By Tarik El-Bashir
It’s expected that Robert Griffin III will make plays with his arm and his legs. But it’s also possible his mere presence in the pocket will benefit the Redskins, the team’s running backs in particular, according to an article in Pro Football Weekly.
After averaging 100.9 yards per game (25th in the league) and 4.9 yards per carry (22nd) in 2011, writer Eric Edholm predicts those numbers will be improved this season, in part, due to “the presence of Griffin and the threat of him opening things up for the backs.”
A former Broncos assistant who spent time on Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan’s staff in Denver (and who requested anonymity because his current team plays the Redskins this season) told PFW this week that Griffin and his unique set of skills will change the dynamic of the Redskins’ run game.
“I am still trying to figure out if the kid (Griffin) is a special quarterback, but you watch, they’ll bootleg and play action off that (outside) zone series and it will mess up some (defensive assignments),” the assistant said. “You have to respect the run, but you also have to honor (Griffin’s) athleticism.”
Edholm adds that Griffin’s ability to connect on deep passes will “prevent safeties from edging up closer to the line of scrimmage.”
“It will kill teams," the coach said. "Pretty soon you start thinking only about the quarterback; you tell your guys to stay home more, and that’s when the backs will dice you up.”
The article concludes that Griffin’s arrival is “good news for Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster” who “might have just gotten a little better with a different quarterback on the field.”