They liked what they saw. They know they need to see more. Not that Robert Griffin III’s teammates doubt what he can ultimately do, but they also know there’s a long ways to go.
Griffin was poised and relaxed in the pocket in his preseason opener vs. Buffalo. However, quarterbacks succeed in the NFL based on their ability to handle duress as much as anything.
“It’s hard to stay poised as a rookie when things aren’t going well,” backup QB Rex Grossman said. “He had a couple open guys, made the right throws on time [vs. Buffalo]. Looked good. I thought he looked great. I thought he handled every situation given to him.”
Eventually, possibly tomorrow night in Chicago, Griffin will need to make throws from a tight pocket. Fortunately for him he can rely on his arm and legs to survive. But how far along is he in this process? Tough to say. He was under pressure quite a bit in training camp, so he’s gotten a good look already. In practice it’s tough to say how a play really would have unfolded. Griffin did not run during these drills too often; in a game that might not be the case. And when a guy like Griffin starts running, it could change how a team rushes.
But it is important to see how he develops in this area. Even his defensive teammates know this, mainly because they spend their time trying to make quarterbacks fail under pressure.
“The great ones make throws under duress,” Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “A lot of that is mental. It’s making the right reads and having the confidence out there.
“Pocket presence is a big thing. Robert looked poised; he made the throws. An athlete like him a lot of times you expect those guys to run around a lot, try to resort back to their athletic ability. But he did a great job standing in the pocket and making the throws. That confidence is something that shows to someone who knows the game and he has it.
Grossman, for one, likes what he’s seen of Griffin when the pocket collapses.
“I’m pretty impressed with the way he throws under duress,” Grossman said. “When he’s uncomfortable and he knows the timing of the play and he’s under duress, he has a flick, a Vick-like throwing motion where he doesn’t need to step into the throw. He can have a base and throw and get hit. I’m not worried about him doing that.”
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