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Need to Know: Five things on RG3’s offseason to-do list

Feb 7, 2014, 5:08 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 7, 12 days before the NFL Combine.

Nickel coverage

According to Pierre Garçon, Robert Griffin III has set up a number of players-only offseason passing camps already. Here are five more things that are on his to-do list between now and the start of the season.

Take care of the knee—Griffin is now about 13 months removed from the surgical repairs to his right knee. While the healing is nearly complete he needs to be sure that he is 100 percent comfortable running and cutting on it and that it is strong enough minimize the chances of reinjuring it.

Get onto the same page with Jay Gruden—The fates of Griffin and Gruden are inexorably tied to each other. Neither one can succeed without the other.

Think before speaking to the media—Maybe he should speak to the media less but the starting QB is required to have media availability during OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. It only makes sense to set up a press conference so everyone isn’t crowded around his locker or in a scrum as he comes off the practice field. As for the other stuff, well, I don’t see there being much media demand for magazine cover stories or one-hour documentaries.

Learn to slide—Denard Span of the Nationals has offered to teach Griffin how to slide to avoid injury. He’s practically pleaded with Griffin to take him up on it. Whether it’s from Span or elsewhere or if he slides or uses some other method to protect himself when large men seeking to do him harm are in close proximity he needs to do it.

Read and react—It’s telling that after Griffin was benched after taking 25 sacks in five games, Kirk Cousins was sacked just four times in three games playing behind the same offensive line. Griffin needs to get rid of the ball quicker and that means trusting what his eyes tell him and reacting instead of thinking.

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Here’s the thing

Reserve running backs are supposed to be key contributors on special teams. Jawan Jamison was moved up from the practice squad for the last three games of the season and he was on the game day active list all three games. But he didn’t play a single play on special teams. If he can’t do that or is unwilling to do that, why is he on the roster?


—It’s been 40 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 212 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 12; NFL Free agency starts 32; Offseason workouts start 59; NFL Draft 90

In case you missed it

  1. skinsfan1369 - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:24 AM

    The stat about Cousins taking less sacks is deceiving and unfair towards Robert. Kirk took 1.3 sacks per game and Robert took 1.9 per game. The fact is that Kirk faced the Giants, and Cowboys who were tied for 25th and Falcons who were 28th in the league in sacks. And while Robert faced the Giants and Cowboys once as well and Lions and the Bears who were 28th and 31st respectably, he also faced the Chiefs and Packers who were 6th and tied for 8th respectably and Vikings and Broncos both tied for 13th. So to just put numbers out there are a bit misleading. This coupled with the injury recovery and no offseason is probably the real reason for the difference. Now Robert didnt play well for most of the season but to suggest that the line was better with cousins in there is really not true taking everything into account.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:30 AM

      Thanks for joining in. Sorry, but I saw Griffin hold on to the ball too long. That is something that he needs to fix. You can talk about the strength/weakness of defenses all day long. But if Griffin doesn’t get rid of the ball quicker he will be ineffective, take a lot of sacks, and eventually get injured.

      • Roy Clippard - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Did he hold the ball too long as a rookie???????

      • manchild157 - Feb 7, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        My observation of Griffin is he gets his mind set that he’s throwing to a certain receiver, stares him down until he comes open, or has to scramble when the pocket collapses, which given his knee status wasn’t fast enough so the sacks piled up. Cousin’s has a better ability to read through progressions and find the man that is open because he was taught a pro concept in college. Ok, part of this is observation, part is from listening and reading.

    • internetcareer - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:01 AM

      Skinsfan1369 you just gave a laundry list of excuses for Griffin. I live in real-ville. Robert holds the ball too long and then looks to run. He needs to find his receivers within 2 seconds and then move outside the pocket and buy time or throw it away. But he is a running QB first like Michael Vick and he has not yet developed into a pocket passer like Tony Romo who can move around and feel pressure. Maybe this will be the year.

      • skinsfan1369 - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        I am not sure where real-ville is located but I think I made it very clear that Griffin needs to play better. I wasn’t making excuses for him, I was making the argument that given the same scenario for Cousins I am not sure the sack totals would of been much different.

      • Roy Clippard - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Did you complain about him holding the ball too long in his rookie year????? Him holding the ball to long had more to do with his team having 1 or 2 playmakers and a bad interior line than……….him just holding the ball too long!

