What RGIII Needs to Do to Live Up to the Hype
Robert Griffin III has all the skills to be a franchise quarterback for the next decade or more, but there are a few necessary steps he must take to reach the elite level.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy Winner was the consensus No. 2 prospect for the majority of the draft process. Several teams battled to acquire the second overall pick from the St. Louis Rams, and the Washington Redskins were able to win the bidding war, giving up three first-round picks and a second rounder.
Washington also signed Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan in order to give their new cornerstone exciting targets in the passing game.
The Redskins are all in on their new quarterback, and here are the three keys to RGIII’s success going forward.
Scramble, Scramble, Scramble
Griffin is undoubtedly a talented passer, but his speed and agility set him apart from all but a few quarterbacks in the NFL.
It will take time for Griffin to adjust from Baylor’s spread offense to Mike Shanahan’s West Coast offense. While he is traveling around the learning curve, his ability to run will be his most valuable weapon.
He will not be able to make the right read all the time—or even most of the time—in his first few seasons, but he is an instinctive runner who can destroy a defense with his scrambling skills.
Griffin, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the NFL Combine, should not be shy about tucking the ball away and running. As he continues to burn opposing defenses and pile up rushing yards, defensive backs and linebackers will start to back off, and finding open receivers will become easier.
Learn to Slide
While Griffin’s ability to run will be an extremely valuable weapon, he must respect the power of NFL players and avoid taking an unnecessary amount of punishment.
RGIII cannot live up to the hype surrounding him from the sidelines, so he must learn to end his scrambles with a slide in order to protect himself.
Sacrificing an extra five yards to avoid a vicious hit is certainly worth it for Griffin, who is now the most important player on the Redskins.
Scrambling will be extremely important in his quest to become a great quarterback, but so will longevity. He already knows how to pick up first downs by running the ball, but he must quickly learn to hit the turf before contact.
What is Robert Griffin's ceiling in the NFL?
Mistakes will happen early in his career, but he must maintain the confidence to take shots down the field and throw the ball into tight spaces.
He will throw plenty of interceptions, but that is simply part of the learning process. Peyton Manning threw 28 interceptions compared to 26 touchdowns in his rookie season, and Matthew Stafford’s ratio during the 10 games he played in his first year was 20 picks to 13 TDs.
These numbers are indicative of players with the confidence to learn from a mistake, put the play in the past and continue to take the risks that often result in the monster plays which win games.
Griffin has the talent to be mentioned in the same breath as football’s best passers, and if he can do these three things early in his career, he will be on his way to living up to the lofty expectations placed upon him.
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