When asked about his impressions of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said he was most impressed with the growth Griffin has displayed through six games, and the poise with which he plays. Griffin boasts a league-best 70.2 completion percentage, and owns the third-best passer rating at 105.0.
Given Griffin’s speed and athleticism, it was expected that he would be able to make an immediate impact in the ground game. But his development in the passing game has been better than expected.
Opposing defenses have given RGIII all kinds of different looks, attacking him with multiple approaches. The quarterback has been effective regardless of the pressure he has faced. According to STATS LLC, Griffin has completed at least 60 percent of his passes against four splits of oncoming pass-rushers, but he is at his best when facing intense pressure.
When facing three pass-rushers or fewer, Griffin has completed six of nine passes (66.7 percent), but hasn’t thrown a touchdown or an interception. Most of his attempts have come against four rushers. Griffin has completed 88 of 126 passes (69.8 percent) and has two touchdowns and two interceptions against four-man fronts.
STATS’ data also shows that when faced with five pass rushers, Griffin has completed 12 of 16 passes (75 percent) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. When attacked by six or more pass-rushers, Griffin has completed five of eight passes (62 percent) for a touchdown and no interceptions.
Griffin said that as his season has progressed, the game has already begun to slow down for him.
Asked where he has seen the most improvement in his game, he said, “Just throwing everything when I’m supposed to throw it, and getting to my check-downs when I’m supposed to get to my check-downs. I think I’m doing a better job of managing that part of the offense. But that comes through hard work, through game-time reps, just knowing where to go with the ball. Everything’s clearing up. Every game that goes by, things are clearing up, and that’s something I’m excited about for the future.”
Griffin said he hasn’t really been surprised by his play so far. He credits hard work on his part, and the preparation of his coaches for his success.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan admitted that he has, however, been surprised.
“Everything kind of surprises you a little bit because you don’t know what to expect going in,” Shanahan said. “You like the guy and you’ve seen what he’s done in his collegiate career, being the Heisman Trophy winner and a nice guy. But you don’t really know until you put him under pressure. How does he do in the third, fourth quarter? How does he do after a loss? How does he handle himself after a win? I just like the way that Robert handles himself. Since Day 1, he’s been cool, calm and collected, and he always seems to say the right thing at the right time, and not many rookies seem to do that.”