Don’t write off RG III just yet

No, Robert Griffin III isn't the league’s best quarterback, as he said Monday. But he still has a chance to become a good NFL QB.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/David Richard)

(AP Photo/David Richard)

Don’t write off RG III just yet

There may not be an NFL quarterback entering the 2015 season with more to prove than the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III. His excellent 2012 rookie campaign aside, during which he graded out as PFF’s No. 9 QB in the NFL and was named the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year, he hasn’t yet lived up to the expectations of a QB for whom his team traded three first-round picks.

The torn ACL that ended his 2012 season kept him out of the 2013 preseason, and while that season was an inconsistent one for Griffin, it wasn’t as bad as many seemed to think it was. In fact, despite the Redskins having a 3-6 record after nine games, Griffin had a positive grade as a passer. However, after a string of four below-average games, the Redskins decided to shut Griffin down for the season.

The 2014 season was Griffin’s worst. It started with a dislocated ankle in Week 2. It ended with seven straight negatively graded games to end the season for Griffin. From Week 9 onwards, only three quarterbacks posted a lower grade than he did. His four touchdowns were the fewest thrown during that same span.

Heading into 2015, it’s fair to wonder if Griffin will ever regain his 2012 form. He saw limited action in the Redskins’ first preseason game and finished with a positive grade on 18 snaps. He made a handful of good throws, including what would have been a 61-yard touchdown pass if Pierre Garcon hadn’t dropped the ball. Most importantly, he looked more comfortable inside the pocket and didn’t make any bad decisions. Coach Jay Gruden said that he was happy with Griffin’s progress, but that he still had a long way to go.

Griffin shouldn’t be expected to suddenly turn the Redskins around and lead them to a Super Bowl any time soon. But he still has the potential to be a good quarterback. This is a guy who has put up some impressive performances so far in his career, and if his calm and comfortable performance in his first preseason game is a sign of things to come, then perhaps 2015 is the season that Griffin starts to turn it around.

| Analyst

Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

  • Mark Erickson

    Decided to look through RGIII’s stats from last year after reading this article since I honestly didn’t invest much of my time last season watching him play. From the looks of it I’d have to agree with you, his completion percentage was extremely high (even more impressive when you discount dropped passes) and looks like he did extremely well with staying in the pocket. Looks like the problems came in if the ball wasn’t out of his hands quick enough. His deep ball accuracy wasn’t great nor was his accuracy after being in the pocket for over 2.5 seconds. He still threw accurately under pressure though. All of this is just looking at stats so take it for what it’s worth, but if the O-line can improve a bit and he can go through his reads quicker he’ll be just fine.

  • RDF

    I don’t argue with the guy’s need to assert his confidence in the following statement, I just find weird the incomprehensibility of it. Somehow it says “clueless” to me: “I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that. Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they’re not a top competitor, they’re not trying to be the best that they can be. There’s guys in this league that have done way more than me. But I still view myself as the best because that’s what I work toward every single day.”

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