ESPN Insider Article: The Future of Robert Griffin

Talk about the Washington Redskins here. Do you bleed burgundy and gold?
Hog
User avatar
Posts: 408
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:47 pm
Location: Dallas, Tx

ESPN Insider Article: The Future of Robert Griffin

Postby funsho2 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:29 am

Delayed gratification hasn't been a part of the Robert Griffin III NFL experience. It was like a Bond flick -- things got crazy before we, the audience, even settled in when RG3 laid waste to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1. Thing is, as we finish Week 13, it still hasn't gotten deliberate. The story arc has remained explosive. So in a season where rookie QBs are a huge draw, even Andrew Luck's remarkable plotline hasn't managed to outshine RG3.

But this could contain fuel for critics who believe RG3 won't age well as an NFL quarterback. Certainly not like Luck. Call it a grumpy assessment, a page from Eeyore's Quarterback Projections, but look close and there are moments, throws and hits that make even his biggest fans wonder. They make people think of other athletically gifted QBs. They make people think, "Enjoy this for what it is" because action flicks like this lack substance. And if the critic wanted to confirm those questions, he'd find some numbers to back him up.

• He'd point to Week 1, when RG3 shredded the Saints. The numbers showed dominance -- 19-26, 320 yards, a 138.9 passer rating -- but a critic would note short pass after short pass, many simply across the line of scrimmage, glorified handoffs. A critic could note that 13 weeks later, 74.6 percent of Griffin's completions this season have been less than 10 yards.

• He'd point to Week 6, when Griffin failed to get out of bounds on a scramble, and picked up a new key stat that isn't in the passer rating formula -- his first NFL concussion. What's athleticism if it gets you more involved with linebackers down the field? Is that sustainable?

• He'd then point to Week 7, when RG3 came back from that concussion and ran a season-high 13 times, including an incredible 76-yard TD run. The critic would say, "Great run, kid, but didn't last week teach you anything?" And that critic would then point out lessons not learned, because headed into this week, RG3 led all QBs with 100 run attempts, a total even the 250-plus-pound Cam Newton can't touch.

Add it up, and the critic builds his case: Great passing totals, but a penchant for thriving on the short stuff; great rushing totals, but already with a concussion in hand; a great knack for making plays, but a clear stubbornness to fall back on his legs in a league that will punish QBs who do.

The critic will thus conclude: Sure, RG3 has been incredible, but should I buy into the future?

In a word: Yes.

That's because such a case against RG3 simply doesn't hold up to a more advanced look at the tape, the numbers and the context of the situation Griffin finds himself in. It's why any critic who would claim RG3 is, say, merely a more evolved Michael Vick, is missing a guy who may become something more like Aaron Rodgers -- and isn't far off that level now.

Start with those short throws.

RG3 has thrown a high share of short passes, with 153 of his 205 completions (74.6 percent) thrown fewer than 10 yards. But he's just a tree in an NFL forest of QBs throwing short passes. Consider that Tom Brady, with a passer rating of 105.2, is throwing short at a far higher rate. Brady has thrown fewer than 10 yards on a whopping 222 of his 308 completions entering Week 13, or 81 percent, far ahead of Griffin. Matt Ryan, with perhaps the NFL's best downfield options in Julio Jones and Roddy White (as well as Tony Gonzalez), throws short 73 percent of the time, essentially the same as Griffin. Peyton Manning (74.1), Rodgers (73.4) and even Joe Flacco (70 percent) are all thriving on the short ball at a rate virtually the same as RG3.

If you claim the Redskins have RG3 pedaling in an offense built around the short throw -- quick slants, quick digs, across-the-formation shots -- then you might as well say Brady is being pushed while utilizing training wheels.

Then consider the "running QB" critique.

So far in 2013, of RG3's league-leading 100 carries, a full 63 of them were designed runs. That means through 11 games, and 367 drop backs, Griffin has actually chosen to scramble only 37 times. According to Pro Football Focus, Griffin is pressured at a somewhat scary rate of 35.1 percent of drop backs thanks to Washington's offensive line. Think of it this way: RG3 has seen pressure at an almost identical rate as Luck, and has scrambled on average about one more time per game. (Again: with 4.41 speed.) Given his ridiculous talents as a runner, the stronger case to be made is that RG3 is actually showing restraint as a runner, not too much confidence in his legs. His Run EPA is lower than even Jay Cutler's.

