Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has impressed teammates and coaches alike with his poise on and off the field, and with the glimpses of ability he has shown during offseason practices. But Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall says that although he thinks highly of his new teammate, the rookie still has much to prove – especially in the highly competitive NFC East.
Griffin will face defenses led by pass-rushers like DeMarcus Ware of the Cowboys, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora of the Giants, and Jason Babin of the Eagles. Griffin also will engage in duels with Pro Bowl quarterbacks Eli Manning, Michael Vick and Tony Romo.
So Hall cautions that expectations should be tempered despite Griffin’s impressive college resume, the hype and the infusion of life Griffin has given the Redskins.
“He’s probably right now, the worst quarterback in our division. He hasn’t taken a snap,” Hall said bluntly. “He has that title until he takes a snap and goes out and proves he’s something.”
Hall also said, “It starts in our division, man. We ain’t looking at nobody else. Our division is so tough. Great quarterbacks. … We have to prove we can get past our division first. We get past our division and we make the playoffs, and the last couple years, we haven’t been able to do that. That’s why we haven’t been in the playoffs.”
Hall said that he does believe that in Griffin, the Redskins finally have a quarterback who will give them a chance to become contenders. But it will be a process.
“I guess it all starts at quarterback is what everybody always says. We’ve finally got one that we feel can hold his own against some of these other guys in the league, and you put that together with offensive line, receivers, defense, we have a chance to compete,” Hall said. “But none of that means nothing unless you can go out and play.”
Hall anticipates that in time, Griffin will create nightmares for opposing defenses.
“Just watching him, making throws and things like that, you can tell the kid can make every throw on the field and use his legs to help extend the play,” Hall said. “As a DB, you hate that. You hate to see a quarterback, where you feel like, ‘Oh, man, we got him,’ and then the play’s still going on. He brings that dynamic to the game.”
Inside linebacker London Fletcher agrees, and likens Griffin’s potential impact to Vick’s.
“Any time you have a quarterback that can extend plays, or make plays that are off-schedule, so to speak, when things don’t go the right way; a quarterback that can buy time, has the threat to make plays outside the pocket, defensively, you’re kind of always on your heels, because you don’t know if he’s going to run the ball or throw it. … You see stuff like that with Michael Vick now – once he got to Philadelphia. Now, when he gets outside the pocket, you don’t know if he’s going to run the football, or if he’ll continue to look down the field and throw the football. Robert, he’ll be able to do those things as well.”
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