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Need to Know: Will Redskins’ Griffin be better than ordinary in 2015?

Aug 6, 2015, 5:04 AM EDT

RG3 handoff camp

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, August 6, seven days before Washington Redskins open their preseason against the Browns in Cleveland.

If you need to catch up on what’s happening in Richmond, scroll to the bottom for a list of our posts from the last 24 hours. 

Better than ordinary?

After almost flying under the radar for the first several days of training camp, Robert Griffin III is popping back into the headlines at Redskins training camp. Now might be a good time to pull out the mythical $100 in casino chips and put them down in three possible levels of success for Griffin in 2015.

No. 31, $30—This would be the level where the analyst had him a few weeks ago, the second worst starting QB in the league. Although I think that he will be better than that, a scenario where he didn’t improve from last year is in play. I would lean toward saying that a train wreck season would be due more to injury than anything.

Ordinary, $60—This is from Griffin telling Peter King of MMQB, “They are asking me to be basic and take the plays that are there . . . If they are asking me to do the ordinary, that’s what I am going to have to do.” If he can avoid getting sacks and be more decisive (two related concepts, actually) he could improve a great deal from last year.

I put a good chunk of mythical money here because he has done ordinary before. In 2013, most of his key stats such as completion percentage, interception percentage, and years per attempt, were right around the league average. I think the chances of him returning there in 2015 are pretty good.

2012, $10—This, of course, is a return to the form that made him the NFL offensive rookie of the year just three seasons ago. I’m not going to say that he can never get there or at least something close to it. I don’t think that he’ll ever be the same kind quarterback in that he won’t approach the 815 yards rushing he had in 2012. But he can be a better passer than he was that year to compensate for it.

But first he will have to spend at least a year or two in the “ordinary” phase before he breaks out. If he ever does.


Today’s schedule: Joint practice with Texans, 8:35; Walkthrough (Redskins only)

—It’s been 221 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 38 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Browns 7; final cuts 30; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 49

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In case you missed it

  1. mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    Rich you should put that alfred Morris story on here as well…I wonder how jay gruden feels about Alfred Morris not seeing he needs to improve in other areas of his game…all I can say is rg3 and other fans get ready for another long season…ppl never believe me when I said alfred morris needs a humble pie as well not just rg3…I seen multiple times last year were alfred Morris showed a lack of effort to pick up his block on a blitz and jon gruden called it out on a Monday night game against dallas were jon gruden said its not just rg3 but players including Alfred Morris need to step they game up so it can take pressure off the QB…I most definitely want matt jones to start now over Alfred Morris after reading rich tandler post on what alfred morris said cause he said something similar last year but nobody picked it up and made it into a big deal but in fact it is a big deal…you just cant run the ball you gotta do other things as well if not you become predictable and you will get shut down…Alfred Morris just dont get it he needs a humble pie and be bench just like rg3 he got big headed since 2012 also and thats why his numbers going down and down but when you big headed and not humble its somebody else fault why the numbers going down instead seeing what you doing wrong and fix it or improve on it

    • mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 8:25 AM

      Ppl just dont get it and have not follow the team closely like I have…alfred Morris caught the ball well in last year training camp and you see what happen when games start so its a wait and see if he can tranfer that into games…its easy to do things against the players on your own team unless you a rookie coming in from college

      • gasngo14 - Aug 7, 2015 at 10:50 AM

        Sounds like you don’t like ALF and IMO you are trying to hate on one of our better players …..WHY?

        • abanig - Aug 7, 2015 at 11:04 AM

          I’m also tired of people saying Alfred can’t catch.

          How many dropped passes does he have?

          Maybe 1 a year? I personally don’t remember him dropping a pass, but he may have dropped one.

          When you have a RB on the team like Helu who’s basically a WR in a running backs body, a RB like Morris isn’t going to play 3rd downs and won’t get as many passes thrown to him. Also, when you have qbs playing like Cousins & Griffin who don’t heck down to the rbs enough- instead forcing it downfield, running K&R taking a sack – a running back won’t get as many passes thrown to him as when Colt McCoy was the qb.

