As if Sunday’s 20-point blowout wasn’t depressing enough in real time, I rewatched the festivities and focused on bad dropback plays from Robert Griffin III.
Bad dropback plays don’t necessarily mean incompletions or misses, but instead failing to see open guys, holding the ball too long, committing turnovers, and taking unnecessary sacks.
Just a few notes before diving in:
— It’s always easier to go back and watch the film and scream for what a guy should’ve done. But this isn’t me ignorantly saying I could’ve done it better myself. Instead, just couch quarterbacking at its finest.
— I read a few takes regarding Griffin and his struggles being a result of less play action. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that (play action opens up passing lanes and Griffin thrived with that as a rookie in 2012), it’s not like guys aren’t open without play action. Quite the opposite, actually. Griffin just isn’t hitting them.
— A constant theme throughout the following screen shots consists of Griffin eyeing down one receiver, not throwing his guys open, and not trusting what he sees when he actually does see it. Often times I’d catch myself saying, “Just throw it, dude.”
— For the record, I won’t forecast Griffin’s future in Washington — at least not yet — because it’s depressing and makes my brain hurt. However, I do think it’s too soon to write him off with no chance of becoming an effective NFL quarterback. Call me naive, I guess.
Throw No. 1 — Not a whole lot going on for Griffin down field and the rush is clearly pressing, but Jordan Reed appears like a decent option and there’s a wide receiver clearly open on the screen.
Throw No. 2 — The more I see this failed third down attempt, the more I feel like it was miscommunication. Jordan Reed is running a slant and that’s what Griffin is throwing to, but it appears Reed feels the oncoming defender and slows up a bit (maybe to sit in a spot). Hard to put this on Griffin or Reed because we don’t know the communication, but it’s a failed play nonetheless.
Throw No. 3 — Despite being backed up in his own end zone, Griffin has time. He needs to anticipate these kinds of throws and give his guys a shot with plenty of space in front of the safeties.
Throw No. 4 — Again, tough spot to throw from, but Griffin has the time. Every receiver has decent position on their man and the safety can’t afford to break this early. Throw your guy open.
Instead, Griffin waits, holds the ball, and the middle linebacker gets a hand on a poor pass that deflects and eventually lands in Jonathan Banks’ hands, who returns it for a touchdown.
Throw No. 5 — Not an easy toss for Griffin, but he has a pocket and at least one good option on this route. The safety crashing down on the crossing receiver is a little intimidating, but still doesn’t appear to be a huge risk if the ball is thrown well.
Throw No. 6 — Probably a tight squeeze for Griffin, but not an impossible completion. He has the pocket to throw and this is one of the spots where you’d like to see Griffin survey the defense pre-snap and give his receiver a heads up on what to be ready for.
Throw No. 7 — Another chance to throw to open space and trust your receivers. Everyone knows Griffin can make these throws because we’ve seen him throw them before. Some sort of mental block feels like the only rational excuse.
Throw No. 8 — Time, open guys, space. Not sure what happens here.
Throw No. 9 — Arguably the most frustrating miss of the game. Sure Griffin overthrew a couple deep balls to DeSean Jackson throughout the game, but he didn’t even appear to notice him streaking free on this play.
A decent throw and it’s a first down. A good throw and it’s probably six points.
There’s also the receiver in the middle, which is a likely completion and — assuming Griffin hits him in stride — a potential one-on-one with the safety following the catch.
Throw No. 10 — This play may not look like much, but a completion to Pierre Garcon (coming from the bottom of the screen) gives you positive yards rather than a sack. Griffin shouldn’t second guess himself on these kinds of plays — he has the arm strength to fire ‘em in there and give his receivers a stab at the catch.
Throw No. 11 — No idea. Griffin has his feet set like he wants to throw, he has guys open with plenty of space. Just throw it, man.