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Shea says former coaches “dropped the ball” on RG3’s fundamentals

Apr 15, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT


Last week USA Today talked to Terry Shea, the quarterback guru who has worked with Robert Griffin III prior to the Redskins taking him in the draft and then again a couple of weeks ago in Arizona.

The headline that made the rounds about the article was Shea saying that Griffin “looked 100 percent healthy.” He was the “old Robert Griffin” again.

What escaped the attention of many, however, is the shot that Shea took at Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and former quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur when discussing Griffin’s mechanics from last year.

During the 2013 season Shea noticed that Griffin’s passes frequently missed high. He saw that Griffin wasn’t finishing his weight transfer onto his plant leg. That’s the right leg, the one with the repaired knee.

He was surprised that this was an issue. “For some reason, they just dropped the ball on his footwork fundamentals,” Shea said. “I’m convinced. You get so caught up on schemes and decisions and progressions and they forget that a quarterback needs just as much attention on his footwork and fundamentals as well.”

“They”, of course, were the Shanahans and LaFleur. Saying that they “dropped the ball” on fundamentals is a pretty strong indictment of Griffin’s ex-coaches.

Working with Griffin for six days last month, Shea said that he has fixed the QB’s footwork.

“It was good to see him return to his fundamentals,” Shea said. “That was my role, bringing him back to a grounded state about feeling good about his fundamentals and the way he was releasing the ball — putting that back foot in the ground and then transferring over the front.”

Why this was not addressed last year will probably forever remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a matter of not having enough time, maybe his knee was never quite right and the weight transfer was not physically possible.

In any case, it’s in the past and if Griffin’s mechanics are indeed squared away, Jay Gruden and Sean McVay will be the beneficiaries and will be able to focus on “schemes and decisions and progressions”.

  1. kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    Rich: What was the relationship between the Redskins QB coach in 2013 (Lefleur) and RG3? I have seen rumors that Lefleur wanted more playing time for Cousins in mid season 2013 (also seen rumors that Lefleur had problems with McNabb and Grossman when they were starters). RG3’s development in 2012 seemed to be right on schedule then after the injury his fundamentals just seemed to leave him. One would have to think that McVay has a golden ticket if he can turn the Redskins / RG3 around in 2014 and beyond. I understand that the O-Line was not protecting well and that defense’s were just coming after RG3, but many QB coach’s & OC’s face this problem, why couldn’t Lefleur get RG3 turned around or at lease to show more improvement later in the season?

    • kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      Rich, Thought just came to me, could this story be a little bit about the RG3 PR machine, i.e. Terry Shea helping a customer? I see that Terry Shea in no way blames RG3 for any of the poor fundamentals in the first place.

      • babyteal1 - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        answer the question Rich

        • Rich Tandler - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM

          I will answer the flippin’ question when I have time, baby teal. I am probably more generous with my time when it comes to answering question but I do it when I can on my schedule, not yours.


        • manchild157 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:58 PM

          Where is the ”like” button when you need it. Rich- baby teal doesn’t speak for the rest of us. I’m always surprised that you come back to answer questions at all. Thanks.

        • ceetown22 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:09 PM

          Rich – We greatly appreciate your time and the amount you spend answering and commenting on our (sometimes silly) posts!


  2. alextwrs - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    This is not a PR stunt at all. Look at the film from last year and look at 2012. Totally different form and velocity on the ball. His accuracy was off as well due to not being able to plant his back foot. He was muscling the ball out of his release not using the torque generated from a standard throwing motion. Go get a knee replacement and see how you throw the ball tenth months after.

  3. alextwrs - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Oh yea he developed a wind mill motion to make up for not planting. lay off the guy and Rich for that matter. I am just as much of a skins news addict as you all are but damn, take it easy.

    • kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I too picked up on the “wind mill motion” and posted that it reminded me of Sonny J when he first got to DC. I wondered if it was something new the QB coach had worked on (working on pocket passing) or was just a reaction to the injury. It will be interesting to see RG3 in preseason games after being turned up by the old QB guru and spending time with McVay and Gruden.

  4. internetcareer - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Rich…I am quite shocked that you even bothered to answer Baby Teal. I thought it was funny when he said that. You sounded a bit sensitive. You should have ignored it. You never argue with 12 year olds.

  5. kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Rich, Please allow me to state that I have never had a problem or concern with you answering any of my questions. In fact, I ask a lot of questions on here because I believe that Rich is a wonderful source of information you just can not get other places. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but I always learn something from reading the stories and comments on this web site. Also, the people who comment here are great to debate with and Rich does a wonderful job as monitor to keep us on point and fan friendly. If that wasn’t the case, I sure would not keep coming back.

  6. Rich Tandler - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Thanks for the good words, guys. Just had the wrong nerve plucked at the wrong time.

    To answer the question about RG3, sure there’s some Shea self promotion going on here. He has to keep demand for his services up and “fixing” Griffin is a good way to do that.

