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Need to Know: A new mindset at Redskins Park?

May 28, 2015, 5:51 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 28, 63 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

Some Robert Griffin III notes and quotes:

“Right now I’m a 25-year-old young man who can do a lot of different things, so I’m not going to limit myself to just being a dropback passer. But if Coach Gruden and Sean McVay asked me to be a dropback passer in any given situation, my job is to make sure that I can be.”

This is the whole RG3 as a drop back passer issue in a nutshell. He has to be able to do it. Maybe not all the time, in some games maybe not even the majority of the time. But he has to be able to do it consistently and reliably if he is going to be a successful NFL quarterback. It’s what you have to do in pro football.

“Sometimes it’s not about what kind of guys you have on your team as far as the talent level, it’s about the mindset you have. So, that culture change first happens upstairs and I was blessed enough to experience that and go through that with my teammates at Baylor and I want to go through that with my teammates here with the Redskins also. So it all starts upstairs. It’s a mindset change with not accepting mediocrity.”

Is there a new mindset at Redskins Park? We’ll have to see. I know that some of you hate this being brought up repeatedly but the laughter and cutting up in the locker room after the loss to Seattle and the frequent cases of players and coaches patting themselves on the back after close losses is very much a sign that many of them accept mediocrity. Sure, a change in mindset can happen but, like the mythical attacking defense that forces bushels of turnovers we hear about this time every year, I’ll believe it when I see it.

“It’s fun to be around your guys and be around your teammates because every organization, at the beginning of the year, when they come in in April, is a group of 90 guys, it’s not a team. You have to form into a team. That what we’ve been doing here and having the new guys has been awesome and I enjoy being around them, so for me it’s awesome. I love coming out and playing football. That’s what I’m paid to do and that’s what I love to do.”

I could be wrong about this but I don’t recall Griffin talking about coming together as a team much in the past. The whole “RG-Me” thing is highly overblown by some fans but talking more about the team and less about himself (even though that’s what he usually gets asked about) could do him a lot of good.

“I’ve always been dedicated to the film study, I just hadn’t been asked about it. My man Jeff over there did a great job with his article. But no, I hadn’t really been asked about that. It wasn’t very different from before. You know you have to dedicate yourself in those ways and it’s not about really standing up and talking about it and saying what you do, but he asked me a specific question and I gave him a specific answer in that setting and that’s what it was.

I don’t doubt that Griffin has watched a lot of football film in his time in the NFL. How much, and how the amount that he watches stacks up against what other NFL QB’s watch, I have no idea. As with any job, sometimes is not a matter of how much you do something (working harder) but getting more out the time you spend doing it (working smarter). Griffin may not need to watch more film, but he may need to improve on what he is looking for and how to use that information. Matt Cavanaugh has the potential to be a great help here.


—It’s been 151 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 108 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 19; Redskins training camp starts 63; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 119

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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  1. mr.moneylover - May 28, 2015 at 8:53 AM

    I really do believe Robert Griffin III was watching film but he didnt know what he was suppose to look for….as a QB you suppose to pick up what the defense is running against you and be able to switch plays if you have too….rg3 aint have a QB coach in 2 years but when he did have a QB coach in 2012 he played at a very high level…rg3 didnt allow coaches to call read option plays or QB run plays when they feel it was best for him to run the ball this year I think that changes when he said hes not gonna limit his self….when rg3 raned the read option a few times in the vikings and the last eagles game redskins score 26 and 34 it open things up for the wide receiver and it take the pressure off the QB when he drop back to pass the ball in the pocket…read option wont get a QB hurt rg3 got injured from standing in the pocket and last year was just a freakish ankle injury…ohh and Russell wilson still run the read option and ppl wonder why he dont get injured and its because he can do both drop back passes and run the read option sometimes when they stop the read option and make russell wilson pass from the pocket the just keep feeding marshawn lynch

    • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 10:20 AM

      Agreed. But Wilson also has a very strong line in front of him compared to Griffin and they buy him loads of time. The only snap I can remember where the entire defense of the opposing team was simply shut down entirely by an offensive line was the Hawks. Wilson just stood there with the ball for like 12 seconds because all his receivers were covered but nobody from the defense could get to him. It was a weird scene.
      Anyway, I don`t think you can compare Wilson directly to RGIII simply because of this. I think Wilson might have looked pretty bad if he had played in Washington for the last two seasons. And RGIII might possibly have looked very good if he had been playing in Seattle.