All of those points make the case that RG3's success does stand up to basic critiques. But there is an even greater aspect working in his favor from a long-range standpoint.

Griffin is, without overstating it, an extraordinarily accurate NFL QB. Not for his age, but for a thrower of the football, period. Evaluators will tell you that accuracy is probably the single greatest indicator of a QB's ability to succeed because it encapsulates everything. It's not just ball placement, it's timing; it's the ability to hit the right route by working through reads, throwing to the open man and, when you do, hitting him in a location that allows him to gain yards after the catch. And to even be consistently accurate, you have to do so many other things well, all starting between the ears. In baseball terms, it's the difference between control and command. Good control means you can throw strikes consistently; good command means you're painting corners and with proper depth on the pitches. RG3 has command.

According to PFF, RG3's accuracy percentage (which accounts for drops, throwaways, spikes, batted passes and passes where the QB is hit while throwing) is at an NFL-leading 80.5 percent. The lead itself is impressive, but to put that number in context, since PFF began tracking the stat in 2008, only Rodgers has a higher rate -- 80.6 percent. In other words, RG3 through 11 games is as accurate a passer as we've seen in the NFL over a five-year period when virtually every passing record has been torched. Among rookies in that time, Ryan has the best full-season mark, at 74.6 percent. How deterministic is that number? This season, the guys directly trailing RG3 are Rodgers, Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, Matt Schaub and Brady. Pretty good company.

[+] Enlarge
William Perlman/US Presswire
RG3 runs, but much of it has been by design.
And RG3 isn't just accurate because he's throwing short. On throws of more than 20 yards, his accuracy percentage is 52.2 percent, third highest in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Info, he's completed 66.7 percent of those 20-plus-yard throws, second highest in the NFL. And RG3 actually throws downfield plenty next to his peers. On intermediate throws (10-20 yards) he's completed 42 passes, more than Brady or Rodgers. This goes back to last season at Baylor, where coaches Art Briles and Phil Montgomery tinkered with his delivery on the deep ball. His 72.4 percent completion percentage last season wasn't just pure college offensive gimmickry -- his 10.7 yards per attempt led the nation.

The accuracy stands up under another level of scrutiny -- pressure. Against five or more rushers, RG3 has completed 67.4 percent of passes, a higher rate than the impossible-to-blitz Peyton Manning. His accuracy percentage under pressure is an obscene 81.9 percent, an NFL high.

Satisfied? If you aren't, remember that this is all being done within an offense not exactly teeming with weapons. We all saw the Redskins add pass-catching help in free agency, an attempt to ease the transition for their rookie, but, as Bill Barnwell notes, "Despite Washington's best efforts to spend money this offseason and procure RG3 some weapons to throw to, their receiving corps has fallen apart this year." And "If Griffin were really struggling this year, we'd be looking at his receiving corps and saying that he didn't have anything to work with."

Critics can question the sustainability of RG3. They can nod to themselves every time he takes a hit when he should have been sliding. They can rightly say he'll need to learn to get out of harm's way. But restraint is there, and short throws are in every QB plot in this league. Ultimately, pointing to RG3's legs or short throws as a potential problem is like pointing to Greg Maddux's velocity as a problem. In both cases, what each guy does best is really the most important aspect to the position: Each is really, really accurate.

Take away everything else RG3 offers athletically, and he is still an extremely accurate QB. That's a nice fallback plan.
http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story...-aaron-rodgers

FanFromAnnapolis
Posts: 11080
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: on the bandwagon

Postby Irn-Bru » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:50 pm

This article is the knockout blow to critics like our recent resident troll. They will continue betting against RGIII, because they are afraid to admit the obvious, which is that (as usual) they were wrong, but that bet is not taking favorable odds.

The fact that RGIII is so accurate is precisely why I'm so excited about his future. By age 27 or 28 I don't think he'll be nearly the same runner as he is, but he stands a great chance of being an even better pocket passer. (Kind of crazy to say given how good he is already, but the man is full of surprises.)
"Last year I thought we'd win it all. This year I know we will." - Rex Ryan, on what would become the 8-8 2011 Jets

"Dream team." - Vince Young, on what would become the 8-8 2011 Eagles

The Punisher
Posts: 2593
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:34 am
Location: Manassas

Postby Bob 0119 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:08 pm

Thanks for sharing this full article. I'm not an "ESPN Insider" so I don't get this stuff usually.