  2. mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 5:57 AM

    In 2012 alfred Morris was a 7th round kid who was humble to start for the redskins… just like rg3 he listen to all the praise and figure he dont need to work on nothing…in 2012 alfred Morris wanted to prove his worth…now we have a diva at running back who feels he dont need to work on nothing and hes been feeling that way since before the last season

    • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      That’s odd, I could have sworn Morris was a 6th round pick. You’re way off base with your comments about Morris.

      He’s never, ever been and never will be a diva! The man still drove his Mazda 626 until it couldn’t go anymore.

      Morris & Griffin are two of the hardest workers on the team. Morris has been working diligently on his pass protection and his receiving out of the backfield. All camp we’ve heard that he’s making plays as a receiver and last year during the season he did make some plays in the passing game with his 17 receptions.

      • kenlinkins - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:23 PM

        Does anyone have the link to the Morris story? I was just reading in WP how Morris said he was working on being a better 3rd down back (pass blocking and dump offs). Morris said it makes you worth more to your team and that the owner likes you more (i.e. it is a contract year). Reading here that Morris has reached DIVA staus just didn’t seem right! I would really like to read it and get the context correct before placing him on the DIVA REPORT!

        • ET - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:32 PM

          I find it almost impossible to believe that Morris could land on the Diva Report. (I haven’t seen the article, either.)

  3. sidepull - Aug 6, 2015 at 6:57 AM

    I want anything besides the $30 bet. But until he proves that he can be better going forward, under live fire, to perform adequately and keep his wits about hi when all around him tings are breaking down then I am placing my money on $30 and hope I lose it…Hes gotta deliver that’s all there is to it. All his talk about being ordinary or whatever its just fluff. Time to play football. Right around the corner yahoo!

    • mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 8:18 AM

      @wonderful…I heard matt jones is good at picking up the blitz and blocking they drafted matt jones because hes a all around running back who can do it all theres no limit to matt jones when he was ask will you get down there and block he said he love blocking because he did it in college he dont mind getting down and dirty the kid loves contact and dont shy away from it

  4. Stephfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 7:02 AM

    Calling Morris a diva is like calling rg3 the best qb in the league.. What your saying holds no truth. Morris has been humble since day one. Portis was a diva, Morris is a hardworker, does what needs to do on the field. That’s not traits of a diva. Maybe you need to hit the books and learn what a diva is. Because Morris never says away from anything or soly talks about himself. Morris always says how he needs to improve, he knows he needs to catch the ball more. Isn’t that what he is doing? Not every running back blocks, two many people got caught up with Portis. Morris isn’t him and won’t be when coming to blocking but Morris a diva? That’s a joke if I ever heard one.. Money lover all you do is bash the team? Why are you a fan? Can you do any better than them cause if you can’t then sit down.

    • mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 7:58 AM

      @stephfan…its clear you didnt see the post rich tandler did on what alfred Morris said…when a player say they dont need to practice catching the ball and basically say ing thats not his job when it clearly is thats a huge problem and you crazy if you dont think so…last year he felt the same way and guess what he struggle picking up first downs on third down why he struggle it was because the other team knew he was gonna run the ball cause they know he struggle catching the ball when you become predictable you struggle…alfred Morris didnt even crack the top 100 list im getting tired of players on this team getting credit for doing they job half ass…if you accept average play out of players then thats you I dont I never will because I want this team to become a dynasty that other teams hate like the Seattle Seahawks…ppl that except average play on the field make those stupid predictions thinking redskins going to the superbowl and think its one person whose stoping this team from getting there when its not …scot m. Clearly said instead of tryna ship the QB out of town how bout we get better around him before we judge him and thats the truth…bottomline is if alfred Morris dont improve his game expect matt jones to take over thats the plan anyway

