Saturday, August 23, 2014

Griffin's biggest issues

Quick post highlighting what seem to me to be RG3's biggest problems right now based on last season and what has continued into this pre-season with the brace off and in a new offense:

1) Sometimes blatantly stares down a receiver. He needs to either scan like on any other pass play or get the ball out quickly, but sometimes-- I think when he knows where he's going to try and go with the ball-- he turns right to a guy but hesitates before throwing. I think the second of looking at the receiver might indicate that he doesn't trust the guy so he's trying to watch and make sure he's there and whatever, but it's kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy because that extra time spent telegraphing gives corners an easy opportunity to position themselves to sit on the route. These are generally his most egregious plays. If it's predetermined where he is going to go with the ball he needs to go there, not wait and then throw. If it's not, then he needs to go through his progressions until a guy is open. Those plays are the worst of both worlds.

2) Sliding. I don't know why it's so hard for him, but he's the worst slider ever. Every time he goes to the ground he looks liable to hurt himself, and half the time he gets hit anyway.

3) Sometimes-lazy footwork. His accuracy declines considerably when he doesn't stick with his mechanics. Not sure if compensating for his knee last year might have gotten him into some bad habits, because this wasn't such an issue his rookie season, but they need to be broken. He can place the ball very well almost anywhere on the field when he is meticulous about his form.

4) Knowing when to throw it away. I think a lot of his awful plays/interceptions are times when he knows it's not a high-percentage throw but is under pressure or its 3rd down or something and he tries to force it instead of living to fight another day. Griffin almost never just throws the ball away (or, decides to try and do it too late and gets hit and the ball goes bobbling off his hand). Contrast someone like Peyton Manning, where like 20% of his throws are out of bounds. He seems to be giving up on plays a little more often nowadays, but he usually runs it out of bounds when he does instead of throwing it away. Sometimes it's because he boots out to extend and see if he can find a seem up the sideline, but he should decide he doesn't sooner and chuck it instead of getting hit heading out or taking a 3 yard loss by sacking himself out of bounds.

5) Sometimes makes bad/inconsistent choices on when to pull it down and run and when not to. That's the kind of thing that will just come with time, though, as he works to transition his game.

Most of these were either non-present or very minimal issues in his stellar rookie year. I think some of them are a component of the way he's in his head trying to alter his game. The foot mechanics one is most worrisome, in my opinion. Now that he's completely healthy, Gruden needs to whip his ass back into shape, mechanics-wise.

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