You can never have enough breakdowns of Robert Griffin III, and so here comes one from Redskins quarterback coach Matt LaFleur who, along with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, will be charged with educating the team’s franchise quarterback on the NFL and Washington’s offense.
In a radio interview Monday night with Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan, LaFleur discussed Griffin’s physical tools, what he must work on as he transitions to the NFL, and how things will work with Griffin, Rex Grossman and Kirk Cousins.
Excerpts from the interview follow:
On Griffin’s skill set:
“With what we gave up to get him, we see something very special about him. First of all, he is a passer first, a runner second. He’s got very good footwork, he plays with a great base, and he’s a natural thrower, very balanced in the pocket. He’s accurate down the field, he’s got a big arm, and he’s got the vision to see down the field. The one real bonus that he has that not a lot of quarterbacks have, is he’s got that 4.3 speed or 4.4 speed so when things break down, he can make an off-scheduled play. This is a tough league where the pass rush is very intense and you need a guy that can escape the pocket and extend plays and give you the chance to make some explosive plays down the field.”
On what Griffin needs to learn the most:
“With any quarterback, it starts with learning your offense. He has got to know our playbook inside and out. And then, the transition to the NFL game. Obviously the speed is so much faster, and so it’s about getting him comfortable through film study, and any repetition on the field is so valuable. So we’re looking forward to our minicamp [this Friday through Sunday].”
On Griffin’s footwork, and getting used to taking snaps under center:
“I know he’s been working on it ever since the end of his season. … It’s always an ongoing process with quarterbacks, whether you’ve been in the league 10 years or one year. You’re always trying to improve your footwork. But he’s talented enough an athlete that it shouldn’t be a problem.”
On why the Redskins took Kirk Cousins – becoming the first team since 1989 to take two QBs in the first four rounds:
“The last team was Dallas (taking both Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh), and it worked out pretty well for them. … I thought Kirk would’ve been gone long before the fourth round, and when he’s sitting there, and you have a high grade on him, it’s like you can’t lose with that pick, in my opinion. You can never have enough good players, especially at arguably the most important position of all of sports. This is a nasty game where some times things happen, and you have to go with somebody else, so we want to make sure we’re secure at that position.
“Any time you give up what we did to get Robert, it’s pretty clear how we feel. But like I said, things happen, and your next guy has to be ready to go. … I personally think it’ll be a great thing. You’ve got two guys coming in here and they’ll get the chance to grow together and learn together and study together. … Both of those guys have intangibles off the charts. There’s no doubt in my mind they’ll get along great and really push each other to be better players.”
On Rex Grossman’s role with the team:
“Rex has great experience in this league and he’ll definitely be an asset for us to help those guys come along. Rex is a pro, he’s got a great attitude. He did make a lot of plays for us last year. He had too many turnovers, and he knows that. But at the same time, he did do a lot of good things for us, and he’d better also be ready, and I know he will be, and I just think it’s a great situation. I like the dynamic in our room and I see it hopefully leading to a lot of success here.”