      • wonderfulfaison - Aug 6, 2015 at 8:12 AM

        You may want Matt Jones to start, but Matt Jones has to EARN it. Can Matt Jones Block? I don’t know. All I’ve heard is how good he looks running. In TC, RB almost always look good. I have nothing against Matt Jones but he shouldn’t be the starter over Morris because of what Morris said in an interivew. That’s not how it works. AND from all the reports coming from TC, Morris has been doing well catching footballs. It was also reported that he looked good catching footballs out of the backfield in last years training camp. If Matt Jones overtakes Morris it will be because Matt Jones is flat out better in most, if not all, aspects of the RB position.

      • realfan82 - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:39 AM

        matt jones was drafted as a pass catching blocking back, even if morris said what he said, he said it in honesty. He does not need to heavily work on those areas because he’s the premier RUNNING back. He won’t be expected to block or do heavy pass catching out of the backfield. He’s just focus on the most important aspect of his game which is running and when the opportunity comes to catch a pass it won’t be much thought but to catch the ball. He’s not a wide receiver or an offensive lineman so it’s a waste of time to focus more on any of those areas than being a better runner.

      • Stephfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 3:43 PM

        Money, you like a big hater. I read all of rich’s posts and haven’t seen it. You clearly don’t follow the team, but fine let a rookie start. When he ain’t good as Morris don’t stop crying. Morris is the best back we have had since Portis. He has done everything to help us win. But ask yourself how often do they really throw to him? Not alot

    • mr.moneylover - Aug 6, 2015 at 8:13 AM

      @Stephfan you call Clinton portis a diva thats not true …Clinton portis never felt he was to good to block or catch the ball clinton portis would go out there and lay his body on the line every sunday he didnt care about taking out LBs who try to rush his QB…and you say not all RBs block or catch the ball yeah you right and those end up having shifting around the league to different teams then be out the league looking for a job…catching and blocking comes with the RB postion and if you cant do those two things you become predictable if you dont know that…ask this question smart guy why alfred morris numbers went down since 2012 ? Ppl like to criticize rg3 why not criticize Alfred Morris whose been struggling since 2012 ??

      • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:10 AM

        Morris’ #s went down since 2012 for three reasons:

        1. Less carries

        2. We don’t run the read option as much

        3. Griffin’s injuries have affected the offense. With Griffin being injuried, there is less of a running threat – or no running threat – from the qb position so the defense can focus just on stopping Morris in the backfield instead of having to focus on how to stop Griffin & Morris in the Redskins rushing attack.

      • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:22 AM

        Clinton Portis was a diva! He was a Gibbs & Snyder favorite. He got many days off durning the week. He was often in good shape but rarely in “great” shape as a redskin. If he was in “great shape” he would have had more 10+ yd runs in his redskins career and he would have scored on the run he had against the Chiefs in 2009.

        Portis did just enough as a player to keep his position as a starter and most of what he did in the nfl was based off of just talent, not hard work.

        That’s the antithesis of Morris. I loved Portis from 2004-2007 but in the Zorn years he undermined the head coach and was extremely lazy.

        • tinman1221 - Aug 6, 2015 at 10:08 AM

          Clinton Portis was a diva?! What?! There hasn’t been a better blocking RB on this team SINCE Clinton Portis!! And Portis was taking practices off because he was always playing hurt! And then he still laid it on the line. Remember when he dislocated his shoulder after running down a defender who had grabbed an int?! Portis was THAT dude… catching passes out of the backfield, the total package.

        • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 4:21 PM

          Portis dislocates his shoulder stupidly tackling a player in a meaningless preseason game and misses the entire season and he’s a matyr in many redskins fans eyes.

          Griffin plays with a nearly torn MCL for 3 weeks and lead the team to its first division championship in 13 years, had them up 14-0 before hurting his knee further and two years later dislocated his ankle and returns two months later and he’s somehow a villain?

