Mike Shanahan said he would change his offensive scheme to fit rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, and in Week 1 he was true to his word. Griffin used play-action on 16 drop-backs last Sunday in New Orleans, which is the second-highest total of play-action pass plays since Shanahan became the Redskins’ coach. Griffin was 11-of-14 for 237 of his 320 yards on play-action passes. Washington also operated out of a shotgun or “pistol” formation on 54.9 percent of their offensive plays Sunday, which is the second-highest such percentage during Shanahan’s time as their coach and just the second time they’ve been over 50 percent under Shanahan. In his first two years in Washington, the Redskins operated out of shotgun or shotgun-variation sets just 28.2 percent of the time.
Earlier this week, the NFL named Griffin III the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 1. Today, it was announced that Griffin III was voted the NFL Rookie of the Week.
Griffin III completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, finishing his regular season debut with a 139.9 passer rating.
He added 42 yards rushing on 10 carries as the Redskins topped the New Orleans Saints 40-32.
Griffin III deflected the praise earlier this week, sharing in the glory with his teammates.
“Well, it was more than just myself,” he said on Wednesday. “All the guys who were out there performed at a high level and it paid off for us with a win and, I guess, with another win for Offensive Player of the Week.”
It was a completely different offense than Redskins fans are accustomed to, in particular due to the play-calling. It was refreshing to see a dose of read-option pass and run plays injected into the game plan, and there’s no question that the Saints defense was off-balance for the entire game.
It was the type of performance that makes you wonder how many possibilities there are for this team, especially considering the skill set of RGIII.
If Jammal Brown were 100 percent healthy, the Redskins would not hesitate to throw him right back into their starting mix. They believe the line functions best with a healthy Brown at right tackle. But they also don’t believe (because they’ve seen so much evidence to the contrary) that they can count on Brown to stay healthy. So they started him on the PUP list, and after the first six weeks they’ll see where he stands. They do think a 100 percent Brown is better than Tyler Polumbus, but they don’t think an 80 percent Brown who might have to come out of the game at any time is a better option than a 100 percent healthy Polumbus. So again, the continuity factor wins out. Don’t be surprised if Polumbus just holds down the gig all year.