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:40 PM

          Yes, he sometimes held on to the ball too long as a rookie. Was a bit more elusive then pre-ACL. Should get most of that quickness back. Hey, if you don’t want the truth, that’s your option. If you want to believe that Griffin was perfect last year, that’s your option. But don’t come here and expect that slant. I have been very fair with Griffin, I think he has a chance to be great. But he’s not now and he has a heck of a lot of work to do before he gets there.

  2. Daryl tanwani - Feb 7, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    How is RG3 feeling will he be ready to take us back to the playoff and to the Super Bowl

    • ajbus1 - Feb 7, 2014 at 1:10 PM

      Should be good to go. Hopefully he can play without the knee brace this year.

  3. skinsfan1369 - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    I dont think there is any doubt we are in agreement that Robert needs to play better. My whole argument was that the small sample of Kirk that we got against who he played really doesnt give us a good sense of whether he would of taken that many less sacks over the course of the season. Especially if he had played the 1st half of the year when their defense was really bad and they were throwing the ball so much after the 1st quarter of every game.

  4. coachemup1 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    So fine, compare sack totals against the same teams. Fact is a quick release is very hard to learn but i THINK A BETTER USE OF HIS FEET WILL GIVE HIM ALL THE TIME HE NEEDS. nOT RUNNING, MOVING THE POCKET.

  5. kenlinkins - Feb 7, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    I agree 100% on the Slide and Getting the ball out faster. One thing to remember is that RG3 was trying to become more of a pocket passer in 2013 and one of the first lessons is that small clock you must keep in your head that tells you “Time is Up” time to “Tuck and Cover”. All pocket passers must learn this lesson and it seems that RG3’s was still a work in progress. His reads were taking a bit to long as things do not look the same in the pocket as they do when you roll out. I think RG3 will get better at avoiding the hits and sacks in 2014 as he works with new QB coach and O.C. ALSO: He must learn to get the ball to the cheap seats when throwing it away. The first sign he is getting better will be he will make his mistakes faster. Like Cam Newton did in late 2012 and early 2013.

  6. cowboyhater - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    You start off by getting him another reliable receiver who can take the pressure off of Garcon. Resigning Robinson, and I’ve heard they may be talking to Moss(!!) isn’t going to cut it. We know how this story played out with this receiving corps, so let’s not repeat ourselves with the same group. A RT would be good too….. As for the obvious (getting rid of the ball quicker, sliding), he needs to learn his progressions to eliminate those turnovers, and let’s not forget that he is a fumbler, so pocket awareness would be of importance.

    • kenlinkins - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I agree 100% on the fumbler label, that has to stop!

  7. Cole Walmsley - Feb 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    Here’s my opinion; rg3 HAS to learn to read his progressions, get rid of the ball quicker, learn to make plays with his feet (not running, buying time like Russell Wilson) and to not fumble and the thing is u can’t just have one reciever for ur team, name one quarterback who has won a ring with one playmaker! U can’t do it!!! Not of his inability of things was because his knee brace was holding him back, I am definitely NOT saying e is perfect he needs to learn to do the things that I listed, AND THEN he will become that quarterback that can make plays with his feet, and make plays in the pocket. Once he does that u won’t be able to stop him. Right now, he needs to work to get there. Can’t wait for this 2014 season!!!

  8. rg3skinsgetsome - Feb 8, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    The analyzing of Griffen is a little harsh…he’s rookie year teams didn’t know what to expect and there concepts worked…here’s the problem, teams would bring a heavy pass rush up the center causing rg3 not to go thru he’s progression but to stair down one wr hoping he would get separation. .The opposing defense knew to bring the Rush threw the center guard position to flush rg3 out and have the outside lb contain on edges and wait for him.. If you can get a Alex mac or draft a big center with guards, I believe it will give Griffen one more sec to read the d and go thru he’s progression.. alot more screen plays should be used to help with the blitz concepts rg3 will face..Also adding a guy like
    Denario Alexander and maclin would give rg3 some more wepons.. Brandon coleman would be nice to as he is 6ft 6 ..Stanley jean baptise should be our first pick in Draft at cb, he’s projected 3rd round but he will climb in 2nd after combine.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Thanks for piping in and welcome. Not sure what was “harsh” here. Simply pointing out that he has to get rid of the ball quicker. If you want to blame that on the other 10 guys on the field OK but I’d suggest you watch some All-22 film first.

