Griffin: Execution, not talk, will fix offensive struggles

October 30, 2013

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins have yet to recapture last season’s effectiveness. (Jack Dempsey/Associated Press)

Coming off his worst passing outing of the season, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III lamented the fact that the offense has yet to consistently recapture the level of effectiveness that it boasted last season. Echoing coach Mike Shanahan from earlier this week, Griffin said many factors are to blame for the passing game struggles. But the Redskins have no choice but to work towards improving, the second-year quarterback said.

“It sucks,” said Griffin, whose team ranks 12th in the league in passing yardage (1,800) but 21st in completion percentage (58.8). “There’s a lot of things that go into that. But like I said, it’s not for me to discuss up here. We have to fix that stuff on the practice field and the game field. Nothing that we say is going to change that. Talk doesn’t help. We just have to go out and make sure you get out there and do the best you can.”

Griffin had a highly effective rookie season as he ranked among the top five in the league in completion percentage and owned a passer rating of 102.4. This season, he has the 21st-best passer rating (79.2).

His timing with receivers has been off occasionally, and other times his receivers have struggled to hold on to the ball. Other times still, Washington’s offensive line has struggled with pass protection.

Asked for the reason behind the struggles, Griffin said, “Everybody has opinions about it, but we’re the only ones that know what’s going on, and it’s not my job to tell everybody everything that goes on within this organization. Our job is to keep that stuff in house, and make sure we get better from it because it takes all of us.”

This has represented the most trying start to a season that Griffin has encountered in his career – whether in high school, college or professional. But he views the struggles as a challenge that he and his teammates must overcome. Griffin says that as the leader of the offense, he must spur his teammates to an improved effort.

“It’s our job: me, as the quarterback, and the coaches to put guys in the right position to make plays,” he said. But Griffin, who always prides himself on taking a positive leadership approach, said that he will not change his style to prompt a better result out of his teammates.

“It’s very trying. It’s a test. You’re going to be put through tests in your life, and you have to decide how you’re going to react to them,” Griffin said. “I don’t go out there and scream at guys. We’ve talked about this before: my way of leading, you have to be positive. A guy drops a pass, he knows he dropped that pass. He knows he has to make that catch for you. If I miss a throw, I know I missed a throw and I’m going to make that play next time. As soon as you change as a leader, I think guys can really see that as well, and when you change, it kind of feels like the ship’s sinking, so I’m not going to change as a person or I’m not going to demand any more out them and they’re not going to demand any more out of me.”
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practice Thursday at 1 p.m., preparing for Sunday’s home game against the San Diego Chargers.

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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Mark Maske · October 30, 2013