Share

Redskins' Griffin trying to get better moving

|
Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

RGIII finding it harder to throw on run in NFL

ASHBURN -- Robert Griffin III rolled to his left, running a bootleg pass play in a drill with no defense -- an easy pitch and catch. Except that it wasn't. Griffin's first pass skidded wide. His next was behind the receiver. Finally, on his third snap Griffin took an extra split second to make sure he was fully turned around. The pass, finally, was complete.

The lesson?

"Throw when you're ready," Griffin said.

Simple yet not always easy to grasp. It's all part of the learning curve for Griffin. Add this to the list: the ability to make throws on the run. He did it at Baylor, but it's obviously different in the NFL. Griffin's speed created much more room in college than it likely will in the NFL.

Considering how much the Redskins likely will use bootlegs and rollouts, it's something Griffin must conquer.

"It's more out of design here," Griffin said. "It's not really comparable, but I've had my fair share throwing on the run."

However, he has not thrown on the run against NFL linebackers, some of whom are fast. Maybe not as fast as Griffin, but they're not far off. That means Griffin must learn to throw when there's no defender in his face -- and when one is in hot pursuit.

"You've got to get your shoulders around," Griffin said. "The problem is when you have Brian Orakpo running after you and you can't get your shoulders around. We worked on that all through our drills. ... If you have a guy like [Ryan] Kerrigan and [Orakpo] running after you and you have to run sideways, just to position your body to make that throw."

Griffin hasn't been overly impressive throwing the ball, nor has he looked bad. He often has looked like a rookie in his first training camp, which is what he is, of course.

What he won't do is say he can't do something.

"I'm not one to say I'm really bad at that," Griffin said. "It's not that I'm naive or stubborn, but I just don't look at myself that way. ... If I put myself down and say I really have to work on that, then you think you're bad on it. I try not talk that way.

"I try not to be a Debbie Downer and say, 'Oh my gosh. I've got to do that.' If I make a bad throw one time, there's a slim chance to none that I'll go back and make that same throw."

"Nobody learns it just like that," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "It takes some time. He's been working extremely hard, looking at film, practice, drill work. Everything that gives you a chance to be successful he's doing. ... He's an overachiever with a lot of talent. When you have a guy like that, you have a chance to get better."

And, yes, he continues to show the ability to run. The Redskins will have designed runs for Griffin during the season. He has frozen linebackers with ball fakes on a couple runs outside. On Monday, he also showed the ability to chase down a linebacker. Bryan Kehl scooped up a supposed fumble at the 5-yard line and sprinted downfield with teammates around him.

Griffin interrupted the touchdown rumble and shoved him out of bounds.

Why did he feel the need to catch up to him?

"Because I could," Griffin said.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

View article comments Leave a comment