First the backdrop. After the morning walk-through I was talking to corner Josh Wilson about Robert Griffin III. We talked about how Griffin hadn’t thrown an interception in camp yet.
Wilson was surprised at Griffin’s ability to not throw a pick.
“We were saying that in meetings, the defensive backs like man why didn’t he throw me this one? I gave him the perfect look, he should have thrown it to me,” Wilson said. “Then I was saying to Madieu [Williams] the other day that I’m glad he’s not throwing any.”
And then came the afternoon. And Griffin’s first two interceptions of camp. On the first one, he simply made a bad decision. It was tough to see who he was throwing to, but regardless Lorenzo Alexander was standing right in the path of the ball and made an easy grab.
The next one was simply poor mechanics. In a red zone drill, Griffin backpedaled away from pressure and threw a floater off his back foot to Pierre Garcon in the left flat of the end zone. Corner DeAngelo Hall made a diving catch on a ball that had no juice. Griffin will need to show better mechanics than that in games. On a fade route earlier this week he threw a similar pass off his back foot and it fell short of Garcon (with Wilson defending).
On his first throw of the afternoon, Griffin lofted a deep post to Garcon only to have Williams knock it away.
“I would have thought a rookie would throw a lot of those [interceptions],” Wilson said earlier in the day. “He doesn’t need to win us the game. He doesn’t need to make every great throw. If it doesn’t look open, don’t throw it. Our defense is good enough to just throw the [passes] that are there and chalk up the ones that are not. The way you lose games are turnovers.”
The reason Wilson and his group were surprised at Griffin’s lack of turnovers before Wednesday stemmed from how many looks they were giving him. There are times, for example, when the Redskins align their defensive backs in what looks like press man coverage. But when the ball is snapped, they play zone.
“He’s seeing so much stuff from us right now I’d be surprised if anyone can show him anything new,” Wilson said. “We have the most defenses of any team I’ve played on. It’s great for him because he’s seen everything.”
Not everything was bad for Griffin. He threw a bullet to Garcon on the right seam for a touchdown in the red zone drill. He also had a good throw on a quick out to Leonard Hankerson.
The Redskins continue to work on the run game with Griffin. I can’t imagine they run him a lot, but there’s little doubt when you look at Mike Shanahan’s history with mobile quarterbacks and you know Griffin’s past that he will run. I wonder about his durability if he has to do it too much (which I can’t imagine they’ll ask him to do).
That said, he can be fun to watch. He kept the ball around the end on one well-blocked play and what stood out was his ability to contort his body and somehow make himself small. He slithered through the opening and it wasn’t a case of defenders letting up that led to the hole. It was his body control and lean.
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