Five thoughts: Robert Griffin III

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

1. The ball just jumps out of Robert Griffin III's hand at a different speed.  That was evident again during the OTA workout Monday. Because of that, he’ll get away with some throws that others just can’t make. For example, on one out route to Pierre Garcon, Griffin stood in the pocket and delivered a strike into a tight window. Rookie Richard Crawford had good coverage and was right on Garcon’s hip. But Griffin zipped it in to Garcon – and it would have allowed him to gain yards after the catch, too. His most impressive throws really came on the out patterns rather than straight downfield. That’s where you see the arm as much as anything. Remember the times when tight end Fred Davis had to wait on passes on the bootleg toss-back plays? A 30-yard gain would be made, but another 20 or 30 were lost because he had to wait. If that happens this season I’d be surprised.

2. On the bootlegs, Griffin gets on the perimeter ultra-quick. That, plus the velocity on his throws, will stress defenses. Because Griffin gets on the edge and squares his hips so fast, it’ll give the receiver a chance to make more plays, especially on clear outs. Corners or safeties might not arrive as fast as they would have vs. other quarterbacks. Not that Rex Grossman threw lollipops, but Griffin is much faster and throws a faster ball. He had one throw Monday to Niles Paul where you could hear it hum as it arrived. Griffin’s traits will give the offense a faster tempo.

"It’s a total difference when he’s out there running on the play-action,” Davis said. “He gets out so fast. He sees the whole field. He can make throws other quarterbacks couldn’t make. He gets out on the play action very fast. Very fast.

3. One side benefit of Griffin having already graduated does not just involve learning the offense or the playbook. There’s little doubt that a guy like Griffin would learn as much as possible even if he wasn’t here. But here’s one important thing: The ability to interact with the veterans during a less stressful time. If Griffin could only make, say, the minicamp, he’d have perhaps a week to interact. Instead, he’ll have more than a month. And this will give the vets time to see what he’s about.

4. Linebacker London Fletcher, whose locker is next to Griffin’s, saw his pre-draft interviews. But now he gets to learn more about him. And it’s important to impress players such as Fletcher. “He’s very humble, very respectful,” Fletcher said, “not coming in feeling like he’s entitled to anything. He’s willing to work. He’s in here early and he’s in his playbook. There are some first-round picks, especially high guys, they come in and feel like things should be given to them. That’s not the case with him.”

Fletcher did joke about Griffin, “He thinks he’s a singer. He’s always singing. He doesn’t sound bad, but he really thinks he can sing.”

Here’s something else Fletcher said: “I’m in my 15th season, to go into another year with not having a quarterback was not very appealing to me….I’ve had enough years of the other stuff.”

5. Though Griffin would get razzed for his Jay Leno appearance, even if in good fun. Some players joked about his beat box, but players genuinely seemed to enjoy that he was on the show. It’s difficult for rookies to fit in that well that fast to the point where vets don’t have an attitude of, “Prove it first, kid.”

Griffin said, “Even the Leno show helped with the beat boxing. They could get a little bit of my life without me having to say it directly to ‘em. I associate a lot better with a lot of the guys. It’s been great. I feel real comfortable in the locker room.”

Griffin clearly is at ease with who he is and his role on the Redskins. There’s a rare confidence. How many rookies would say, when asked why he wore a yellow glove on his left hand Monday, “The simple answer to that is I was a huge Michael Jackson fan growing up.”

Still have no idea when this kid will blossom. But this is what we do know: he’s off to a good start and not just on the field.

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