    As far as it being an RG3 hype machine deal, I don’t see where this really helps him. He’ll either get it done on the field this year or he won’t.

    Whatever the reason it was, as alex points out, it was very real. I recall Jaws pointing it out after the season opener. It never really got corrected all year.

  7. soupermeister - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Rich, wouldn’t the plant leg for a right handed QB be his left leg? The weight transfer for proper right handed throwing mechanics ends up with most of the weight on the left leg.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:41 AM

      No. The right leg is the back leg, the plant leg.

  8. kenlinkins - Apr 15, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Rich, My degree has nothing to do with writing, and I sometime use the wrong words to express myself. Maybe “RG3’s PR machine’ was a poor choice of words as I was more concerned with Shea’s self promotion and what impact coach Lefleur’s relationship had (if any) on the poor machanics we saw in RG3 in 2013. Great answer and thanks again for having a great web site.

  9. shermanp79 - Apr 15, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    I noticed many times last year he wasn’t setting up right, I figured it was his knee not really being 100% healthy. It was a pass high that I first noticed. I forget the game but I think it was a pass to Garcon. He had made that great one handed catch either earlier in that game or the game prior. He had an int that was badly under thrown because of it. I don’t know If I put the blame all on the coaches, I think he had issues physically. It does bring back the point he should have sat in the beginning of the year. During the early part of the season I fully believe Cousins would of played us to more wins. It was clear RG3 couldn’t perform the same. I do think Shanahan was stubborn and angered with the whole injury blame thing, he should of let RG3 take pre-season snaps to see what he looked like in games. RG3 and his camp didn’t help either with all the “hype” through the whole offseason. I think RG3 wasn’t going to let Cousins on the field unless he had no choice, he saw how he played. Cousins had some “Buzz” going from his R year and I think that was a factor in RG3’s determination to be “All In” for game one They probably should have addressed his fundamentals after practice, they had to see it on film. If you aren’t setting up right, it will, as it did, have a major impact on your completion percentages. It’s why I think his knee probably was still causing him problems. Otherwise somebody, even if it’s the QB coach would try to correct the problem. It seems from the article RG3 must of commented in their conversations, they didn’t work on it, I wonder if he mentioned the injury? I think Shea would have said things differently if he had, unless he still is angry and throwing the Shanny’s under the bus? LOL!! I hope he learned from last year and that isn’t the case. He can’t forget the mistakes he made last year. He clearly made changes, he is quiet and back to business. He will win, he works to hard not to, with all his talent. I hope he stays healthy and has an explosive year!!! HTTR!!

  10. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Apr 15, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    putting that back foot in the ground and then transferring over the front

    Helps with your golf swing, too!

  11. timwillhidetimwillhide - Apr 15, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    So the Coaches were wrong for not demanding the Guy to shift weight to a bad Plant leg???? To me it seems more Logical That RG3 wasn’t Transferring the weight for 2 reasons. 1. His knee was still healing and he was unshore about transferring the weight or didn’t due to it still healing. 2. You can’t transfer weight to your Plant leg with The O-LINE being Pushed back on it as in he had no time to and had to try to muscle it. Who’s to say The coaches didn’t mention that to him? Or the Coaches might have thought he wasn’t doing it because of the Lack of Pass Blocking and didn’t have time. If you are coming off of an injury and not sure of it, it takes time to build that confidence in that knee. Either way isn’t it on the Player to work on his fundamentals? I’m a HUGE RG3 Fan and Liked him since his Freshman year at Baylor, But working on Fundamentals is on RG3 that’s part of being a PRO. That being said I would like to see Shea get his knee reconstructed then go out 9 months later and transfer his weight to that knee.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:54 AM

      Best post yet Tim! I’m not liking this Shea’s character. As long as he get’s RG3 ready that’s fine but I wish he’d shut up because he knows damn well a severe injury like that will impact planting the foot in the less than ideal 2 seconds needed. How can be be surprised? It was stated many times during the season by other pundits that his footwork was not looking good. Shanahan’s biggest issue with RG3 was and always will be now keeping him in the game too long wether it was because of an injury or performance. RG3 should never have started in the second half of the playoff game. If Shanahan had made that decision who knows how last season would have gone.

  12. hitmeimopen - Apr 15, 2014 at 10:41 PM

    I also saw RG faking the wrong way to AlMo more than a few times, which tells me he didn’t know how to execute the plays. A poorly executed fake to the back will give a QB considerably less time to set up and throw. I firmly believe that RG should not have started the season without the benefit of preseason action…not to mention confidence in the knee. This also leads me to think that he let his ego supplant reason…not good….and what head coaches are there for. I supported Shanny until 2 events occurred. First, he left RG in the Seattle playoff too long. It was clear to any ten-year-old he was hurt and we had a 14 point lead. I will never forgive the coach for that. Second, he let the RG PR machine dictate with “All In” for starting the ’13 season. May the new regime be more responsible and keep all Skins players in line. They’re kids, for god sakes!

