There were two items yesterday in John Keim’s ESPN Redskins blog about Robert Griffin III. Both quoted men who should know what they’re talking about. And they said very different things about Griffin’s prospects for 2014 and beyond.
Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo wrote a post on a scouting website called Sidelineview.com. He rated all of the NFL quarterbacks who played a substantial amount of time last year. Angelo gave Griffin a rating of 6.9 on his nine-point scale. Here’s what he said about Griffin:
“Talented, but yet to define himself as an NFL quarterback. He won’t have a successful career by working outside the pocket. No one at his position did or will. Too many games and too many hits keep QB’s from having a career based on their feet, rather than their pocket accuracy.”
So, in a word, Griffin’s prospects are iffy according to Angelo. Griffin got the lowest rating among starters in the NFC East. Nick Foles got the best at 8.0.
Angelo was the GM of the Bears from 2001-2011. Since it appears that this year’s GM hiring cycle is complete he apparently will go a third season without a job in the NFL. Although that fact will prompt some to say that if he knew what he was talking about he’d have a job, it should be pointed out that he did build a team that went to the Super Bowl in 2006 with Rex Grossman at quarterback.
Keim talked with another man who probably isn’t where he wants to be right now. Matt LaFleur, who was the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach for four years before being fired along with Mike Shanahan and company in January. He is currently the quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame.
LaFleur is bullish on the prospects for the QB he helped tutor for two seasons. "Everybody will see a big jump in his game and he'll look more like he did in Year 1 than in Year 2," LaFleur said.
In Year 1, Griffin was the offensive rookie of the year while he struggled last year. LaFleur writes last year’s issues off to the knee injury he suffered in the 2012 playoffs.
"I thought we would have seen a great jump from Year 1 to Year 2 if he wasn't rehabbing the whole time," he said. "You can't work on your craft when you're rehabbing."
"He'll be able to recognize and play the position faster."
It could turn out that both Angelo and LaFleur are right. Angelos’ downgrade of Griffin is based on his need to become more of a pocket passer. If he gets a full offseason and can become better in the pocket he could experience that “big jump” that LaFleur is looking for.