Mike Shanahan knows Robert Griffin III doesn’t need to be a finished product after three days of training camp. So when he’s asked for his assessment of his performance thus far, he sums it up in one word.
“Good,” Shanahan said.
He’s measuring not just his daily play, but also his ability to improve and grow. It’s tough for those not in the film room to really gauge all of that. But we can see his play and you see the good mixed with the bad (or still developing) aspects of his game.
It’s an evolution that has only just begun.
“Like we talked about from day one, every day is a learning experience,” Shanahan said. “The more reps you get, the better you feel about the system, the better you feel about NFL defenses, your teammates, what they can do, what they can’t do. You’ve got check-offs, you’ve got nickel, you’ve got base defenses, three-man fronts, four-man fronts.
“That’s why they say it’s a hard position to play in all of sports. I really believe it is because there’s so much to learn. You’ve got to be extremely bright. You’ve got to really want it bad. You’ve got to be a good athlete and have all the intangibles. You’ve got to come to work every day, and that’s what he’s been doing. He’s getting better every day.”
Shanahan said the one thing he’s learned having coached Hall of Fame quarterbacks in the past is this: the supporting cast needs to help.
But the other ingredient is the QB’s work ethic and his ability to correct his mistakes. Sometimes it takes running a play several times before that happens.
“You’re trying to give him some repetition, give him the right repetition, so it becomes automatic,” Shanahan said. “There’s a learning curve there. Nobody learns it just like that. It takes some time. And that’s what you look for-is guys that want to learn, guys that will do anything to get the extra work, to make it automatic for him. And that’s what he’s been doing. He’s been working extremely hard-looking at film, practice, drill work. Everything that gives you a chance to be successful, he’s doing.”
Now, onto Griffin’s day:
…Griffin struggled throwing on the run to his left in an individual drill with receivers and no defensive backs. He threw low to Pierre Garcon; he threw wide to Santana Moss; he threw behind Garcon. Finally, Griffin was more patient on his last throw in this drill and completed the ball. Took a little off the throw. It felt like Griffin was rushing a little bit coming around the corner until that last throw.
…But he connected with Garcon on the first play of a one-on-one drill between the receivers and defensive backs. Garcon ran a go route vs. DeAngelo Hall and thrilled the crowd of several thousand by hauling in the pass.
…Griffin seems to run the play-action in a deliberate manner. Not sure he’ll have the time to do it like that in games.
…Griffin threw a nice bullet to Garcon on a dig route and followed it with an out pass to Fred Davis, who made a diving catch.
…One of Griffin’s better passes: an in-route to Garcon, who cut in front of Hall and had the ball arrive just as he turned around. An excellent throw in rhythm.
…Loved the option as a kid, but not sure I’m crazy about it in the NFL. We’ll see how it goes. But, regardless, the Redskins will try to run it with Griffin. They showed that formation twice Saturday. The first time Santana Moss motioned into the backfield and Griffin ran the option to the right, keeping the ball (would not have been a gain). The next time he made a wild toss to Roy Helu in the backfield.
…DeAngelo Hall broke up two passes by Griffin later in the day, both directed to Santana Moss. And corner Josh Wilson nearly made an interception on a pass to Josh Morgan. Griffin slid right on the play and his pass was a little too inside for Morgan.
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