With OTAs, everyone can look good playing in shorts without real pressure. But coaches and journalists can now see these guys in person and on the practice field, and the early reports are enthusiastic when it comes to Robert Griffin III.
The power is so great the Washington Redskins don’t describe their prodigy’s throwing as a verb but rather a noun.
“The Arm,” they say. And every conversation about Robert Griffin III includes some mention of “The Arm” because those players who have experienced it don’t appear to have seen something quite like “The Arm” before.
They try to describe it, putting into words the strength that awes them. And as they do, the stories get larger and seemingly more preposterous, except that the men don’t smile when they tell them. They say “The Arm” is real, even if their attempts to make it come to life sound ridiculous.
“It’s more of running to your left and flicking your wrist and throwing the ball 70 yards,” Washington’s backup quarterback Rex Grossman said, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.
Then he shook his head.
“His arm almost comes off like a whip,” Grossman added, holding his own hand above his head, then flinging it forward about a foot in a vain attempt to demonstrate the way Griffin throws.
It looks a lot like the way Michael Vick throws, Grossman finally said. Perhaps nobody in the NFL throws the ball harder with seemingly less effort than Vick. Except maybe now, RG III.
I saw Vick play live in college and I was struck then with his sling-shot arm. Despite his drama-filled career we all got to see that arm in the NFL as well. Yet Vick is also an example of how arm strength and speed will only take you so far. Time will tell if RG3’s impressive physical talents leads to championship-level play.
As for Brandon Weeden, he doesn’t have the star power of RG3, at least not yet, but he’s benefiting from being compared to Colt McCoy. The Cleveland media has been pretty hard on Colt, saying that he looks like a little kid next to Weeden, but McCoy hasn’t helped his standing much with his demeanor. All of the confidence seems to be gone, and watching Weeden make rocket throws down field hasn’t helped things. Weeden is bigger and stronger and he has a much better arm. There’s no disputing that, even if we’re just in OTAs. Of course Weeden has to prove he can deliver against a pass rush, but he has the tools to succeed.