Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Still a Work in Progress; after Injury and New Offensive System, Dynamic RG3 Must Make Adjustments

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Still a Work in Progress; after Injury and New Offensive System, Dynamic RG3 Must Make Adjustments

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino

Robert Griffin III was a big John Elway fan when he came into the NFL as the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. And many predicted he would follow in the footsteps of the former Denver Broncos great.

He showed off a rocket arm and an ability to run all over the field and led the Redskins to the playoffs as a rookie. But he injured his right knee in the first quarter of a playoff game against Seattle and kept playing before being forced out in the fourth quarter with a torn lateral collateral ligament.

Griffin - like the Redskins - hasn't been the same since. Washington nosedived to 3-13 last season and hired Jay Gruden to replace coach Mike Shanahan.

Griffin is making slow progress under Gruden. He struggled in the preseason and the offense put only one touchdown on the board in a 17-6 loss at Houston in the season opener last week.

A player once noted for his explosive plays was like a game manager at Houston, Griffin threw mostly most dink and dunk passes even though the Redskins signed DeSean Jackson to give him another deep threat with Pierre Garcon. Nor was Griffin a dynamic runner. He ran only three times for two yards and was sacked three times.

Griffin said of the opener, "We've just got to be more consistent executing. We've got to do better on third downs (3 of 12). It starts with me and I'll make sure we get that stuff fixed.''

It might not be such an easy fix as Gruden attempts to transition Griffin into more of a pro-style pocket quarterback.

"We're probably asking him to do something he's not totally used to,'' Gruden acknowledged. "But he can handle (it) and will handle (it). I think the sky is the limit for Robert. He just has to go through all his progressions as a drop-back passer. The running stuff we know he can do. ... We just have to get him more comfortable in the pocket, protect him and call better plays for him. …

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