Redskins' Griffin Not There Yet

Mike Prisuta's not convinced by the Washington Redskins' 'hocus pokus' offense, but does expect a high-scoring game Sunday in Pittsburgh.

It's easy to recognize the impact RGIII is having on the National Football League.

It's right there on the stat sheet for all to see.

Much more difficult to detect and verify is the long-term potential of the "Throwin' or Goin'" approach the Redskins are so far successfully milking out of RGIII this season.

He throws a nice ball and his accuracy is above the line. So RGII should eventually be able to do it the way you eventually have to do it in the Sunday League, by reading through progressions and looking off safeties and spending some time in the pocket figuring out who is breaking open on occasion.

But he's not there yet and he won't be on Sunday at Heinz Field.

The RGIII we'll see against the Steelers will either quickly fire off a pass to his first option or take off running. It'll be as if he knows where he's throwing it when he's throwing it when he breaks the huddle.

RGIII may check one down to a back once or twice, but when that's not happening he'll throw almost entirely short or medium-range stuff. He'll almost never extend a play by scrambling to re-establish a passing lane or to buy time; if he pulls the ball down chances are very good he's gone. And surprisingly, he's not particularly adept at escaping pressure that comes in clean or comes upon him quickly for whatever reason (RGIII has been sacked 15 times this season).

But when he runs watch out.

And pray you can get a defender to the edge fast enough to convince RGIII to head out of bounds after turning up the field because if you don't he'll dart down the sideline until he changes the scoreboard.

Those are the instances in which RGIII makes you hold your breath, and they'll continue to be until he gets his head splattered or a knee blown to pieces or he evolves into a more conventional QB.

The guy once hyped as the "future of rock & roll" is visiting Pittsburgh on Saturday night; that would be Bruce Springsteen. Whether RGIII will eventually become the future of the NFL remains to be seen. Right now he's Tim Tebow with much better accuracy and athleticism. Or Michael Vick with a plan.

The rub is you have to be so wary of RGIII with the ball in his hands that it makes all the read/option hocus pokus the Redskins are suddenly featuring a combustible complement to another solid, traditional Mike Shanahan running game.

So count on the Redskins scoring some points against the Steelers, even without tight end and leading receiver Fred Davis, a recent addition to Washington's already significant reserve/injured list. But the Steelers should score plenty in this one, as well.

Some of the Redskins' best defenders are already on IR (defensive lineman Adam Carriker, linebacker Brian Orakpo) while others (safety Brandon Meriweather) have yet to play this season. And left in that wake has been a defense that has absolutely hemorrhaged big plays.

One of the fallouts of all of that is that the 'Skins have been burned for 91 fourth-quarter points. It is apparently then that linebacker London Fletcher begins to feel every minute of his 15 NFL seasons.

So this one's winnable, to be certain.

Maybe not by 10-3 or even 20-17, but winnable nonetheless assuming the Steelers' offense gets a little more bouncy with the return of Maurkice Pouncey.

The numbers are the numbers, as Ike Taylor might say, and the Redskins are the offensive team with the fantasy league stats. But the Redskins are also the team that lost to Cincinnati.

Even with the NFL's flavor of the month

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