Analyst: Scheme, footwork contribute to RG3's off year

Analyst: Scheme, footwork contribute to RG3's off year
December 19, 2013, 8:45 am
Share This Post

Can Cousins lead the Skins past Dallas?

This year, Robert Griffin III was the victim of a confused offensive scheme but he didn’t do himself any favors by utilizing poor footwork and putting himself in harm’s way too many times.

That is according to analyst Chris B. Brown (if you’re not following him on Twitter @smartfootball you’re missing out) in a post on Grantland. It’s a long article and you should give it a read to get the details but here are some of the highlights.

—The offensive scheme that Kyle Shanahan used this year was missing a lot of elements that made Griffin a dangerous weapon. “Last season, the Washington offense evolved into a dangerous hybrid of the West Coast, the Denver Broncos' stretch running game, the Nevada pistol read-option, and the Baylor spread.” But with Griffin’s running ability diminished by his knee injury and brace Shanahan had to remove some of the more effective elements. “The Redskins seem to have junked most of the Baylor influence and instead alternated erratically between Shanahan's stretch run game, the pistol, and the "bunch" passing plays that NFL defenses have faced for years. The Redskins have been running three disparate offenses that don't add up to one coherent whole.”

[Related:Who will take Fletcher’s place?]

—Griffin did himself no favors by missing blitz reads and missing open receivers. However, Brown says “I don't remotely buy the notion that Griffin ‘can't read defenses’ or is merely a ‘one-read quarterback’ (whatever that's supposed to mean), as I've seen him locate secondary receivers and I know he understands defensive coverages.”

—You don’t have to have in-depth knowledge about quarterback fundamentals to see that Griffin’s footwork was off this year. “Griffin's footwork is what really got him off-kilter, though in fairness, this issue likely stemmed from his injuries and lost offseason. While much is rightfully made of a quarterback's vision, a quarterback's footwork is what tells him where his eyes should be in a well-designed passing attack.”

—“I'm still optimistic about Griffin's future,” says Brown. He points out that even in an “awful” year, Griffin’s stats were better than Joe Flacco’s have been in three of the Ravens’ QB’s six season and that it took Eli Manning five years in the league to get a passer rating as good as Griffin’s was in 2013.

[Related:Fletcher advises RG3 to “exhale”]

Again, check out the post. It’s interesting, detailed, and agenda-free.