By Rich Tandler
INDIANAPOLIS—Robert Griffin III was asked what misconception he believed he needed to clear up as he talked to teams at the NFL Combine.
“I think it’s just a misconception that comes with being a dual-threat quarterback,” the Heisman Trophy winner. “You’re run first, throw second. I think I’ve proven I’m throw first, then run if I need to.”
The numbers show that Griffin ran a lot. Last year, he passed 402 times and he had 179 rushing attempts.
The NCAA counts sacks as a rushing attempt for the quarterback so to make a more accurate comparison we’ll back out the 29 sacks that Baylor counted on its team. That would leave RG3 with 150 rushing attempts and a run-pass ratio of about 1 run to every 3 passes.
That seems high for a pass-first player but Baylor’s offense has to be taken into consideration. In Baylor’s spread offense there are a lot of zone read plays when the quarterback is called upon to run.
According to one analyst who had seen every one of Griffin’s 2011 games, fewer than half of RG3’s runs were of the planned variety. But he pointed to Baylor’s offensive line as a major factor in why Griffin took off so frequently. The line was, in his estimation, one of the worst in major college football. Griffin frequently dropped back only to find the rush in his face immediately. He often had to take off running for reasons of self-preservation if nothing else.
The analyst said that while Griffin would occasionally run when he had more time to check more options but that his statement that he’s “throw first, run when I need to” is largely true.
Rich Tandler will be covering the NFL Combine from Indianapolis all week. Any questions? Hit him up on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.