‘You just have to be patient’ with development of Robert Griffin III as pocket passer, Mike Shanahan says

Ahmad Brooks, Robert Brooks III

Mike Shanahan preaches patience with development of Robert Griffin III (10, avoiding the rush of Ahmad Brooks) as pocket passer, says he won’t consider a late-season switch to Kirk Cousins. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Coach Mike Shanahan preached patience Tuesday with the development of quarterback Robert Griffin III as a pocket passer. Shanahan said the Washington Redskins won’t consider a late-season quarterback switch to second-year backup Kirk Cousins as long as Griffin is healthy, in part because Griffin needs as much game experience as possible to aid his growth as a drop-back passer.

“The growth of a quarterback, the maturation process, you need those repetitions,” Shanahan said at Redskins Park. “And that’s why he’s going through these repetitions, to get better. He hasn’t had a lot of these repetitions in college, which we’ve talked about. One of the reasons why we had the success that we had, probably the type of success where he separated himself from every other rookie in the history of the game, is he was able to do some things [last season] that other quarterbacks couldn’t do. We had a dual threat. Now that [running] threat is not quite there as strong as it was a year ago.

“But now we go to a different direction, with our play-action and we still run some of the zone-reads. That will come. That maturity will come. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a growing period. And if you take a look at so many of these quarterbacks — you go back, thinking of all the Hall of Fame quarterbacks — they’ve had much tougher years than what we’ve gone through so far. … He’s got all the ability in the world to make that big jump. And you just have to be patient.”

Shanahan’s comments came a day after Griffin passed for only 127 yards in a 27-6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field that dropped the Redskins’ record to 3-8.

“I think I shared with everybody that we tried to do things a year ago that gave him the best chance to be successful, and things that he could do very effectively that I thought he was very good at,” Shanahan said. “The drop-back passing game takes some time. It doesn’t happen overnight. And Robert’s getting better and better every game. He’s feeling more comfortable with it and we’re putting him through a lot of situations. It’s a constant growth in the drop-back game because it’s not only reading coverages. It’s looking at personnel. It’s stepping up in the pocket, getting rid of the football, going against blitzes, different coverages — all the things that go with the maturation of being a quarterback. And that’s something he’s going through right now.”

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 at 11:40 a.m. on Wednesday and 10:25 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

More from The Post:

Bowen out for season, needing knee surgery | Team consistent at being inconsistent

Fletcher: Nobody happy with how it’s turned out | Outsider: Positional review

Hamilton: America only has to watch these guys once more; We’re stuck

Mike Jones’s five observations | Mailbag: Is it time for Cousins?

D.C. Sports Bog: McNabb on Shanahan & accountability | On media circusMore

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49ers’ Brooks on Griffin (video):

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