the play. It’s definitely different, but we’re excited about it. We can’t wait to put him through the ropes out here and get him ready for the season.”
8. Can’t say what plays the Redskins ran with Griffin; not allowed to divulge strategy. They did work on situations: two minutes, four minutes, red zone, goal line. But this isn’t breaking new ground: Griffin is a fast and decisive runner and when it’s a designed run, guy gets there fast. But this was impressive too – for linebacker London Fletcher. On a bootleg to his left, Griffin opted to run and only gained a couple yards because Fletcher ran him out of bounds. But on other plays Griffin showed his quickness. You'll see it soon enough.
“We’ve run the quarterback keeps, we’ve run the rolls. We have different types of option schemes available to us. It does present problems for the defense,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “He’s feeling more comfortable with the system day-in and day-out. I’m excited that he’s so excited because it’s contagious when you have a guy that loves what he does, and he’s coming out here early, staying late and doing all the things you’re hoping a quarterback will do.”
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