By now, Jim Zorn would have bought a Slip and Slide and put Robert Griffin III through sliding drills. Zorn got the job as Redskins OC because Jim Fassel told Mr. Snyder that Zorn was innovative like that. Whatever Jay Gruden is doing to coach RG on the art of sliding doesn’t seem to be enough.
The Redskins do not have a quarterback coach. Matt LaFluer was swept out with the Shanahans last January. He is now the QB position coach at Notre Dame. Gruden and OC Sean McVeay fill that role with the quarterbacks. So this is on the head coach. Gruden said Griffin had the green light to run when the situation called for it. Confused yet?
Griffin raised concerns when he ran downfield during last night’s preseason game against the Browns. He ran to get out of bounds but two Browns defenders hit him before he could get there. The sight of the torque on his knee sent shivers up everybody’s spine.
Griffin promised that he would get better at sliding and when to do it. It would be equally well for Griffin to get better at throwing the ball away.
That is hard for Griffin, hard for the team and the fans to give up. Griffin is excellent as a running quarterback. The play in question gained about 18 yards and prolonged the drive. Converting Griffin to a pocket passer may remove him as the duel threat quarterback that makes him the most dangerous player in the league. Still, those 18 yards would not have been helpful if he tweaked his knee and threw off his throwing motion. We went through that last year.
Hog Heaven has a 2:1 metric to evaluate RGIII this year. That is two rushing plays to every TD pass. We hope to see Griffin run not more than 60 times this season and score no less than 30 touchdowns. Has a nice ring, don’t you think? Griffin had four rushing plays to one TD score against the Browns.
“We talking about practice” ~ Allen Iverson
Both the Redskins and the Browns made scoring decisions they would not have made in the regular season. The Redskins left points on the table when they handed off four times to Alfred Morris on a drive from the Browns three-yard line … and were stuffed four times. Apart from the shock of seeing anything like that, it was not regular season behavior. Gruden would have called for a “gimme” field goal in a real game.
The Browns did the same at the end of the contest after Connor Shaw’s 45-yard touchdown strike to Emmanuel Ogbuehi as time ran out. Mike Pettine called for a two-point conversion that failed when a point-after kick would have tied the score.
Everyone was grateful. Nobody wants a preseason game to go to overtime. Well, nobody but players on the bubble in need of one more chance to show what they can do. The rest of us were ready for bed.
What a sloppy mess!
Iverson’s words about practice are a good thing to keep in mind for this game. It was not pretty for either team, winners of three and four games last season. But, it was practice.
More to the point, it was practice by two teams with new coaching staffs installing new offenses. The process takes until the second half of the regular season to get right. The Giants and Eli Manning are going through a similar experience. We should not be happy with ineffectiveness, but this is just the time to expect it. Preseason progress is more important than perfection.
Ryan Grant as done enough to win a spot on the receiving corps. I hope Gruden agrees.
Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson were on my list of vulnerable wide receivers. I am scratching Robinson from that list now. Hankerson may be a victim of the football cliché, “You can’t make the club from the tub.”
Nick Williams is a receiver worth watching.
That’s a good look for you.
The Cleveland Browns all-white away look is rather boring. They could do worse than to adapt a version of the Buccaneers’ dramatic new away uniform. The Browns do sometimes wear brown pants for away games. I wish they wore them last night.
The Bucs will be in their new home uniform when the Redskins visit August 28.
Photo credit: Image borrowed from clevelandbrowns.com