The easiest train of thought for fans of the Washington Redskins is to believe that a successful season out of Robert Griffin III will translate to wins. Griffin, entering his third year, is the teams quarterback and a magnet for praise and criticism.
“I don’t think there’s any question: he looks explosive,” said first year offensive coordinator Sean McVay in a recent ESPN Radio interview. “He looks like he is exactly what he was in the 2012 season. I think people underestimate when you have a brace on your knee how much that truly restricts you….So I think being able to take that off, he looks extremely explosive.”
In Griffin’s rookie season he completed 65.6-percent of his passes for 3,200 yards while notching 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. A year later Griffin’s competition percentage fell to just 60.1-percent while his interceptions and sacks rose. It is no surprise that even the archaic quarterback rating proved true on Grffin’s season dropping 20.2 points.
The easiest reason for Griffin’s struggles has been placed on his knee that gave out during a playoff game during his rookie season. That injury took away some of Griffin’s play making potential.
“And when you’re a quarterback that has the ability to kind of buy time with your legs, keep your eyes downfield and then if guys are playing with their back to the quarterback, now he’s got a chance to take off and run it and create yards that way,” McVay said. “So I think that’s going to be a big part of what he does. And he’s continuing to get more and more comfortable feeling some of those soft spots in the pockets, and being able to remain a passer while also understanding that hey, I do have this elite trait with my legs and athleticism, that if things do break down I can create that way also.”
McVay’s success as a first year offensive coordinator is directly tied to Griffin and he is not about to throw team owner Daniel Snyder’s prized player under the bus.
“I think the thing that’s great about Robert is he’s one of the most charismatic people I’ve been around,” McVay said. “He’s got a great energy. Kind of one of those guys, he’s a natural leader where people are just drawn to him. When you look at when he first came in 2012, he brought an immediate spark to our organization as a whole, not just our offense.
“And you saw that this whole offseason. He did a great job picking up the new terminology that we’re using — and we will still do some similar things that we’ve done in the past that have been able to give us some success these last two seasons. But he did an excellent job, and I think he and Jay have a great rapport that they’re getting ready to continue to develop as the season moves forward and as we go into the future. We’re really excited about him, and really happy with what he was able to accomplish this offseason.”
A better year out of Griffin will surely help the Redskins earn more wins, but they also have a glut of question marks on the defensive side of the ball.