I know what you’re thinking; As if we could look any closer, right?
Every writer and reporter with any interest in Robert Griffin III has pretty much covered every aspect of his life and determined why he will be great. After further review, I’ve found more reasons why he is destined for greatness.
I’ll begin with life after his ACL injury in the third game of his sophomore campaign vs. Northwestern State. Immediately after he tore his ACL, he got it bandaged and went right back into the game. Griffin’s stats after the injury: 13-19 226 yds. 3 td 0 int.
I’ve never seen anyone play on an injury as severe as an ACL tear and still be as efficient as Griffin III was that day. It took a halftime evaluation for the training staff to even realize how injured Robert really was because he was playing so well. To have this type of drive and determination to lead your team, especially, when it’s the beginning of the season vs. Northwestern State, proves that Griffin III is destined for greatness.
Secondly, I’ll take a look at his year by year progression at Baylor. After his stellar 2010 year where he threw 454 passes with 67% completed for 3,501 yards and 22 touchdowns, it was hard to believe that a quarterback can improve on those numbers by much. Especially competing in a conference like the Big 12. With that said, Griffin III threw 402 passes (52 less than 2010) with 72.4% completed (5.4% better than 2010) for 4,293 yards (792 more than 2010) for 37 touchdowns (15 more than 2010).
Progression like that can only occur when the player fully dedicates himself to their craft. It takes lots of study time in the film room, lots of reps with your skill position players so that you are always on the same page and the brain power to put all of that together to figure out how to do the same job better with less attempts at it. This is the type of player you target when considering making them the signal caller for your offense. Not too many people can master progression of this caliber at that level of competition.
Thirdly, Griffin III changes the way his team approaches practice. Yes, I’m talking about practice! For those who have seen Robert Griffin III at Baylor’s Pro Day, you can see how serious he approaches preparation even while noticeably having fun doing it. After watching the Baylor Pro day for a second time, I saw somethings that clearly show why Griffin III is one of a kind.
– Warming up: Look at when he first begins warm ups. What usually occurs is the receivers run through a few routes to get loose and give the quarterback time to get his arm ready. Notice how the receivers stay down the field and after the last receiver has gone, Griffin III ran down to the the other end of the field to throw the opposite way. Receivers in every other warm up drill I’ve seen run back to get in line and the quarterback is stationary, throwing the same way. Right?
In the Oklahoma game last year, numerous times Baylor was at the line ready to go when Oklahoma’s defense was scrambling all over the place and getting caught in the middle of substitutions. As I watch the Pro day, I see how quickly his receivers and center get set and are focused waiting of the snap count. It’s obvious how this translated into real time situations. How many times have you seen Washington burn time outs and get delay of game penalties because the team wasn’t set and ready to play fast enough. I’m willing to bet that with this type of tempo change mindset in Washington, there will be very few offensive false start and delay of game penalties. With his very short snap count it will also make for a very effective hard count used to draw defenses off sides.
The word “determined” on his chest explains it best. You have to be determined to be great in order to exert this type of effort and focus into practice.
Last but certainly not least, he became the face of Baylor football. In a conference with powers such as Texas and Oklahoma, he managed to not only put Baylor in the conversation but took them down head to head. He will face a similar challenge coming into Washington as there haven’t been glory days here in a long time. Dallas, Philadelphia and New York have solidified their spots at the top of the division and Washington need Griffin III to become the Son of Washington the same way he became the King of Baylor.
As Redskins Nation sits back awaiting the draft where we anticipate Commissioner Goodell say,” With the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…” I will continue to find more reasons for fans of the burgundy and gold to fall in love with Robert Griffin III. A talent like this doesn’t come along very often and to think that his only downside is that he may retire early to become a lawyer! Even with this being the case, Washington still may come out on top because then Griffin III could represent the Redskins in the case of these salary cap penalties.