Robert Griffin III: 11 Plays/Formations He'll Love for the Washington Redskins
Every quarterback has his go-to plays, the plays they know they can be successful at. The plays that get called when it's all on the line. Often the plays fit with a quarterback's own style and skill set.
It will be no different for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. As he prepares for the season and learns the new offense, he will begin to figure out which plays he loves and what he will excel at throughout the year.
Here is a list of 11 plays RGIII will love.
1. Slant and Go (Slugo)
There is no question Griffin loves to throw the deep ball. So much of the Baylor offense was based on long passes down the field. It will be the same with the Redskins.
RGIII will have no problem deceiving defenses with his pump fake on the slant, and as the receiver cuts up field, he will lay the ball right over the top.
The Redskins have the receivers to run the play, especially with Garçon, who ran it a lot with the Colts. It was one of Peyton Manning's favorite plays, and it often went to Garçon. Look for RGIII and Washington to do the same thing.
2. QB Draw
This should not come as a shock to anyone.
Griffin possesses 4.3 speed, something unheard of in a quarterback. Yet he is considered by most to be pass first, run second. With that being said, there will be plenty of opportunities for RGIII to run the ball, either with an empty backfield, in the shotgun or any other set up. He has that kind of athleticism.
Don't look for him to do a lot of QB sneaks, as linebackers will be keying on him. Instead, look for a designed delay as Griffin drops back and takes off. It is a play that can be used on any down in just about any yardage situation.
3. Roll Out
With a mobile quarterback like Griffin, look for a lot of designed movement plays to get him outside the pocket. Although he is a solid pocket passer, RGIII and the Redskins will want to get the defense shifting and going in different directions. Rolling out will also make the defense uncertain if Griffin is going to run or pass.
With his athleticism, RGIII will be able to roll out to either side without a problem. Reports out of rookie camp and OTAs are that Washington is constantly running roll out plays. Look for this to become a regular part of the Redskins' offense.
4. Quick Screen
The quick screen has been a big part of the Redskins' offense for a long time under any coach and any quarterback. A majority of them went to Santana Moss because of his small size, speed and shiftiness. With two other good receivers in Garçon and Morgan to take away the better defensive backs, look for Moss to get a lot of them.
These plays will help RGIII by giving him a quick option to keep defenses on their toes. It will also allow him to get confidence as the game moves along. Screens will give Griffin a break from being under pressure and having to drop back.
With his added athleticism, it doesn't look like the Redskins will stop using their favorite play anytime soon, and that's probably a good thing.
5. Play Action
The play action pass is another play designed to get defenses moving in one direction and then take them another way. The athleticism and speed of Griffin will get defenses moving all over the place. Making opposing defenses account for the run is something the Redskins will definitely try to do.
Look for the play action to be incorporated in other favorite plays, especially the roll outs. This will allow for receivers to get open down the field.
Coaches Mike and Kyle Shanahan will be trying to give defenses as many looks as possible. Look for them to use trips right or left on several occasions.
This formation will allow for several things. First, it will set up plays like the quick screen. Second, this will allow either a receiver to come across the field, or a back/tight end to drop into the flat, giving Griffin more options. Third, it will leave one side of the field fairly open, allowing Griffin to use his feet.
The more formations you can show and the more options you can run from those formations the better. This will be the case with trips. However, you need to have a good quarterback in order to be able to use all the different formations. That is the case with RGIII.
7. Tight End Out Route
With three solid receivers, as well as opposing defenses having a player spying Griffin at all times in case he pulls the ball down and takes off, look for RGIII to take advantage of his tight end match ups. The Redskins have two guys in Chris Cooley and Fred Davis that have both shown they have excellent hands.
The most common tight end play the Redskins run is an out route. It is hard for linebackers to keep up with them as they move toward the sideline. RGIII has good touch on his passes and will be able to hit the tight ends in stride, hopefully allowing them to get up field. Look for this play, especially in third-down or red-zone situations.
8. Shotgun Formation
A lot of what Griffin ran in college was out of the shotgun formation. It is something he is comfortable with, and what he used to win the Heisman Trophy for being the best player in college football. So why wouldn't the Redskins run it? It gives him more time, a better chance to see the field and more immediate options.
Many of the plays on this list can be and often will be run with RGIII in the shotgun formation. Kyle Shanahan will want to try and make Griffin as comfortable as possible in his first year, so there is a good chance he will be out from under center often.
9. Deep Post
Griffin loves to throw the deep ball and the most used deep play is the deep post or the skinny post. The Redskins will be sure to run it with the receivers they have. Pierre Garçon, Josh Morgan and Santana Moss can all run it effectively.
Fred Davis and Chris Cooley at tight end will also be able to run it. The post is designed to take advantage of the safety and force him to make a decision.
This gives the Redskins several options and will also allow for the field to open up in front of RGIII. Washington will want to bring excitement and big plays to their team and this is the play they will do it with.
10. RB Check Down
Running backs Roy Helu, Tim Hightower and Evan Royster have all proven they have good hands and can catch the ball. With the defenses being spread by the deep ball, it will allow for running backs to slip out of the backfield. It will also give Griffin a much-needed bail out option if he is under pressure.
One of the first things you look for in a rookie quarterback is his use of his check-down option. Does he try to force the ball to receivers down field, does he take a sack or does he scramble? These are all things that are common for rookies to do.
In order to take care of the ball, Griffin is going to need to make good use of his check-down options with his running backs. Plus, it will save his neck on several occasions, so what's not to like?
11. Busted Plays
Now I know that they aren't technically a good thing, but with Griffin busted plays will result in high risk and high reward. RGIII will be able to keep plays alive with his feet that most people cannot. These plays are often the ones that result in big gains because defenders lose the guy they are covering in the scramble.
Although they are risky, RGIII's arm strength and overall athleticism will allow him to turn nothing into something. Those are the plays that make it onto your highlight reel and Griffin is going to love the successful ones. They instill a lot of confidence in both the quarterback and coaches.
Look for there to be several occasions this year when Griffin takes a busted play and makes something out of nothing.