Washington Redskins: Employing The Read-Option Is Non-Negotiable

By Jason Bailey
Redskins read-option
Rob Carr-Getty Images

In the fall of 2012, freshman signal caller Robert Griffin III made a splash in the NFL by utilizing the read-option with his skillset, and the results were off the charts. Many of the league’s most imposing defenses were stumped, having never played against the spread offense before.

During his rookie season, Griffin threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns with only microscopic five interceptions, en route to taking home AP Offensive ROY honors. The freshman’s adjusted net yards per attempt ended up a robust 7.47, 20 percent better than the league average. Griffin also had a jaw-dropping 121 passer rating.

However, Griffin’s numbers tanked during his season season. He threw for 3,203 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions, leading to a concerning passer rating of 82.2.

The gunslinger also faced more drama that season than expected. The Washington Redskins medical department eventually figured out that the cause for the third-year gunslinger’s issues as being due to his bizarre parenting that has going on for years. There has also been the idea that Griffin would be forced to become a traditional pocket passer. This came in the wake of his MCL and ACL injuries, and while there is some valuing in preserving his health, taking Griffin away from the read option would be the worst thing for him.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at his freshman year, then compare it for his sophomore season. They are light years apart, aren’t they? Yes, it was the result of his injury, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Asking Griffin to ditch the read-option in his game is not only an ill-advised idea, it’s just not going to happen.

Griffin has not been productive while in a pro-style offense. It is very unlikely that he will in such a scheme, and there is nothing wrong with that. He found success at the college level with the read-option, and it looks as if head coach Jay Gruden took notice. Gruden has suggested that he will not be scratching the read-option. Quite to the contrary, he plans to employ it to keep defenses guessing.

It’s nice to know that someone in the Redskins organization has some football sense. Gruden has designed a playbook tailored to the strengths Griffin, and the league had better brace itself — there’s a storm coming.

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