On paper, the Washington Redskins offense is pretty good. They are sixth in passing yards per game. First in yards per pass attempt. And fourth in completion percentage. This looks like a total mismatch on paper for the Bucs defense. But there is one X factor that needs to be considered when looking at this matchup. Which Robert Griffin III will show up at quarterback for the Redskins?
NFL Films Greg Cosell, who was on with Fan Interference on Thursday, said Griffin still struggles with the basic fundamentals that go into playing quarterback.
"He's never really had to play in a timing rhythm pass game. His footwork is not very good at all. See this happens a lot with even really fine athletes at quarterback who don't really do this in college, where they do the three step, five step drops," Cosell said. "They don't have really good footwork. They don't have very good balance. They don't have an intuitive feel for the timing of the drop, the timing of the routes. And he is basically starting from scratch."
That's hardly a ringing endorsement for the former second overall pick in the 2012 draft. Staying healthy certainly has been an issue. Last week was Griffin's first start since dislocating his left ankle against Jacksonville back in week two. He completed 18-of-28 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown. But staying healthy hasn't been the only issue for the third-year quarterback. Understanding when to use his legs and when to stay in the pocket is still a learning process. He was asked earlier in the week if he's still trying to learn the intricacies of the position.
"You’ve got to play, man. That’s the bottom line. Let your instincts take over, get out of bounds, slide, don’t take too many big hits. What people don’t realize is whether you’re an athletic-type quarterback or a quarterback that’s mostly stationary, a lot of your hits come in the pocket. That’s where it’s just football," Griffin said. "You have to be strong enough – mentally strong enough, physically strong enough – to take on those hits, get up and move on to the next play. I just think there’s a bad stereotype that comes with being an athletic quarterback and I don’t know if it will ever go away. But I know one thing: I’m not going to let it infiltrate my mind and change the player that I am. You’ve just got to go out there and avoid the big hits out in the open field and then lead your team to victory.”
Leading his team to victories hasn't happened that much over the last two years for Griffin. He still doesn't feel comfortable playing in the pocket. He still makes poor decisions at key moments in games. Hopefully for the Bucs sake, they can make Griffin feel a little more uncomfortable on Sunday.
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