RICHMOND, Va. – They didn’t view his game as perfect by any means. That’s not what they expected anyway. But the Washington Redskins say they saw what they needed: progress from quarterback Robert Griffin III.
In their preseason opener vs. Cleveland, Griffin completed 4 of 8 passes for 36 yards, with one deep ball dropped. They say he got rid of the ball on time and avoided negative plays.
“His comfort in the pocket looked a little better,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “Overall, managing the game, the position, getting the plays out...
"Like I told Robert before the game, 'Whether you go 10-for-10 or 0-for-10, all we're looking for is to learn from the experience, continue with our process of building you as a starting quarterback and go from there."
Others in the organization echoed Gruden’s sentiment, saying they liked how Griffin got rid of the ball quickly and was protected by the line. The times he got hit involved blitzes. He played only the first quarter, which might be all that Griffin will play vs. Detroit as well, though Gruden left open the possibility of playing into the second quarter.
Thought it would be interesting to offer my take on some plays by Griffin from the first preseason game along with theirs.
The play: The play-action deep ball to Pierre Garcon that was dropped inside the 10-yard line.
My thought: I had been told there was an adjustment on this play, so I wasn’t bothered by Griffin being late with the throw. The result was that Garcon and Griffin sort of adjusted on the go and it should have resulted in a touchdown. Griffin still put the ball where Garcon could have, and should have, made the catch.
Their thought: Gruden said Garcon was supposed to sit down on the route, but made an adjustment. Because the safety was holding in the middle of the field and the corner had stopped, the outside was open, so Garcon made the cut. That’s why it looked a little awkward at one point.
The play: Two missed fade routes to Garcon in the red zone. Both were overthrown.
My thought: Another missed opportunity in the red zone. The first one was just too far, as there was enough room to work with to give Garcon a better chance. No one would disagree. However, on the second one, the ball initially was supposed to go to Andre Roberts, but it was wise not to throw to him because Roberts would have been short of the first down.
Their thought: He had a free nickel pass-rusher running at him and needed to get rid of the ball. Yes, the pass was incomplete, but they knew once the blitzer was unblocked, there would be trouble. So Griffin earned kudos from them for getting rid of the ball and saving the short field-goal attempt.
The play: A third-and-2 in which Griffin took off running for the first down.
My thought: He made life more difficult than it needed to be. He had Ryan Grant about to turn open for an easy first-down completion. But Griffin looked off the left side and swung his eyes to the right, where Garcon was doubled. So Griffin ran for a first down. He picked up the first down, but the more he runs, the more he courts danger.
Their thought: He got the first down. Get it any way you can, so multiple people said they had no issue with him running on this play.