The Washington Redskins have been a struggling team in 2013 and 2014. Some of this blame has gone on their quarterback, Robert Griffin III where he has not repeated the success he had in his rookie season.
Head coach Jay Gruden said his quarterback needs to develop, but he isn’t the only factor as to why they are 3-7 this year. However, he pointed out several flaws in his game.
“We just want to see consistent improvement [from him],” Gruden said in a conference call. “Right now we haven’t played very well with Robert at the helm. It hasn’t been directly on Robert, there’s a lot of circumstances that revolve around a quarterback’s success. He needs to play better as does everybody else.”
“We need to see improvements for sure. Just fundamental decision making, getting the ball out of his hands. He took too many sacks when just trying to buy time and make plays when there was nothing there to make.”
Last year, the Redskins went 3-13 where Griffin was benched for the final three games of the season in favor of Kirk Cousins. Head coach Mike Shanahan was fired in the offseason and Gruden became the new coach. In Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Griffin was carted off the field with a dislocated left ankle and became sidelined for the next six games.
Cousins started for the next five games, but was benched in his fifth against the Tennessee Titans. Colt McCoy led the team to a comeback win and defeated the Dallas Cowboys the following week.
Griffin returned for the next two games against the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but both resulted in losses. In the last two seasons, the Redskins are 3-13 in games that Griffin has started.
Despite the criticism that Griffin has received nationally, Jim Harbaugh said he is still talented. The 49ers coach said he is gifted in many areas.
“I’ve always had great admiration for Robert’s talent,” Harbaugh said on Wednesday. “His execution, he’s extremely gifted as a pocket passer. When he’s out of the pocket he’s very dangerous to run or throw on the run. Gifted in the QB-driven area and plays, in terms of reads and keeps. And he’s got arm strength and accuracy. He’s an outstanding player.”
Griffin has been known as a dual threat quarterback since his days at Baylor. Through three full games and one partial appearance, Griffin has 763 passing yards and two touchdown passes to go with three interceptions.
Gruden said that he needs Griffin to be more versatile and not one dimensional. With Washington’s season being nearly over in a must-win on Sunday, he hopes his quarterback can be more than just one who runs.
“When you’re a drop back QB, you practice drop back passes and you see the route and the concepts over and over again,” Gruden said. “When you have the element at running it’s a great element to have as part of your offense, but you need to practice some of those also and it takes away from some of your growth as a passing quarterback.”
“When you have these third down and longs and third downs and mediums, read option ain’t going to cut it. You’re going to have to drop back and throw it eventually. Sometimes you practice it too much, with different schemes of that nature, but have to utilize the talent that you have, we’re trying to do that with Robert, figure out what his niche is what his best trait is as a quarterback and run with that.”