      • mr.moneylover - May 28, 2015 at 2:17 PM

        Agree. Thats why I say this team goes as far as O-line takes them…even the best QB peyton manning need a lil extra time to get rid of the ball…im expecting the Offensive line to be way better then last year tho…they got rid of the old guy chris chester and they expecting spencer long to take over in his place and I think in goal line situations I see arie kouandjio getting some playing time simple cause he take on double team really well….who knows if they give spencer long that spot tho they might have him compete for the starting job

        • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 3:27 PM

          Sure I think it`s looking quite promising too. They still need to play as a team though, which was somewhat lacking at times last year.
          But you`re only half right about Manning etc. The way it works in my view is that the better your QB is the less you need the O-line. I was watching Brady a lot last season and I swear you could have swapped out his line with training dummies and they still might have made the SB. There was just no way to get to him before he passed the ball and the same usually goes for Peyton.
          Brady`s average time to pass last year was 1,94 seconds. Griffin`s was 3,12 seconds. At least that`s according to the numbers I`ve been able to locate for the 2014 season. That`s precisely 1,18 seconds extra per snap for LBs to rush Griffin and pretty close to being twice as long as Brady takes.
          The fact is that if you go by pocket collapse times the Patriots` had a worse line than the Redskins did last season. And they won the SB with that line. So while I agree that the line was in need of some love Griffin has a lot to do here too. Unless you make a granite line like Seattle has, the QB actually has to do some of the work if you want to win.

          His delivery was just too slow last season and there`s no ifs ands or buts about it. He needs to cut his release time average by about half a second before we can start complaining about the line. Three seconds is well above the NFL average pocket collapse time. Ergo you can not win football games if your time to pass is above three seconds. unless of course you`re Russell Wilson,

        • Trey Gregory - May 29, 2015 at 2:26 AM

          I agree with the above comment about RG3 looking better had he landed on a better team like Seattle and Wilson not looking so hot on the Redskins. Wilson completed just 12 passes in the Super Bowl. 12. That’s insane. Geno Smith could have done that.

          But I disagree that Wilson doesn’t get hurt because of his line. Wilson knows how to protect himself, i.e., when to slide. He also runs to keep a play alive and throw more than he runs for yards. That’s a huge difference than what RG3 does.

          I also disagree about Manning (or Brady, Rogers, Brees, etc. etc.) needing a stellar Oline to succeed. Obviously a stout line helps. But those guys get the ball out very quick. Guys who get the ball out in 2.5 seconds or less have way more success than those who dont. Even a bad line won’t give up a historic amount of sacs if the QB is getting the ball out that quick. That’s the real key. The Saints had a downright awful line a couple years ago and I remember being amazed because Drew still killed it. He defiantly struggled to make it happen, but it still happened.

          RG3 is my boy but he also isn’t good at stepping up in the pocket. That, and how long he held on to the ball, lead to a lot of those sacs and made or line look worse than they probably deserved.

        • timwillhidetimwillhide - May 29, 2015 at 2:44 AM

          Ive seen you opp ost Time to Throw numbers but not Time till Pressure numbers. Time till Pressure is the measure of the Oline only. Time to throw could be greater due to RG3 scrambling. What’s the Time Till Pressure numbers?

      • bangkokben - May 28, 2015 at 4:36 PM

        There are zero Seahawk fans that have the same opinion as you about their line. They think it is a weakness of the team. If Wilson has time it’s because he is elusive and runs around back there like Fran Tarkenton. Plus they just traded a cog in that line for Jimmy Graham.

        • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 5:19 PM

          I`m just basing this on the available stats for pocket collapse times. And Seattle are way ahead in first place, although they were better in 2013 than in 2014.
          Wilson is also by a good margin the slowest QB in the NFL based on his stats for time to pass.
          Brady had the fastest TTP while Jacksonville had the worst PC time followed by New England.

          Emotional fans being wrong about things is nothing new to me. I`m sure that goes on in Seattle as well. To me it is obvious that Russell could never play the way he`s doing unless he has a strong line. I don`t care how evasive he is.

        • Trey Gregory - May 29, 2015 at 2:31 AM

          I agree about Seattle’s line, not that great. Their defense keeps them in games and the run game is what keeps Wilson safe. Wilson is amazing at making defenders miss, but I think Lynch is the true hero for either taking pressure off Wilson or always being open for a dump off.

