1. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III wasn’t sharp in his training camp debut. His day just serves as a reminder that, yes, it will take some time for him to excel. Nothing wrong with that. Griffin’s first pass, a bootleg to his right, appeared to slip out of his hand and landed nearly 10 yards in front of him. He was off on numerous other throws, especially moving to his left. On one pass, he had Josh Morgan wide open over the middle, but he threw it at his feet. And the few times he had to tuck and run on a bootleg, the defense had him covered. It could be, in part, because they’ve run against the same plays since the spring.
2. Still, Griffin was throwing at receiver’s feet more than he had in the spring. A sign of rustiness? It’s allowed.
3. But every so often you did see how Griffin’s athleticism can help. Facing a Ryan Kerrigan pass rush, Griffin, standing in the pocket, was able to adjust because of his feet as Kerrigan came at him and swing a pass to fullback Darrel Young that turned into a long gainer. Griffin also made a good throw to the outside, enabling Josh Morgan to make a leaping catch. Griffin gave him a chance to make a play.
4. One of Griffin’s best passes was dropped by receiver Pierre Garcon over the middle. And earlier in the practice Griffin squeezed one pass to Garcon on the right seam; it was a tight window. After the play Garcon flipped the ball over to the crowd.
5. I did like Griffin’s savviness. Or maybe a better word is maturity after one play. He had Garcon open on a bootleg to the left, but Griffin threw it low and it was incomplete. He’d been struggling and it was hot, so you’d forgive Griffin if he just went on to the next play, but he made a point to tell Garcon that he had run a good route. A little thing, but it had a veteran’s savvy to it.
6. Another time Griffin ran a boot to the left and kept the ball. As Brandon Meriweather ran up from deep secondary, he shouted, “I wish you would have thrown that [expletive]!”
7. Guess we should mention that the crowd of a couple thousand changed “RG3!” on three different occasions. Some shouted, “RG3! MVP!” Yes, they really did. And there were hoots and catcalls when Rex Grossman fumbled one snap.
8. By the way, Griffin ran a zone read on one play, though he handed the ball off to running back Roy Helu. Griffin did have one run up the middle.
9. Think Griffin is a little bit on everyone’s mind? Of the first 16 questions to linebacker London Fletcher, 15 were about Griffin. And Fletcher answered them willingly. It’s a bit odd because after a while players often get tired of talking about a rookie. But they haven’t hit that point yet – and they were being asked about him in the spring, too.
“You know being around this game for a number of years, you can tell when you meet guys who have it and I think he’s on the way,” Fletcher said. “Just the way he carries himself, not a sense of entitlement. He works hard and he wants to be the best quarterback he can be. We know it’ll be a process. We don’t expect him to come in and be a top-five quarterback but if he does we won’t be mad about that either.”
To subscribe to my free weekly email report, click here. This week: a look at the tight end situation and one NFL coach’s pessimism over Chris Cooley — and his optimism regarding Niles Paul.