Gail Burton/Associated Press
Robert Griffin III has failed to lead the offense to a touchdown in the preseason.
Oh, the controversy. Where would Washington be without one?
Robert Griffin III has gone from Comeback Player of the Year to being outplayed by his backup in a matter of a few weeks. That sort of talk is a distraction, and while Griffin may tweet that it doesn't bother him, choosing to address the situation at all indicates that it does.
As Mike Jones reported for The Washington Post, Gruden's opinion is that Griffin's lack of progress in the pocket is a matter of confidence, which makes sense. Less certain quarterbacks tend to hold the ball too long, looking for wide-open receivers rather than trusting the route and the development of the play.
As Griffin indicated in his press conference, the offense goes where he goes. Right now, he's not going far.
However, to write the offense off based on the preseason would be foolish. There's still so much about Gruden's system that we don't know. Griffin has spent most of his time in the pocket because that's what he needs to work on.
The preseason is the place to do that.
When the regular season rolls around, we can expect to see an offense that leans more towards Griffin's natural abilities. Bootlegs, rollouts, short passes, shotgun and pistol snaps—everything that he did well in 2012.
Keeping these familiar concepts in the offense will raise Grffin's confidence, leading him to trust his instincts and make better decisions when in the pocket. His knowledge of the offense will increase with repetition, again leading to better decision-making.
Of course, it would help if the offensive line played at a higher level. Trent Williams is solid as a rock, and new arrival Shawn Lauvao has looked like an improvement at guard. However, if Chris Chester and Tyler Polumbus don't improve, Griffin is going to tuck and run more than his coach wants.
Josh LeRibeus has looked improved this year and could be relied upon to step in to relive Chester. With Adam Gettis now cut, LeRibeus has to repay the faith shown in him by the new coaches.
It's true that the new additions at receiver have raised expectations of the Redskins quarterback. It's also true that he hasn't delivered on those yet, leading to the disappointment of zero touchdowns for the first-team offense.
We'll find out against Houston, but there's no need to panic just yet.