One of Robert Griffin III‘s biggest impacts will be on the Redskins’ red zone offense. That continues to be obvious watching practices and how the Redskins use him in this area. He’ll be able to beat teams with his legs as much as his arm. Just look at what Cam Newton did for Carolina last year.
In many ways that’s a good thing because it will put less pressure on him, especially if he’s somehow off with his throws. Things get tight in the red zone in terms of coverage; this just gives him another way to hurt a defense.
Saturday, he froze linebacker London Fletcher on one play, faking the ball to the running back. When Fletcher started at the back (don’t remember who it was), Griffin kept it and sprinted around the end.
I’ve probably said this a few times, but it is fun to watch him operate down here. His play fakes are patient, forcing defenders to commit. And the Fan Appreciation Day crowd loved watching him sprint around the end on one run. Didn’t hesitate. Sometimes you see his speed more than others and this was clearly one of them.
Another time his patience should have paid off was on a slant to Leonard Hankerson. A linebacker (can’t remember which one) dropped into the passing lane, but Griffin calmly waited for Hankerson to clear to the opening. Actually, the pass led him to the opening. Looked like a catchable ball, but it skidded off Hankerson’s fingertips (don’t worry; drops haven’t been an issue in camp).
Griffin threw a good slant in the red zone to Santana Moss for a touchdown. He also threw a deep out to Pierre Garcon in which he held the ball first for nearly four seconds.
One thing coach Mike Shanahan said they’ve tried hard to do is put Griffin in game situations. There are times his drops seem more deliberate than the other quarterbacks. If he’s not facing the defense until two seconds have elapsed, he’ll be in trouble.
Here’s what Shanahan said about how Griffin is doing in terms of recognizing defenses and getting the ball out on time:
“This is the first week. Three years from now, he’ll probably have it. That’s usually how long it takes. It takes some time. Sometimes, depending on your supporting cast, it’s a little bit easier than other times. But you try not to throw all the pressure on a quarterback coming in. The toughest situation is a drop-back, third-down situation. What you guys watched today is a lot of second-and-15, third-and-long situations that you’re trying to get a quarterback ready and he’s only had so many reps to kind of get a feel for the system. We’re constantly going to try to put him in different situations to get him more prepared for the game.”
…The quarterbacks worked, as usual on throws in the red zone during warm-ups. A tough pass to get down is the fade because of the timing involved in the play. It’s a work in progress for Griffin as they get the timing down… Have said this before, but sometimes even in warm-ups he’s a little off on his throws. Other days he’s not.
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