          No doubt about it though, that line got weaker with the Jimmy trade. He can’t block to save his life. They traded a solid center for essentially a great WR that lines up as a TE. Their line got worse this offseason

  2. cowboyhater - May 28, 2015 at 8:58 AM

    No matter what is said, or how it’s expressed from Robert everyone will form their own opinion. The media forms theirs, and the fans form theirs based on how the media reports it and also actually seeing Robert speak in front of a camera. It’s just opinions…… the fact is not all young QB’s progress equally in this league and this new era of immediate gratification has put these young QB’s at a major disadvantage. Was Joe Theismann an instant starter after being a highly touted QB out of Notre Dame?…..the answer is no. Research at what age he won a division, a playoff game, and an superbowl. We can’t compare him to Luck because these are two different people. Robert will eventually get it…will it happen this year?…who knows, but the physical/mental tools are there. It will just take a little time for him to develop. I compare his early career to a Randle Cunningham who came into this league as a very athletic running style QB with a rocket arm, but toward the end of his career was a very good pocket passer. He realized that his athletic skills would eventually decline, and had prepared himself to adjust his game. I believe Robert will do the same. Will it be with the skins?….not sure. Only time will tell.

    • skinsgame - May 29, 2015 at 8:07 AM

      If Griffin has the “mental tools”, he’s hid them well. Up to now that’s what has been lacking. If he doesn’t improve this year, what is the team supposed to do but move on? Hopefully he makes huge strides but if he doesn’t, the team can’t keep throwing scores of millions at him. If they part ways and he develops somewhere else later, that’s just the breaks. I’m sure plenty of teams could regret not holding onto Rich Gannon or not spotting Kurt Warner but late bloomers are a part of the business.

  3. timwillhidetimwillhide - May 28, 2015 at 9:50 AM

    Hey Rich. It’s off subject but any thoughts/ideas on who they are looking to sign to replace the 2 open spots created by the Cuts of Chester and Porter?

    • bangkokben - May 28, 2015 at 10:18 AM

      #Redskins have indeed signed CB Trey Wolfe, a source confirms. Wolfe had been cut in May. He spent part of ’14 on PS. (h/t @DraftDiamonds)

      From Tarik’s twitter an hour ago.

  4. weneedlinemen42 - May 28, 2015 at 10:06 AM

    A new mindset at Redskin’s Park? It must be the pre-season, there have been many new mindsets at the start of OTA’s, only for the regular season product to end up looking much as it has for a decade, awful.

    I’ll believe there is a new midset when they actually start imitating the actions of the Patriots and the whole team is seen putting in the hard yards after practice has officially ended.

    When the whole team starts meeting up and doing extra-running I’ll believe there is a new mindset. When they lose and then aren’t a bunch of unattributed player quotes moaning about their team-mates, I’ll believe there is a new mindset.

    • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 10:23 AM

      Were you paraphrasing King Theòden from Lord of the Rings at the end there? “Gibbets and crows!”

  5. berniebernard666 - May 28, 2015 at 10:29 AM

    Rich you aren’t the only one who notice the yearly talk about that mythical ATTACKING defense producing lots of turnovers. It happened every year with Jim Haslett. Here was the problem: they kept Jim Haslett year after year. He is gone and a whole new defensive staff has come in. NOW I am willing to believe it. WHY?

    Because Scott M is in charge and he clearly is not putting up with unproductive or injured players or players or coaches who just TALK a good game. Scott wants results and he is not afraid to CUT non productive pieces like Bowen, Cofield, Chester, Porter, Merriweather, Clark, etc etc. And you can add to this list RG3 by this time next year if Griffin cannot stay healthy or be productive.

    It is insane to continue to bring back unproductive losers every single year, taking up CAP space with them and allowing them to chuckle and joke in the locker room after losses. Yes there is a new Mindset……and Scott M. has brought it with him: IT’S CALL SANITY ! !

  6. jonevans511 - May 28, 2015 at 12:29 PM

    Rich- Going along with the new mindset in general, I’m curious about your thoughts on DJax. I hate making bigger deals out of things than necessary, but I have to imagine Scot is a little irked by Desean’s skipping the beginning OTAs in favor of more social events (I understand he’s got instagram pics partying with Lebron, etc). Is this something you view as a carryover from the previous regime, i.e. giving the star players more leeway than others? Or is this just an outlier that the Skins will address with Desean and become a non-issue in the long term?

    I am by no means an insider so this is pure speculation, but it appeared as though Desean served as some sort of leader last year….. am I way off on that? If so maybe his missing the beginning of OTAs is simply par for the course with him and, as everyone likes to say, it is what it is (or he is who he is in this case). Otherwise it’s a little disconcerting that a key member of our team feels like he can do what he wants, when he wants. I am by no means a DJax hater and really want to see him perform for us, so I’m curious to get your take since you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the organization. Thanks as always.

    • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 12:40 PM

      OTAs aren`t mandatory right, so no formal action can or should be taken, Informally it might be seen as bad attitude but I doubt it. Jackson and Williams were two of three good players last year, four if you count Way. If one of the stinkers had decided to party with LeBron instead of attending OTAs they would probably have gotten on a list somewhere, but not these two. If anybody in the Redskins team are not in need of OTAs in early June it`s them.

      • ET - May 28, 2015 at 3:42 PM

        You’re right, Williams and Jackson don’t “need” to be there, perhaps least of all the roster members. But It sends a negative message, and I say that as a DeSean fan. He shouldn’t be out Instragramming his arse off with celebrities.

        • Skulb - May 28, 2015 at 4:31 PM

          He will be next week apparently. I think the message that is sent here is that if you perform well you get some slack. Until OTAs are made mandatory they can hardly criticize their top offensive player for skipping the first one.
          Come game day he`ll be on the field playing ball, perhaps alone again. I think the entire team knows that.

        • bangkokben - May 28, 2015 at 4:39 PM

          It also allows guys more reps with the ones. Roberts gets to run routes from the outside. Crowder and Grant get to run more reps. Compton gets to play with the ones at LT.

    • sidepull - May 28, 2015 at 2:41 PM

      Djax is going to be in the endzone, OTAs or not. If he is, all this will be forgiven I am sure.

    • kenlinkins - May 28, 2015 at 3:17 PM

      Will D Jax not being at the start of OTA’s hurt the Redskins? IMO No!, D Jax has never had a “being in shape” concern or a problem understanding the O-System being run, doesn’t seem to be a locker room problem and not under the gun in any way shape or form. Now would it have been nice to have everyone there to show fans a new – higher level of togetherness? Maybe, but IMO Redskins fans know when they are being feed BS and that the over riding concerns have nothing to do with anything D Jax being at OTA’s would fix. If the Redskins had fallen 2 points short of winning a Super Bowl, or just missed the play-offs by some dumb missed assignment by some player who has had problems staying awake in team meetings and missing OTA’s, then I would feel like some on here that everyone should be there (and I am an old school kind of guy who would normally be all over someone missing OTA’s, but the Redskins have so many problems requiring repair that D Jax partying a bit is way down my “To Do List” and just not a concern yet!

      • kenlinkins - May 28, 2015 at 3:20 PM

        By the way, anyone hear how RG3 is doing at OTA’s?

  7. kenlinkins - May 28, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    We READ that RG3 didn’t spend his time in the film room in 2014, and we KNOW he didn’t spend his time in the QB room with the QB coach (the Redskins didn’t have one in 2014), we SAW that RG3 didn’t spend his time in the weight room working on his legs as he still has “track legs” and has 3 leg injury’s in 3 years (not counting Rehap visits) and RUMOR had it that RG3 didn’t stay after practice working with the WR’s / TE’s on timing and adjusting to each other (that was left to Cousins / McCoy and the Jugs machine). So just where did RG3 spend most of his time? Rich, What am I missing?

    • warpath1 - May 28, 2015 at 5:22 PM

      Making a baby???

    • tralfaz10 - May 28, 2015 at 10:34 PM

      As far as working with his receivers, you are not taking into consideration the time spent in Florida in April with the receivers. (West Palm Beach, FL. around 4-13-15) All involved did this on their own time to build chemistry. This was not a sanctioned Redskins workout. If he doesn’t care, then why would he take the time to do that? I have seen him throwing plenty in coverage of the OTAs. And as far as his legs go, that is rubbish. Michael Jordan had the skinniest calf muscles I have ever seen on an NBA player, however he could jump…just a little. Some guys are just made that way.

  8. redskinsnameisheretostay - May 28, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    “Sure, a change in mindset can happen but, like the mythical attacking defense that forces bushels of turnovers we hear about this time every year, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    One of my favorite statements in a long time!

  9. mr.moneylover - May 28, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    I think its a different team and a different mindset…you have players betting on they self to play at a high level and knowing GM scot M. can get rid of you in a heartbeat for example : tracy porter miss day 2 of OTA He claim he had flight issues and knowing scot m. Mind set scot m. Was Thinking well trent Williams was in houston were the flood happen he made it here so that no excuse tracy porter could it here you off my team bye bye…here is my advice tracy porter you cant use the same excuse twice and not expect to get cut especially not when scot m. Your new GM and setting a new culture change scot Dont play no games and you will be replaced if you dont do your job

  10. berniebernard666 - May 29, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    I am laughing at all the fans who are worried or complaining that D. Jackson went to a basketball game instead of coming to an OTA to practice running his fly pattern straight down the field. LOL Archives

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