RGIII is doing this stuff in his first year. Most QB's don't really hit their stride until their fourth year, some peak out as late as their eighth year! I can't wait to see what he brings as he settles in. I really can't imagine how he could get much better
“If you grow up in metro Washington, you grow up a diehard Redskins fan. But if you hate your parents, you grow up a Cowboys fan.”-Jim Lachey

---
User avatar
Posts: 18570
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2003 12:55 pm
Location: AJT

Postby Chris Luva Luva » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:16 pm

But Kyle Shannahan!
Fios - Arbiter of All Positive Knowledge

Kaz - "Was kinda obvious since we all know you're not a moron"

Hog
Online
User avatar
Posts: 2045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:36 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby emoses14 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:18 pm

Chris Luva Luva wrote:But Kyle Shannahan!


ROTFALMAO
I know he got a pretty good zip on the ball. He has a quick release. . . once I seen a coupla' throws, I was just like 'Yeah, he's that dude.'"

-Santana Moss on Our QB

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:59 pm
Location: St. Robert, MO

Postby FLWSkin » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:28 pm

Someone at ESPN needs to slide this under Cowherds nose while he is talking about how RGIII isn't all that.

08 Champ
Online
Posts: 13404
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:23 pm
Location: on the bandwagon

Postby SkinsJock » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:59 am

Chris Luva Luva wrote:But Kyle Shannahan!


:lol: As one who thinks we could do better at OC ... :roll:

let's give credit where credit is due ... Kyle called a GREAT game on monday night - that was fantastic



my problem with Kyle stems from his early days here when he seemed to NOT trust the players he had and almost refused to call running plays even when the ground game had been working for him - I think that Countertrey first made me 'see' this and recognize that Kyle was always hoping (and praying) the 'big play' would help his offense rather than take what his players could give him

I have not posted that Kyle is a bad OC .. I just think that we could do better with an OC that designed plays around his players than what he thinks will work best

Kyle showed me on Monday that he might, in fact, be getting better with his play calling but he's also benefitting IMHO from incredibly great play from RG3 and Alfred Morris AND also from the play of his offensive line and the other members of the offense

I also think that as RG3 and Kyle get more familiar with what both can get done - RG3 will not be required to use his legs as much - ALTHOUGH that will continue to be a threat to opposing defenses
I do not think that we'll see RG3 downfield as a receiver again ...

when we were 3-6 there were many that were calling for many changes here - I have always felt that Mike would be coming back for another year and by extension, Kyle also - I doubt that Haslett is back ... although Mike may feel as though Haslett is doing a good job BECAUSE Haslett is only doing what Mike wants him to do - IMHO - Mike really likes the 3-4 mainly because of his friendly relationship and respect for Bill Belicheat AND he thinks that Haslett can get the job done because of what made him hire Haslett in the first place
Getting our QB back will help a lot but we still have a lot of issues to address

Players and coaches need to believe that they can be successful - they are not playing with that attitude - big changes are coming

HAIL


Currently 50-41

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:59 pm
Location: St. Robert, MO

Postby FLWSkin » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:20 am

I don't understand. EVERY analyst out there says that the offense is totally designed around RGIII and his skills and what he does best. How then can you complain that Kyle isn't designing plays around his players? Not trying to argue, I'm new here and just don't really understand what you are saying.

**ch44
Posts: 2381
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:00 pm
Location: Chicago

Postby chiefhog44 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:17 am

FLWSkin wrote:I don't understand. EVERY analyst out there says that the offense is totally designed around RGIII and his skills and what he does best. How then can you complain that Kyle isn't designing plays around his players? Not trying to argue, I'm new here and just don't really understand what you are saying.


Don't worry, he doesn't make sense most of the time
Miss you 21

12/17/09 - Ding Dong the Witch is Dead...Which Old Witch? The Wicked Witch.

1/6/10 - The start of a new era

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 4761
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:29 pm
Location: Montclair, Virginia

Postby riggofan » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:30 am

FLWSkin wrote:I don't understand. EVERY analyst out there says that the offense is totally designed around RGIII and his skills and what he does best. How then can you complain that Kyle isn't designing plays around his players? Not trying to argue, I'm new here and just don't really understand what you are saying.


