There’s no injury to be concerned about, but there is the overall style of play Robert Griffin III simply can’t shake off that is worrying the Washington Redskins, realizing that if something doesn’t change in the way their franchise quarterback handles certain situations and plays, they might soon be looking for a new one to take over.
Griffin wowed the NFL during his rookie season with his running ability, tendency to keep plays alive and his accuracy as a thrower. He isn’t one of the quarterbacks that are incredible when making plays with their feet but have an awkward throwing motion or don’t work well as pocket passers (think Tim Tebow or Terrelle Pryor). He could do it all, until that injury in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Last season? No one really knows what was going on. A head coach who was doing everything possible to leave, an owner intervening on his player’s behalf and a quarterback that went from being a media darling during his rookie season to the supposed root cause of a failed campaign, as the Redskins fell from making the playoffs to the bottom of the NFC East, and a chance at head coach.
This summer hasn’t been about seeing if Griffin is healthy. It has been about trying to teach Griffin to change his instincts. Keeping plays alive is great, but there are different ways to make it happen. Griffin loves to go out on runs, although it does seem like his running ability isn’t going to be the same as it was before that injury in the playoff game against the Seahawks, when there’s still an argument about whether Mike Shanahan simply made a bad call by keeping him in the game, or made a bad call by listening to Griffin who refused to leave the field.
Griffin doesn’t try to make players miss. He takes reckless slides and when he does scramble out of the pocket, he often makes the decision that punishes his body the most instead of finding someone open. Obviously, that threat makes it possible for him to look good inside the pocket when the offensive line doesn’t crumble, and yet there has to be a way to convince him to stop “looking” for getting hit.
He finished the most recent preseason game against the Browns with some knocks and bruises – nothing to really worry about, but just another piece of evidence that Griffin can’t avoid getting hit, which should worry the Redskins. There have been those who have suggested that Griffin’s best days, despite not even turning 25, are already behind him. If he’ll be unable to change his style, that might turn out to be true.