Robert Griffin III Is Redskins' Only Hope to Turn Around 2013 Season
He hasn’t been terrible to this point, and he’ll only get better the more he works off of his rehabilitated right knee. Most of his struggles have come when pressured.
And teams have been dialing up extra pass-rushers due to the Skins quarterback's recovery and Mike Shanahan’s reluctance to deploy Griffin on designed running plays.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, RGIII has been pressured on 42 percent of his dropbacks through the first two weeks and completed just 52.5 percent of this throws in those situations. In 2012, defenses were kept more honest, only pressuring the quarterback on 21 percent of his drops.
Something has to change, and quickly, for the Redskins to avoid a catastrophe this season.
Switching to Kirk Cousins, while an attractive option for some who are looking for answers, would not fix the problem. With Cousins in the game, defenses would be able to continue to exploit that weakness without any real threat of being burned by the quarterback scrambling for big chunks of yardage.
Through two games, Griffin has carried the ball just nine times, none of which were designed runs or read-option plays, according to ESPN’s John Keim.
He’s ready and willing to do it too, the quarterback said, per Keim:
The plays are in, they're ready to run, and I'm ready to run them. We just haven't had a chance to do them because we've fallen behind too much.
It's not that I want to run more, I just feel like that's what we need and if that's what it takes for us to win games, I'm willing to do that. It's not anything I'm going to shy away from.
The answer is obvious: Until Griffin is comfortable stepping into throws under duress, Shanahan has to involve him more in the running game. It’s a move that will expose the quarterback more to the risk of injury, but one he can’t afford not to make at this point.
With him on the field, playing the type of football that made him so successful in his rookie season is the only chance the Redskins have if they hope to salvage a season that is slowly getting away from them.
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