          Explain this one to me…

        • Stephfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 3:49 PM

          Thank you a smart skins fan

      • realfan82 - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:42 AM

        struggling???? Only Marshawn lynch had more yards than him since he’s been in the league. How’s that struggling? Just stop it. Go cheer for your cowtrolls bangwagoner.

      • sidepull - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:58 AM

        Portis one of the best RB ever to pick up a blitz and block. No argument there ever.

        • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 4:23 PM

          Portis was a great player and good blocker, he also had average hands like Morris though.

          Also, let’s not forget that Morris holds the franchise record for yards in a season.

      • Stephfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 3:48 PM

        Money shut up look a Portis attitude period. So he likes to block but how many head aches with reporter and coaches did he cause. Second Morris has don’t nothing but work he tail off and and running backs numbers are gonna slip when in 13-14 we passed the ball on almost every down. When because the d couldn’t stop people from scoring. And let’s not talk bout the line

  5. abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:05 AM

    I think people always read too much into the poor choice of words that Griffin uses instead of what he’s saying when he’s rambling on too much in an interview or what the context of his words actually mean. Griffin is a babbler to the press, a lot like Gruden, both say too much and explain too much. My bought is that the coating staff has been drilling into Griffin’s head all off season to “just make the basic/ordinary/easy play, take what the defense gives you!” So then Griffin goes to the press and says if they just want me to be basic and ordinary that’s what I’ll be and now the press is killing him for repeating what the coaching staff is telling him he needs to do.

    Do you follow me, what hyporacy! This has happened every year with Griffin and his comments to the press, including after the Tampa loss last year when his comments after the game were over analyzed and taken out of context by the media and the vulcher fans who are waiting to pounce when he makes a mistake or says any word wrong.

    As where to put the $, I say $75 on Griffin being in between the 2012 & 2013 versions in efficiency and having more passing yards & TDs than 2012.

    I see Griffin having these stats:

    65%, 4,225 yds, 25 TDs, 15 ints

    60 carries, 400 yds, 5 TDs

    • hk2000 - Aug 6, 2015 at 9:28 AM

      Those numbers would be a very pleasant surprise to me- too optimistic tho, but your comment is the best on this thread. If anyone thinks Gruden-Griffin is a long term tandem, they’re kidding themselves- My money is on Griffin being on a different team next year, even though I like him and think he can be very good, but not under this coach.

      • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 11:05 AM

        We can agree to disagree about Griffin’s future with the Skins. He and Gruden at this point are joined at the hip. If Griffin does fail, the team fails and Gruden will be fired. If that happens then they’re both gone.

        So Gruden better keep doing what he’s doing – and what he should have done last year – and have his starting qbs back no matter what like the best coaches in NFL history have always done ala a Gibbs or Bill Walsh.

        Griffin get the numbers I posted by just doing the easy things and making the right decisions/reads/basic plays and letting the offensive playmakers we have do the work.

        If he does that, Griffin and Gruden will remain employed by the Redskins.

        • kenlinkins - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:12 PM

          The Redskins plan for 2015 seems to be to build a “Solid” team and limiting mistakes. IMO this includes RG3. By avoiding the mistakes at positions of weakness and not making that 2nd mistake after the first (i.e. if you drop the ball just jump on it, don’t try and pick it up or taking 4 easy yards on 2nd and 7 not forcing a play down field by running around getting sacked leaving you 3rd and 13, etc.) you end up in a much better position to win close games. IMO this was all RG3 was saying the other day, it didn’t seem to me anything more then SOP for a NFL QB. While the jury is still out on both RG3 and HC Gruden IMO RG3 has less of a hill to clime as just making faster / smarter decisions can get him to his goals for 2015. I agree that both RG3 and Gruden would both be better served by saying ” we are just trying to get better each day as a team” and then close their mouth, but that would limit the amount of junk we get to debate each day!

    • Skulb - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:14 PM

      Sure but why doesn`t he understand that this is what will happen? To me it`s a lot more about a 3-13/4-12 QB who`s been benched two seasons running trademarking catchphrases. I mean how delusional can you get?

