Every since the Washington Redskins and Donovan McNabb parted ways on a sour note, coach Mike Shanahan has garnered a ton of flack by some claiming he’s unwilling to tweak his system. So when Shanahan made the move to trade up and select Robert Griffin III 2nd overall, some still doubted if Shanahan would make his system accessible to what Griffin does best.
Of course, those that doubted Shanahan obviously don’t know his history with QB’s. He’s tweaked systems for Steve Young, John Elway, Jake Plummer, and Jay Cutler. Why wouldn’t he do the same with Baylor’s living legend, Robert Griffin III?
I’ve attended Redskins’ training camp off and on this summer and it was evident – the Redskins were practicing an offense that’s simply uncharted territory for majority of the league. From naked boots to option reads and pistol formations – there’s only a few that can athletically accomplish those types of plays schematically and Griffin may end up being the best at it. Take away his legs and Griffin has one of the best young arms in the game. Adding his athletic ability maximizes what’s simply been untouched for the most part in the NFL.
On NFL AM, Christopher Cooley confirmed the many changes that made training camp for the Redskins unique - “It’s been an interesting training camp for us because we are implementing some of the things that Robert did very well at Baylor. We’ve been utilizing a bit of the option thinking if we want to go this way, if we don’t.”
I have heard that the coaching staff used training camp as an opportunity to throw a lot of old and new stuff on Robert and the entire offense to see what sticks. Some things will be used in 2012, others may get stashed in the back pocket for next year.
“Our training camp practices probably look a lot more like Baylor’s offense,” Cooley said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that our offense when we start week 1 will run 30 option plays this season. Obviously a quarterback in the NFL shouldn’t take that beating but for us to learn the style that he played in, we need to practice it more than say our 18 or 19 outside zone plays which we are all very comfortable with running.”
Mike Shanahan is doing a great job of tweaking the offense to fit what Griffin does best. In a way, this kind of answers my question on why I didn’t see Robert throw over 30 yards during training camp. They used training camp as a learning experience and now that camp is over, I’m sure they’ll start working the “luxury’s” with deep balls being Griffin’s strength.
Emmanual Benton is a featured Washington Redskins columnist for Rantsports.com. If you enjoy talking Redskins and all things NFL, follow Emmanual on Twitter: Follow @Roccoskins