Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Nov 2013

Robert Griffin Part II: Reasons For Hope

Part II examines how the weaknesses of this offense creates a vicious cycle of degradation to Griffin's game, but there are also several reasons for hope if Griffin can hang tough. Read the rest at the Rookie Scouting Portfolio blog.

Posted by: Matt Waldman on 04 Nov 2013

11 comments, Last at 06 Nov 2013, 6:21pm by LionInAZ


by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 5:37pm

As always, a good read. But the overall theme is basically that Griffin must change to play like the stereotypical NFL quarterback. Problem is, that leaves him doing things that aren't his strong suit. That's fine if he's going to make strides in those areas in the relatively near future. But what if he doesn't?

Would a few years at the level he played last season in an offense catered totally to his strengths and minimizing his weaknesses be preferable to a longer career at a lower productivity level where his athleticism is downplayed in favor of a more traditional pocket passing offense? Seems like it probably would.

Now, they were pretty much forced into some of these changes due to the injury but it's quite possible Shanahan isn't going to survive as coach long enough to see RG3 fully mature into being a pure pocket passer. And it seems like we see lots of examples where the coach's almighty system ends up taking precedence over the personnel that are on hand to run it.

by tuluse :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 12:24pm

I guess you would want to see him evolve into a McNabb like player. Where he got much more choosy with when to run.

by arias :: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 5:40pm

Damn I sure hope not seeing how much McNabb degraded into a shell in his latter years.

by tuluse :: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 5:42pm

He made a probowl at 33. Hard to complain about that kind of longevity.

by LionInAZ :: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 6:21pm

One could argue also that Andy Reid's schemes ended McNabb's effectiveness prematurely.

by RickD :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 12:10am

Sally Jenkins is the least credible sports reporter in the DC area.

Just saying.

"Griffin earns the first down and pops up for another play. But what about three years from now? Five years? 10 years?"

Presumably he won't be doing this 10 years from now. But why worry about that now?

I'm an old enough Patriots' fan to remember when Steve Grogan was considered a great running threat. And it's true that only lasted a few years. By the time the 80s rolled around, he wasn't scrambling any more. But the fact that he couldn't run any more doesn't mean he shouldn't have run when he was fresh out of college. The fact is that those Patriots probably wouldn't have had two runs into the playoffs had Grogan deliberately squashed one of his skills.

And RG3 is certainly a better running QB than Grogan was.

RG3 did one dramatic scramble during a key juncture of a tied game when the Redskins needed a 1st down. And it worked. And he didn't get hurt.

With the line that's blocking for him, I honestly think he's just as likely to get hurt in the pocket as he is scrambling for a first down. My take-home message from this article is that the Redskins really need better pass blocking.

by apk3000 :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 8:30am

"Sally Jenkins is the least credible sports reporter in the DC area."

She doesn't even live in the DC area. She's in New York. The Washington Post has (or had) a bunch of people like that.

by markus (not verified) :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 12:39pm

My biggest take home message was the 'Skins offensive woes may be overstated. Waldman calls their offense dysfunctional. Well, they were 6th in DVOA last season and are now sitting around 15th and are still top 5 in yards per game. Not all that bad given their QB was due for a sophomore slump and is coming off a knee injury. Waldman actually criticizes their offense last year for avoiding RG3's weaknesses and focusing on his strengths. Isn't that what every offense tries to do?

by tuluse :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 1:35pm

Mike Martz doesn't believe in weaknesses. Every offense is capable of 7 step drop and long developing routes every single down.

by Tony D. (not verified) :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 4:54pm

Had to click over to the DVOA list to see if the 15 ranking was correct. They're ahead of New England by a few spots. Is New England's offense also dysfunctional?

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 8:13pm

They're actually two spots behind NE in the latest rankings, and much worse in passing DVOA. And yes, until this week many thought that the NE offense was a bit off.