Kyle Shanahan: RGIII can learn any system


Kyle Shanahan doesn’t think Robert Griffin III would struggle learning a new system. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

If the Washington Redskins do indeed part ways with Mike Shanahan in the hours or days following today’s season finale against the New York Giants, the next head coach will bring with him new offensive and defensive systems.

The question of how such a move would impact Robert Griffin III’s development has been raised. Some, including Griffin’s teammates Rex Grossman and London Fletcher, have stated the belief that the young quarterback would benefit more from continuity than he would a wave of change.

But if such a move does take place, Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan believes that Griffin will be able to handle the transition from his system to another.

“Robert’s a smart guy. Robert’s going to be able to learn any system that someone gives him,” Shanahan said this week. “I think systems are a little bit overrated. This isn’t physics or anything. It is football and it can be tough if you don’t work at it, but Robert works at it.”

Last year, when Griffin spent the spring and summer of his rookie year learning Washington’s offense – a hybrid of Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan’s offense and a read-option attack similar to the one he ran in college – Washington’s coaches praised Griffin’s work ethic and ability to learn those concepts quickly.

Griffin struggled in his second season while playing in a scheme that remained largely the same while also featuring some new wrinkles and philosophy adjustments. But coaches attributed that to Griffin’s not having an offseason program to further aid his development in Year 2. Kyle Shanahan said that he expects the same strong work ethic and study habits out of Griffin in his third offseason regardless of the system he is charged with learning.

“He’ll give it his full effort and if you do that, you’re going to pick stuff up. So I don’t think it matters from that standpoint,” the offensive coordinator said. “I think it’s just about improving yourself from technique standpoints, seeing the game, reps, and just getting more comfortable with whatever it is that’s asked of him.”

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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Mike Jones · December 29, 2013

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