The same scenario we’ve seen in the first nine practices was evident again Monday. Robert Griffin III drops back in the pocket, holds the ball for two… three… four … seconds and then either starts up in the pocket or the play ends.
In Griffin’s defense, there’s one good thing about this: He’s not looking to run the second a play breaks down. Rather, he keeps his eyes downfield. And Monday he did manage to slip out to his right and hit tight end Chris Cooley in the right flat.
(Yes, this is a constant topic, but we haven’t been able to talk much to Griffin about it since he only talks on Mondays).
“Sometimes in practice I try to err on the side of not throwing the ball into coverage a little too much,” Griffin said. “Our defenders know what’s coming at them. In a game things will open up a lot more and I’ll get the ball out of my hands. It comes with time. You have to learn when to run and when not to run and when to throw the ball into the dirt.”
Griffin will have to speed up his play fakes a little bit, especially behind a line that could have three starters sidelined (and one rookie starter).
But Griffin said he is confident in his reads.
“It’s just about knowing where you need to go with the ball,” Griffin said. “I’ll see [in games] whether things open up a lot more with the pass rush or whether things get clogged up a lot more. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. By no means am I looking to run a lot in the preseason or in this first preseason game.”
…Here’s what Griffin says he thinks the fans would be satisfied with Thursday vs. Buffalo: "A couple good drives, all touchdowns, 70-yard touchdown throws to [wide receivers] Pierre [Garçon] and Josh [Morgan], all that. These fans are going to be excited so I think if we go out and put together a good drive, get the ball to Pierre, [tight end Chris] Cooley, [wide receiver] Santana [Moss], all those guys get a touch, I think the fans will be satisfied. And, of course, win the game."
… And here’s Griffin on whether or not he’s looking forward to getting those first hits out of the way: “No, not really. To be honest, if I don’t get hit in the preseason, I would be very OK with that. It’s football, you play it and hits are going to hurt. Sometimes guys are going to unload on you. You just have to be ready for that. I am not going to go in the game ‘saying I hope Marcell Dareus hits me as hard as he possibly can.’ That’s not going to come out of my mouth. I look forward to going out there and playing. If I get hit, I get hit. If I don’t, thank God.”
…The hard part with reading into Griffin’s practices is that the defense has worked against these plays so often that it can disrupt the offense. However, the other quarterbacks don’t hold the ball as long as Griffin. But give him credit for not taking off at the first sign of distress.
…I usually don’t focus too hard on how Griffin looks in individual warm-ups. But it’s become noticeable that he’s not consistent. For example, on Monday Griffin threw three straight passes on in-routes that were off line. He was behind Santana Moss on a slant; he was behind Pierre Garcon on another slant and was way too far out front of Terrence Austin. But the next three throws: perfect.
…Griffin did have one drop-back in which he held the ball for 4.08 seconds before trying to run.
…Griffin was more off today than he had been in previous practices. But I liked one play in which he slid right and instead of running he kept his eyes downfield and hit Leonard Hankerson in the right flat. He later slid to his left and hit Garcon. And he did hit Moss on a deep out later in the practice. But overall it wasn’t the best. (He even had one play in which he went to throw from a clogged pocket and the ball slipped out).
…DeAngelo Hall would have drilled Griffin on a blitz in which the rookie ran a keeper to the left side. As he returned to the sidelines, Hall said a couple times, “How’s he gonna break a tackle with his eyes closed?… He had his eyes closed.”
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