Saints expect to see Griffin as a runner and a passer

September 6, 2012

The New Orleans Saints are expecting Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III to run with the ball often in his first NFL game Sunday at the Superdome.

“That guy… is a difference-maker,” Aaron Kromer, the Saints’ interim head coach, said during a conference call this week with Washington-area reporters. “Not only can he run and pass, but he is smart and he looks like he communicates well with the rest of the team. I know they didn’t put everything on tape [during the preseason] that they’re going to do. But you could just imagine with his speed and ability to throw the ball that not only is he going to be able to drop back and scramble if he needs to, but they may use him in the running game…It’s going to be a tough day defending him.”


Robert Griffin III runs with ball during the preseason against the Colts (Nick Wass/The Associated Press)

The New Orleans defense will have to mix things up with Griffin by sometimes using a “spy”–a defender near the line of scrimmage to monitor Griffin’s running–and sometimes taking other approaches.

“I think you have to spy him some and I think you have to contain him some,” Kromer said. “I don’t think you can do one thing the whole game. I think a guy of that magnitude will hurt you.”

Griffin has said he expects Steve Spagnuolo, the new defensive coordinator of the Saints, to give him different looks to try to confuse him Sunday. Kromer said varying the defensive looks that Griffin sees indeed will be a key for the Saints.

“I think any quarterback, and especially a rookie, you want to change up what you’re giving them,” Kromer said. “You don’t give them the same thing the whole game. But I do think this guy is different. I think Robert is different from most rookie quarterbacks. He seems advanced in his knowledge of the game and his ability to take off running.”

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Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · September 6, 2012