Third-year quarterback Robert Griffin III failed to lead the Washington Redskins’ first-team offense for a touchdown in all three preseason games he played in. He also made quite an impression on his chronically unforgiving fanbase.
Griffin invested a ridiculous portion of his offseason working with quarterback guru Terry Shea to refine his mechanics and fundamentals, especially zeroing in on ball placement and delivery. It is possibly worth noting that the former Baylor standout worked with Shea on two separate occasions prior to joining Redskins’ training camp.
Things went well. Shea evaluated Griffin very thoroughly during both clinics and said that Washington’s signal caller looked sharp, decisive and explosive. He also observed that Griffin looked much like the RG3 of 2012, while taking the next step forward as a pocket passer. Awkward pause.
Griffin basked in the effusive and possibly premature praise, and then turned around and did a really good impersonation of former Washington joke Jason Campbell. Griffin grossly misfired on two pass attempts, getting picked off for his poor efforts while getting sacked four times en route to posting a 46.0 passer rating.
Of course, very little can be gleaned from those games because the Redskins have all but suggested that they did not gameplan for their preseason opponents. Yeah, that might make scoring in limited time a bit difficult.
Griffin has subsequently taken a shelling from fans analysts with a surprisingly casual demeanor. The 2012 Offensive ROY and Heisman winner addressed his critics only briefly on Twitter:
They doubted in high school. They doubted a turnaround at Baylor. They doubted a Heisman was possible. Keep doubting. It’s nothing new.
I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that was an invite. So, please, by all means, keep doubting the decorated Pro Bowl quarterback. This is the same kid who took the NFL by storm during his rookie season, embarrassing the league’s most best secondaries with 3,200 yards passing, 20 touchdowns to five INTs and a ridiculous 102.4 passer rating.
The Redskins reloaded, enlisting former Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be the head coach, fortifying the team’s offensive line, and arming the passing game with DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Jordan Reed, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss and Ryan Grant — just to name a few.
Griffin has gained the invaluable experience of having a full offseason of work under Gruden’s tutelage. He has also been given the authority by the coaching staff to change the protection along the line of scrimmage, as well as bark out audibles to change the play entirely – a much-needed resource that previous OC Kyle Shanahan refused to allow the quarterback.
The NFC East had better be afraid. Griffin is poised for a massive comeback season in 2014 — one that will lay opposing defenses to waste.