Redskins email report: Bowen on Griffin’s start, Luck

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen, who writes for the National Football Post and is one of the most insightful analysts around, remains a big fan of Robert Griffin III. He also says there’s a lot of room for growth. Tough to think otherwise considering he’s only played in two preseason games.

“I’d love to coach Robert Griffin,” Bowen said. “It would be fun and challenging as a coach. He’ll do things that aren’t coachable and you have to live with that stuff. You can’t say I didn’t tell you to do that. So what, the guy made a play?”

But Bowen said Griffin needs to get more polished in the pocket, otherwise defenses will start to exploit that part of his game. Look for ends to alter their rushes a little bit just to keep him in the pocket, especially if the run game isn’t threatening (which will change how they play the boot action).

And Bowen said Griffin looked nervous in the pocket vs. the Bears. Bowen pointed to the missed pass to tight end Niles Paul on a third and short in the first quarter. Griffin ran a bootleg to his left and threw behind Paul. Yes, Paul could have made the catch. But Griffin made it tough for him.

“He should make that play in his sleep,” Bowen said. “From a player’s perspective, that’s a sign the guy’s playing a little tight. That should be a basic pitch and catch.”

And, yes, it’s natural to assume that Andrew Luck, because of the offense he ran in college, is a bit further ahead when it comes to throwing from the pocket. Griffin must learn that he can’t break contain all the time — but defenses will fear every time he does, as Bowen said he used to when facing Michael Vick.

“He stands in the pocket, he works the middle very well, he doesn’t look scared or nervous,” Bowen said of Luck. “Robert brings something totally different that they just have to clean up and polish it up…. It’s a process.”

 

To read the entire Bowen Q&A, subscribe to my free weekly email report. It’s emailed every Friday morning.

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