      Also, Alexander just had another ACL surgery after missing the whole season with a torn ACL. Maclin, of course, had the ACL year last year, too. Do we really want Griffin, coming off of his ACL, to rely on two receivers who are recovering from the same injury? I’ll take someone with perhaps a little less ability but who is healthy and can be on the field with Griffin throughout the offseason workouts.

  9. laserw - Feb 8, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    This list is meaningless….

    The REAL LIST is as follows….

    (1) Learn how to lead. He has yet to EVER demonstrate leadership in any capacity on the field in college or the pros.

    (2) Urgency – this guy is Donovan McNubb unmotivated – he shows absolutely no sense of urgency and his running of a “no huddle” offense is a joke – it is simply a faster way to punt.

    (3) Learn to run a two minute offense – look at the times this clown has had to run a two minute offense in under two minutes and see how utterly ineffective he is. The issues of (1) and (2) above are major factors on his worthless performance in (3).

    (4) Learn the offense. It is obvious that Cousins was running plays and hitting routes that Griffin has never hit.

    (5) Learn about progressions. The reason (4) is true is because Cousins was going through progressions and knew them. It is obvious that Griffin may only be able to handle one play at a time and will never master progressions.

    (6) Read defenses. This is a significant weakness – not only can Griffin not read a defense once the ball is hiked, he cannot adjust the offense or protections to adjust to pre-snap reads.

    (7) Pocket awareness – he needs to develop a timer in his head.

    (8) Get rid of the ball – since he has no number 7 he has no instinct on when the ball should be released.

    (9) Intangibles – you never see Griffin make other players better – he is no motivator nor is he a sparkplug for the offense – he rides waves but never creates them. He is indifferent and stays medium – down by 21 he’s the same lifeless player as he is tied.

    (10) No defense fears his passing – for all of the hype, look at where he completes most of his passes – 12 yards or less – he is so inaccurate at the long pass that no defense feels any need to play tight coverage – the only way Griffin completes a deep pass is if the receiver is WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE open and often when a defender falls – he cannot put the ball in the spot with a receiver running underneath it to catch it.

    • cowboyhater - Feb 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      1) His maturity is well beyond his years, and yes he has already set up a passing camp with his WR’s (That equals leadership).
      2) Funny how you measure him up to another AA QB who for the most part of his career put up stellar numbers, and led his team to NFC Championships, and a Superbowl.
      3) You might want to check out his rookie year and seen how many games he brought the skins from behind, and how he was the factor for why the skins stayed in games throughout that year.
      4) RG3 knows the offense, but since he has not been a traditional QB, it will take him some time to learn to be one. Kurt has been a Pro Style offense since he was in college. Smell test tells you RG3 is head and shoulders the better QB. No comparison.
      5) You repeated what I mentioned earlier, but this is something he will learn and grasp as he continues his career. It will take time.
      6) RG3 can read defenses fine, it’s just that things are faster at this level, which will start slowing down for him.
      7) Again, you piggybacked from my comments earlier, but this again comes with time playing at this level.
      8) That statement made no sense. He has plenty of instinct. Again, it will come with time.
      9) How do you think Alfred Morris got 1600 yards his rookie season, how Pierre Garcon get’s the numbers he got the last 2 seasons, and how he made his offensive line better by having defenses on their toes throughout the games. Remember, he got hurt and was not himself last year. That knee took away a lot of his attributes.
      10) Defenses didn’t fear his passes due to his game becoming one dimensional due to that knee injury. You must have a very short memory. He was outstanding his rookie year. No matter what your opinion is, this is kid is still learning to be a professional NFL QB. Sorry he is not progressing as fast as you like, but if you watch him the sniff test tells you that he will be a very special QB in this league. HTTR!!

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 8, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      You stumble into a good point or two here but you really blow you credibility with your first point. Talk to the players in the locker room like I have for the past two years on both sides of the ball and watch him during practice. Ask anyone who played with him at Baylor. He’s a leader.

      The rest is basically the same point recycled. The Shanahans chose to keep him in college his rookie year instead of getting him to learn the pro style game. After missing an offseason with the injury he was learning on the fly during the season. With a full offseason we’ll see how he improves. Archives

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