ASHBURN, Va., -- For Part 2 of the Redskins mailbag, there's more talk about the future and having hope and a lot more on Robert Griffin III and Colt McCoy. Enjoy.
I can't predict what's going to happen next year let alone the next 10. I didn't see Joe Gibbs coming, for example, and they made the playoffs twice in four years under him. I can see the franchise having the occasional good year between now and then -- just as they've done in the past 15 -- but I have a hard time ever seeing them sustain success. It just hasn't been a good organization for some time now. If they make a couple changes, mostly in the front office, they could become one. But they haven't proven they can make the necessary moves to build the right franchise. They absolutely need to bring in a strong football man to make the football decisions. When that happens, they'll have a chance.
I think if they give him another year it's because they gave up a lot to get him and want to see if there's a chance the investment will pay off. And it's because of the wishes of the front office/ownership and not the coaches. They don't have the investment in him. I think Griffin is plenty motivated to try and become a great player. The question is, how much does he think he needs to learn? In the past, the coaches felt he didn't realize just how far he had to go as a passer and felt that stunted his desire to understand what he had to do. If Jay Gruden doesn't feel he can win with him, it's not worth keeping him around.
A genius move? I'm not sure I'd go that far. A smart one? Sure thing. Both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden liked McCoy so this was a cumulative effort but it's not as if McCoy projects to being some long-term starter. I am curious to see how he improves over the next four games, if at all. McCoy clearly understands the offense but he, too, missed opportunities last week by not reading the play correctly. He's a good guy to have around, though, because if nothing else he can help in the short-term and also serve as an excellent tutor for young guys.
Early on Gruden was trying too hard, I think, to transition Griffin to a pocket passer. Even in training camp that's all it was about. I get it because Griffin does need to become better in this area. But then it became clear Griffin was not ready to be that sort of quarterback yet and Gruden did start to tailor more of the offense to what he likes or, more to the point, what he was ready to run. Griffin struggled with those areas as well and that was the issue. At some point he has to show progress in all areas to continue in the job. The coaches did not feel he was executing enough of the basic elements to justify keeping him in the game.
I think the CBA hurts any quarterback who needs to develop, especially ones who are transitioning to being more pocket passers. It takes a long time for some to make that transition and it's funny because there is less patience by fans/teams but more is needed because of the offseason restrictions. They really can't even work with the coaches until mid to late April so it's incumbent on the player to get a lot of work done on his own beforehand, but that's without the coaches. Griffin, for example, spent time with Terry Shea but while he can help with basic fundamentals that's not the same as the coaches working on pocket mechanics within their offense. Steve Young said a couple weeks ago how much time it took him to develop in this area, but he came along at a time when he could spend countless hours on this area of his game. It matters.