Garcon: RGIII can’t run as fast

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)
(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

“Are you just as fast as you were?” Kevin Sheehan asked Robert Griffin III during the preseason.

“I don’t ever say that,” Griffin answered. “I just tell people I can still hit turbo.”

“Is turbo 4.3-something?” Sheehan asked.

“Oh, I think so,” Griffin said. “If I went out there and had to run a 40 today, like at the combine, in my underwear, I feel like I could go 4.3.”

Fans, though, have not been convinced that the 2013 Griffin is running quite as quickly as the 2012 Griffin. Pierre Garcon evidently agrees. The receiver was on ESPN 980’s Sports Fix on Tuesday, and he talked at length about the 2013 offense.

“We’re running the same offense,” Garcon said. “We’re running the same exact offense. It’s no different. It’s just we’re not getting the same production, and teams are seeing what we’re doing, but we’re running the same exact offense. We actually added more stuff to the offense.”

Sheehan then pointed out that Griffin has not been much of a part of the offense as a runner.

“He’s ran, but he’s not ran as much as last year,” Garcon said. “But that’s actually a good thing for us. We don’t want him out always to keep running; we want him to throw the ball more, and whenever he has to run, run. But we don’t want him out there running.”

Then the offense has changed, Sheehan argued, pointing out that Griffin ran for 815 yards in his rookie season.

The Post Sports Live crew discusses if there is a reason for Robert Griffin III's poor performance against Green Bay and debate who is deciding not to run the read-option as often as last season. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

“Well, some of those runs weren’t designed runs for Robert,” Garcon said. “One of the plays that you guys always show is the Minnesota Vikings run — that wasn’t a designed play, that was a quarterback just being an athlete. Some of the plays he has two options, to hand the ball off to Alfred or to run it — sometimes he keeps it, sometimes he runs. Sometimes he runs an option with a receiver. We have a bunch of various plays that we call at different times — some plays get more yards than others, some plays don’t always pan out how we designed them. But the defenses are seeing them. They know Robert obviously can’t run as fast as he did last year because of his knee brace and his knee, but it’s the same offense, to be honest with you. It’s nothing different. It hasn’t changed at all.”

Which led to the natural question, if he can’t run as fast as he did last year, does that impact his play?

“Well, when you’re walking around with a knee brace or playing with a knee brace, obviously it’s slowing you down a little bit,” Garcon said. “It’s just natural. It’s common….I don’t know how much it weighs, exactly, but you always think about it when you have it on there, and it’s a constant reminder. It’s not gonna let you be the guy you are without the knee brace. When you have something around your knees – the more equipment you have on, it’s obviously distracting you or slowing you down from being as free as loose as yourself without any equipment on.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.

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Dan Steinberg · September 17, 2013