It is no secret that Robert Griffin III has not been playing to his full potential for the Washington Redskins this season.
The 23-year-old quarterback had an up-and-down game during the Redskins’ 31-16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.
Griffin rushed for 77 yards on nine carries, which was his largest involvement in the running game all season. His passing game was not nearly as strong. According to Mike Jones of The Washington Post Griffin claims an increase in the run game is what he needs to improve his play.
“I felt that’s what I have to do,” Griffin said. “That’s what I’ve always had to do. You’ve got to use every ability that you have. Broke the pocket a couple of times, broke the pocket and hit some guys downfield as the defense was closing in on me, and then there were times when you just take off and go, and a healthy mix of that and a healthy mix of just executing the plays that are called.”
Griffin on his postgame radio interview Sunday said he was “just really focusing on being the playmaker that I know I can be and not letting anybody else tell me how to play this game.”
Asked on Wednesday what he meant by that, Griffin explained: “It just means, you can’t lose faith in who you are. You can’t lose confidence in what you’ve done to get you to the level where you’re at. Kyle [Shanahan] will say on a number of plays, ‘You never forget what got you to where you are,’ and that’s all I’m saying. It wasn’t a shot at anything else, or at the coaches or anybody. It was just saying, ‘I’ve got to be the guy that I know that I am.’ ”
During his rookie season last year, Griffin led the Redskins with his passing game and strong signal-calling.
His subpar play this year has reflected on the Redskins' 1-4 record. The fact that Griffin is still recovering from a torn ACL has continually impacted his performance. However, Griffin is not waiting for any extra recovery time.
Washington has been focusing more on its run game, even though it has not been reflected in its scoring. The team had 433 total yards yards against Dallas, but it was still forced to settle for three field goals in the loss. It is going to take Griffin’s full commitment to the run game for the team to start making actual progress.
Nick Mensio of Football Daily Dose reported that coach Mike Shanahan agrees with this theory, as long as Griffin can execute the game plan.
Shanahan said per Mensio:
He’s got to be himself. Robert is Robert. We don’t ask quarterbacks to do anything in particular. We have a game plan going in. Whatever that game plan may be, we are hoping they execute it.
There are some tough matchups ahead for Griffin and the Redskins with the Bears, the Broncos and the Chargers on the schedule. Whatever happens, Griffin needs to improve his run play quickly in order to keep any Redskins hopes for a playoff run alive.