  13. rpenman65 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    If you go back to RGIII’s rookie year he was not only mobile but was very very accurate. Last year he wasn’t. We all know that Mike Shanahan had an agenda and I believe he made all coaches spend more time with Cousins. I believe him playing RGIII in that playoff game and him furthering his injury was the final nail on the coffin. Shanahan said he let RGIII play the Seahawks because he deserved it, BS, you don’t place your franchise QB in further harms way regardless only to bench him the final 3 games when he started to show better mobility. Shanahan and the QB coach should and could have noticed RGIII’s fundamentals in training camp and practice but never addressed it because they didn’t care. Seeing RGIII with Gruden and these new coaches will again show that RGIII is everything we thought, and further prove that Shanahan and son should have never been hired here in the first place, Mike is nothing more than a pompous arrogant tool, that continues to live off of John Elway and had Elway never been in Denver, Shanahan would have NEVER won any Super Bowl. PERIOD!!!!!

    • kenlinkins - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      I often wondered why coach Shanahan didn’t pull RG3 after the first half of the Philly game (even thou RG3 did seem to rally in the 2nd half, but Shanahan could not have known that at the time). Was it coach Shanahan could not admit a mistake in starting RG3, did he think that Cousins was not ready, did he have fear of RG3 and the press, could he really believe RG3 was 100% and could come back to win, was he trying to play RG3 into shape, was he trying to teach RG3 a lesion of “look how bad you played, listen to me from now on”. I just do not understand Coach Mike Shanahan at times, you knew he was not telling you the truth but always seemed to be in total control of the lie. I also wondered what this did to the locker room?

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      “Last year he wasn’t. We all know that Mike Shanahan had an agenda and I believe he made all coaches spend more time with Cousins.”

      You may believe that but it is the farthest from the truth than one can get once the season started.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      “Shanahan said he let RGIII play the Seahawks because he deserved it, BS, you don’t place your franchise QB in further harms way regardless only to bench him the final 3 games when he started to show better mobility.”

      Did you forget how well he’d looked in the first two possessions. Were you or any fan asking to bench RGIII during those drives or anytime in the 1st quarter. It was well documented that Dr. Andrews, the so called greatest knee surgeon in the US, gave Shanahan the okay to continue playing RGIII in the 1st half. The mistake Shanahan made was playing him in the second half. It had nothing to do with his health but his performance. Look fair-is-fair. It’s easy to pin everything on Shanahan but that is just not the facts. As a coach you cannot know when a knee is about to blow or if it was blow while the franchise QB limped around. RGIII pushed to continue to play telling shanahan I know the difference between an injury and pain. Then to solidify that Dr. Andrews never told Shanahan to stop playing him. Dr. Andrews had the half to evaluate his knee. If he never looked at it then what the hell was he on the sidelines for????

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM

      “Shanahan and the QB coach should and could have noticed RGIII’s fundamentals in training camp and practice but never addressed it because they didn’t care.”

      Sorry 65 but I just can find a single statement here to agree with. This is obviously a comment of emotion or hatred towards Shanahan. It certainly isn’t logical or fair to say Shanahan didn’t care. There is a difference between fundamentals and playing with a recovered ACL/LCL injury. There is a legitmate possibility that RGIII could not plant because he’s knee wasn’t ready. Now if you want to blame Shanahan for starting him before being able to plant that knee then fine! However, if Shanahan choose to not play him and we collapsed then you may be the same guy screaming Shanahan wouldn’t play RGIII because of his ego. For me Shanahan had little choice in not playing RGIII. As soon as he was cleared, he was doomed either way.

  14. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    “Mike is nothing more than a pompous arrogant tool, that continues to live off of John Elway and had Elway never been in Denver, Shanahan would have NEVER won any Super Bowl. PERIOD!!!!!”

    This looks like what came first the “chicken or the egg” scenario. I recall Elway never won a Super Bowl until Shanahan arrived. I recall Elway getting embarrassed in every Super Bowl he played before Shanahan arrived. I recall an improved defense out of Denver, a stellar offensive line using a zone scheme that dominated many defensive lines, I recall some great draft picks like Terrell Davis openning the way for probably the best running game John Elway ever played under. Elway was given the tools provided by Shanahan to finally win Superbowls. Or do you suggest Elway won those Superbowls all on his own PERIOD???

  15. vtsquirm - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    back to Shea’s comments… based on what he’s saying there should be no fundamental errors in RG3’s footwork when minicamps or training camp start this year? If he’s this good then why isn’t he a QB coach for anyone?

    as somone pointed out above, i too believe that #1 he wasn’t fully healed and #2 he wasn’t getting enough time to throw the ball. Hopefully, both of these issues will be fixed this year. Archives

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