Before the season, former NFL MVP quarterback Rich Gannon subscribed to a notion held by many: Robert Griffin III’s impact might be slowed by the adjustment to the NFL. Now Gannon subscribes to another theory: if the Redskins make the playoffs, Griffin has to be in consideration for MVP.
“To come in with the weight of the world on your shoulders,” said Gannon, an NFL on CBS analyst, “this organization was down and out for a number of years, no production consistently at quarterback and this guy comes in and is like, ‘Let’s go.’ He put the weight of the team on his shoulders. It’s not like they’re dominating on defense. Alfred Morris has been a nice addition, but without him they might be a three-win team.”
But with him they’re 6-6 and, for Gannon and many others, fun to watch. He was a fan of Griffin entering the season and is a bigger one now.
“It’s weird when you watch a game at this level and you say that guy is just better than the rest,” Gannon said in my email report. “Certain players come along that just have this unusual athletic talent and [Griffin] is one of those guys….You have Ray Rice this weekend. Joe Flacco has been to four straight postseason games. But if you’re just looking for a guy that, if you’re just sitting down with a hot dog and soda and don’t know anybody, that’s the guy you’re going to watch.”
As for the debate on whether or not a running quarterback can win a Super Bowl title, Gannon, a mobile quarterback himself, says there’s no reason a team couldn’t win with such a player. But Gannon said the Redskins’ offense will evolve, not because of Griffin’s talent as much as his brains.
“He’s such a bright young guy that he’s smart enough to handle volume and smart enough to realize what the issues will be for him and how he has to change,” Gannon said. “Like a lot of [rookie QBs], they will develop and become better passers as they become stronger. Their fundamentals and techniques get better. You’re talking about a guy in college who spent 20 hours a week on football. You go from 20 hours to 50 hours and you can see major improvement. You see them get stronger. You see them get a better understanding of his own system and the protections. You see him begin to master what defenses are doing, understanding fronts and coverages and rotations and matchups. You look at what he’s doing now and you project and I see a guy who will only get better.”
To subscribe to my Friday email report, click here. Gannon spoke more about Griffin as well as the matchup vs. Baltimore.