SJ is still (probably admittedly) hanging on to some old ideas about Kyle. Its going to take people a while to forgive Kyle for his part in the McNabb mess and for not getting it done with Grossmand and Beck. lol.

I completely agree with what you wrote, FLWSkin. If you've paid any attention to football analysts over the past month, pretty much everybody out there is crediting Kyle with designing that offense for RGIII. There's some speculation out there that Carolina would consider him as a HC candidate for that reason.

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:59 pm
Location: St. Robert, MO

Postby FLWSkin » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:39 pm

I hope not. I think Kyle is our guy when Mike hangs it up and I wouldn't want to leave RGIII for Cam. Not in a million years.

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 4761
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:29 pm
Location: Montclair, Virginia

Postby riggofan » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:20 pm

FLWSkin wrote:I hope not. I think Kyle is our guy when Mike hangs it up and I wouldn't want to leave RGIII for Cam. Not in a million years.


Seems like it could set up that way. I'm not saying it should, but you can see the possibility *IF* the team is really on the rise over the next few years and doing well. Mike stepping down at some point and Snyder promoting Kyle. There's certainly a case to be made for continuity and grooming your next head coach vs. rolling the dice with somebody completely new and starting all over again.

btw Complete speculation, I know. The Shannys could just as easily lose the next four games badly and get the axe on Dec 31. :) But if you take a look at any of the possible head coaching jobs opening up, I guarantee you'll see Kyle mentioned in more than a few of them.

I wish I could find that article about Kyle and the Panthers - it was pretty good. The piece argued that Kyle would be much better off to bide his time with RGIII and maybe take over for Mike one day, rather than take on a project like Carolina with a high risk of failure.

Hog
User avatar
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:59 pm
Location: St. Robert, MO

Postby FLWSkin » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:27 pm

Just on mentality alone, I don't see how you leave RGIII for Cam. Why spend time trying to get someone like Cam to get it when you have RGIII who already does? We shall see.

Hog
Online
User avatar
Posts: 2045
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:36 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby emoses14 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:56 pm

Agree with Riggofan.

Who in their right mind would give up working with Griffin for Newton, even factoring in the HC position "promotion" over the OC position he currently has?
I know he got a pretty good zip on the ball. He has a quick release. . . once I seen a coupla' throws, I was just like 'Yeah, he's that dude.'"

-Santana Moss on Our QB

08 Champ
Online
Posts: 13404
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:23 pm
Location: on the bandwagon

Postby SkinsJock » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:32 pm

riggofan wrote:
FLWSkin wrote:I don't understand. EVERY analyst out there says that the offense is totally designed around RGIII and his skills and what he does best. How then can you complain that Kyle isn't designing plays around his players? Not trying to argue, I'm new here and just don't really understand what you are saying.


SJ is still (probably admittedly) hanging on to some old ideas about Kyle. Its going to take people a while to forgive Kyle for his part in the McNabb mess and for not getting it done with Grossmand and Beck. lol.

I completely agree with what you wrote, FLWSkin. If you've paid any attention to football analysts over the past month, pretty much everybody out there is crediting Kyle with designing that offense for RGIII. There's some speculation out there that Carolina would consider him as a HC candidate for that reason.


Kyle as an OC has tended to think his play calling is all that matters - when we've seen running plays work he's gone away from them to try and get his passing game working

in short - Kyle did not design plays or call plays that best suited his players

I know he went to see RG3 even before the draft to get ready for the new QB - I also know that he and Mike wanted to ensure an easy transition for their QB and the players he was going to be working with

he still made some horrendous play calls

UNTIL RECENTLY - I have noticed that we are subtly changing and upgrading the offense and I look for RG3 to be slowly fazing out of what we used to do and MORE OFTEN utilizing his mental capacity better with his physical talent to pass and run the football

I think that Kyle is a good OC PLUS I think that RG3 will make Kyle look better than he is - that's just me - I'm biased :twisted:
Getting our QB back will help a lot but we still have a lot of issues to address

Players and coaches need to believe that they can be successful - they are not playing with that attitude - big changes are coming

HAIL


Currently 50-41

Return to Hog Wash - Washington Redskins Football