      PS: I`m gonna apply for a TM on my catchphrase now too. “PASS THE BALL DUMMY!”
      I`m still waiting for a phone call from the patent office.

      • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:20 PM

        Well again, those catch phrases don’t mean anything so… Why are you paying so much attention to them?

        • Skulb - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:37 PM

          But you just said that people take his words out of context and over analyze them. if he wants to avoid that I was suggesting that maybe, just maybe, it might be a good idea to not behave like a TV cartoon villain. Trade marking meaningless catchphrases is the behavior of someone entirely delusional in my opinion. And it is therefore not a good look for someone who wants to be taken seriously.

        • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:46 PM

          It’s the effin UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Robert can say whatever he wants along as it’s not treasonous towards the U.S. Govt. Seriously, for all the people who complain so much about the people who want to change the name and complain about PC world we live in and all that crap to then complain about Griffin and his comments because he didn’t answer a question the way you wanted him to or you don’t like a cheesy ass catch phrase that means nothing I give you the middle finger!

          Lol! Quit getting on this young man about wiping his ass in a way you don’t like and just let him play football and be with his teammates.

          If the catches phrase can sell Griffin some t-shirts or other year, I’m not going to be one to complain about it. He can try to make money however he needs to IMO.

        • Skulb - Aug 6, 2015 at 1:47 PM

          Wow man, remember to take your meds every day alright.

        • Skulb - Aug 6, 2015 at 2:08 PM

          And for the record I hope Rich removes this crazy comment you just made. Usually this is a place where adults can have conversations about football and the Washington Redskins and you just dragged it into preschool nanny nanny boo boo territory with this unworthy rant. And none of it had anything whatsoever to do with what I said or the conversation YOU insisted on starting.

          Grow up man. Or if you can`t just please go somewhere else and be rude and obscene.

        • Stephfan - Aug 6, 2015 at 3:56 PM

          Your always rude skulb but that’s nine of my business lol

        • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 4:07 PM

          Well I was joking but to be honest most Redskins fans are tired of the character assassination that’s been going on with Griffin since he hurt his knee.

          It’s a bit much

    • ET - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:44 PM

      Your projected stat line is somewhat optimistic, but certainly doable. I agree that the most likely scenario, barring significant injuries to Griffin or key members of the OL.

      I don’t think it’s likely that Griffin finishes up 31st out of 32, but I’d put $20 to $30 on him ending up in the bottom third of QBs. Even if he ends up 20th, for example, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world—if other units on the team are performing better than expected.

      • abanig - Aug 6, 2015 at 12:55 PM

        Yeah, I mean if Jason Campbell can throw complete 65% of his passes for 3,618 yds and 20 TDs and rush for 258 yds and a TD with Moss & Randle El as his starting wrs and Portis, Betts and half of his OL out for the season, Griffin will be able to put up those stats or better with all the talent the Redskins have on offense.

  6. Johnny B. - Aug 6, 2015 at 6:54 PM

    Hey Rich I was just wondering last night about how the Redskins did in 2014 . According to their stats verses all of the teams they faced. On average every Stat was close to the to the average from passing yards to rushing yards. I know they moved the ball last year but not well. Where the stats are not close were sacks, tds, and interceptions. I know the qb issue is #1 . Secondary is #2 but it seems to me that the coach was worse than our o-line. The red zone was the worst of them all. Wrong plays most of the time for situations. Cousins did better in the bad red zone calls than the others. Yes RG3 will be better than last year so will the o-line and the secondary. But did they fix gruden? That is the biggest question! Bad play calling means 4 to 5 wins. Will they have a Coach to teach Gruden?

    • abanig - Aug 7, 2015 at 6:55 AM

      Playcalling in the redzone has been bad two years running. Kyle was poor at redzone play calling in 2013.

      I don’t get it either.

      Hopefully Gruden improves his calling and the players execute better this year. Archives

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