Friday, September 6, 2013
Expectations for RG III
By Tom Carpenter
Long gone are the days of a torn ACL ending a football player's career, and judging by the pace of recovery we've seen from the likes of Adrian Peterson and Robert Griffin III, gone are the days of players needing a full year to get back to full speed. Just eight months after blowing out his knee, RG III is set to hit the gridiron Monday night, having not missed a single game. This brings us to the big question of how will his reconstructed knee affect his role in the Washington Redskins offense?
"I don’t think it will have a major impact," said ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim. "Last year Griffin’s first game back after his initial injury was against the Eagles. The Redskins did not use the zone-read option all that much and Griffin ran only one time in that game. They admitted that Griffin’s knee situation affected what they called. But Griffin is healthy now, so I don’t think they’ll limit what he can do at all. ..."
Both Football Outsiders Scott Kacsmar and ESPN NFL Insider Ron Jaworwski think that Griffin will be fine this season, if he protects himself better:
Scott KacsmarSophomore slump? Don't bet on it.
"Griffin may be the easy target for a slump given his durability concerns and gaudy statistics in 2012 as he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. However, there are areas where he can get better, and how he protects himself is one of them. He had 69 designed runs last season, but all three times he was injured it was a scramble out of a pass ... or that bad snap he reached down for when he finally went down with the ACL tear in the playoffs. He can afford to avoid some big hits by running out of bounds or sliding more this year. He does not have the frame of a Cam Newton to absorb the punishment. Griffin also must get better at throwing the ball in obvious passing situations."
Ron JaworskiAdjustments for the 'Year 2' QBs
"Now Griffin needs to take a step forward in nickel and dime package situations when a run-fake doesn't help him. Look at third-and-long situations in 2012. Griffin faced 3rd-and-6+ situations 91 times. In those situations, his completion percentage dipped to 57.1 on 70 attempts. That's still good, but it's a notable dip nonetheless. He also ran 21 times in those situations, averaging 12.5 yards per carry. That latter figure speaks to his ability as a runner, but as Washington builds its future around Griffin, do the Redskins want him trying to pick up those long third downs with his arm or with his legs? Signs point to success for Griffin working from the pocket, but I'll want to see more in the season ahead. One more note: I've studied Griffin's mechanics from his pro day at Baylor through his last pass of 2012. When Week 1 wraps up, the first tape I'll pull will be the Monday night Eagles-Redskins game because I'll want to see if RG III can replicate those same mechanics after the injury."