Aug 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) in a preseason NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Keys to the Game – Efficient passing the ball
It’s been established that the Washington Redskins need to find a way to give quarterback Robert Griffin III better pass protection against the Baltimore Ravens. However, even if pass protection improves, we still don’t know how RGIII himself will perform.
After sustaining a concussion last week he’s been cleared to play against the Ravens but how will this and the number of hits he took at the hands of the Lions affect his pocket presence. Griffin appeared to be flustered in the pocket last week prior to leaving the game.
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This is understandable considering how many times Griffin was hit but the top quarterbacks have the ability to shake that off and continue to make plays. Will RGIII be focusing more on the receivers in the pattern or on the pass rushers coming after him?
It will be a true test of adversity for Robert Griffin III. Sure, it’s just a preseason game but it won’t be your ordinary preseason game. The level of interest is sure to be high from fans and pundits alike to see how Griffin performs and how the offensive line blocks for him.
So Robert Griffin III needs to be ready to play well regardless of the circumstances as certain aspects of his game will be under heavy scrutiny. Like how long does he hold on to the football? Is he finding the open man? And when he is sacked is he securing the football?
We need to see if RGIII has improved at these aspects of the game. It’s not all on the O-line but some are quick to point out how many sacks the Redskins gave up on RGIII last year (33) and some of that was due to bad pass blocking. But some of it was also because Griffin simply held the ball too long.
There were times last season when he had receivers open but either didn’t see them or for some reason just didn’t get them the ball. It’s all there on the game tape. Fans, coaches and defenses need to see if these areas are improved over last year and this game will be a big indication of that.
Some have pointed out a lack of roll-outs called for RGIII this preseason to take advantage of his mobility and I agree with that. But you can’t call a roll-out on every pass play. NFL defenses will eventually take that away from you. This is why Griffin must improve in the pocket.
It makes the offense more unpredictable and gives a coach a lot more ways to attack a defense. You can’t just go with watered down play calling and hope you’re going to win. If pass protection improves this week and hopefully it will, then it should translate into better performance from Robert Griffin III.
So will the passing game fly high or fall flat? I don’t expect to see RGIII light up the Ravens defense through the air but we need to see an efficient passing game from the Washington Redskins.
How Robert Griffin III responds with all eye on him in this dress rehearsal could be an indication of how things might go to start out the regular season.