Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE
Robert Griffin III hasn't had quite the preseason that Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson have so far when it comes to filling the stat sheet. But when you watch him play you can see the flashes of what he will be in the NFL. That is a guy who can make any throw with just a flick of the wrist and who can make plays with his feet when all else fails.
While I'm sure more than a few people were disappointed in Griffin's performance against the Chicago Bears last week I actually saw some very encouraging things. For one thing the Redskins tried to run several screen plays and the Bears were all over it. For some quarterbacks that's a time to panic and either throw the ball away, which would bring on a penalty with the offensive linemen going down field to block, or take a sack which, because it was supposed to be a screen, would put their team in a really bad down and distance on the next play.
Instead Griffin chose the third option and used his legs to avoid the rush and gain a few yards. It doesn't show up on the stat sheet but that can be a really big play in the course of a game. It's the difference between second down and 20 or second down and nine.
I don't know many offensive coordinators who have many good plays in the playbook for second and 20.
But it's not as if Griffin has been just running around and not throwing the ball. In the first game against the Bills he looked good standing tall in the pocket, going through his progressions and delivering the ball downfield accurately.
In the Bears game he wasn't quite as accurate on a couple of throws but one attempt to Santana Moss was more of a miscommunication than just an errant pass. I should note that it appeared to me that Griffin was right and Moss was wrong about what route he should have run based on the coverage.
Even with the somewhat lack of success against the Bears, Griffin still looked confident and in command and not at all overwhelmed.
At the moment the Redskins don't really have a starting running back. Because so much of what Mike Shanahan wants to do on offense is predicated on having a good run game Griffin may experience some bumps in the road early on.
What I have seen from Griffin so far, however, is a guy who will stay on an even keel and eventually raise the level of play of the guys around him. His abilities are such that he can turn a negative play into a positive play in a heartbeat. The more comfortable he gets in Shannahan's offense, the harder it will be to defend him.
I don't just see good things in the future for Griffin, I see great things for him in his career. If he can stay healthy he just may forever redefine the quarterback position the way most of us thought Michael Vick would.