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RG3 and his speed

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor University looks for a receiver during the team’s NCAA football game against the Washington Huskies at the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Joe Mitchell (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Jason Whitlock has an interesting take on Robert Griffin III and the impressive 40-time he displayed at the combine.

In my opinion, Griffin’s speed doesn’t enhance his draft stock. It damages it.

I am not a Robert Griffin hater. I love RG3. In all likelihood, he will be my favorite NFL player next season. He could quickly become my favorite active athlete, ahead of Tiger Woods, Ray Lewis and Jeff George (has yet to file his retirement paperwork).

But I’m worried about Griffin. He’s blessed with too many tools. Oftentimes, the greatest athletes are physically limited, which strengthens their focus. Bill Russell could never match Wilt Chamberlain’s size and limitless athleticism. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson weren’t the greatest leapers or the quickest on their feet.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are relatively immobile. They play from the pocket because they have no choice. They mastered the art of playing from the pocket because they had no other choice.

NFL games are won most consistently by quarterbacks who play from the pocket. If a quarterback leaves the pocket, he’s going to get hit. If a quarterback gets hit regularly, he’s going to get hurt. If a franchise quarterback gets injured, his team has little chance of winning the Super Bowl.

NFL teams are looking for the next Manning or Brady. Or the next Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger. A little mobility is good, especially if the quarterback moves in the pocket in an effort to throw downfield. Rodgers and Big Ben are terrific at moving to throw. Is that how Griffin will use his athleticism?

Or does Griffin have so much speed that he’ll channel Michael Vick?

Whitlock goes on to recount Vick’s early problems as he relied too much on his speed and athleticism. Athletes like Steve Young had to learn how to stay in the pocket.

Whitlock basically sums up the primary reason why Andrew Luck is rated higher than RG3, even as some think RG3 has more upside. It’s a risk/reward analysis. Luck has shown that he can win strictly as a pocket passer, using his athleticism only when needed.

Can RG3 learn to play that way? Of course he can. But just because he has the aptitude and temperament to learn doesn’t guarantee success. Luck isn’t guaranteed success either, but we’ve seen him operate consistently from the pocket, so there’s less risk.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Where will Peyton Manning go next?

Injured Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning watches from the sidelines before their NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Massachusetts December 4, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

It now seems obvious that the Colts will be parting ways with Peyton Manning. Anything can happen at this point, but Peyton’s recent interview made it pretty clear that he wasn’t a part of the new direction in Indianapolis. You can’t blame them, as they will have Andrew Luck and they would need to pay Peyton a king’s ransom to stick around. The team needs to be rebuilt, and keeping Peyton just delays the process.

The NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora makes a pretty good case that Arizona and Seattle are the two most likely spots.

Denard Robinson having some problems

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (16) runs the ball by Ohio State defender Johnathan Hankins (52) during the second quarter of their NCAA college football game in Columbus, Ohio, November 27, 2010. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Before the college football season started, I described the dilemma facing the Michigan coaches regarding Denard Robinson. Robinson is a great running quarterback, but he has problems throwing the football. With 11 interceptions so far this year, it looks like Brady Hoke’s plan to use Robinson in their pro style offense is running into serious problems.

Now we have Dave Miller from the National Football Post describing Michigan’s “Shielace” quandary:

But if Brady Hoke wants to win a Big Ten championship with the junior Robinson on his roster, the first-year Wolverines head coach may have to consider whether “Shoelace” is best suited to be the team’s quarterback on an every-down basis.

In Saturday’s loss at Michigan State, Robinson went 9 of 24 passing for 123 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Granted, it was a windy day in East Lansing. But even in ideal conditions, Robinson has shown this season that he isn’t a consistent passing threat in Al Borges’ offense.

What’s most alarming for the Michigan coaching staff is Robinson’s propensity to throw up jump balls — wild tosses that can result in big plays for either the Michigan offense or the opposing defense. This fall, “Shoelace” is completing only 53.9 percent of throws, and he’s already thrown 10 interceptions. He threw 11 picks all of last season while completing 62.5 percent of his passes.

There’s no question that Robinson is one of the 11 best Wolverine players on offense. But is it time to turn the starting quarterback duties over to Devin Gardner, the No. 2 quarterback, and utilize Robinson in a variety of ways in Borges’ offense?

I think they’ll stick with Robinson, but he’s probably going to wilt again as he starts to face tougher defenses.

Oakland Raiders acquire Carson Palmer

Mike Florio is reporting that Carson Palmer has been traded by the Cincinnati Bengals to the Oakland Raiders. Jay Glazer broke the story and the compensation appears to be a first-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013 which is a second-rounder that could become a first-rounder.

This deal can be a huge win for both teams. The Bengals get two high draft picks for a player who basically told them to go to hell. The Raiders all of a sudden have a front-line quarterback to pair with their powerful running game. They are mortgaging the future, but they must see real potential to get to the playoffs and compete this season. Ironically, this is a the type of deal All Davis would have made.

Palmer has been an excellent quarterback for years, but his skills seem to have slipped a bit. That said, he has a big arm, and he can rejuvenate his career on a team with a running game.

As for the Bengals, everyone left them for dead at the beginning of the season because they had a rookie quarterback, but the Bengals have a solid defense and Dalton looks pretty good so far. Now they have more picks to build for the future.

Shanahan arrogance runs into reality of Rex Grossman

Benched Washington Redskins’ quarterback Rex Grossman (C) talks with injured teammate Chris Cooley (L) on the sideline during the second half of their NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Maryland, October 16, 2011. Also pictured is Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan (R). REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Is anyone surprised that Rex Grossman threw four picks and had to be benched against the Eagles? It was only a matter of time, but don’t tell that to the Shanahans.

Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle think they can coach up everybody. The problem is that Mike Shanahan hasn’t won anything since John Elway, one of the most gifted quarterbacks in NFL history, hanged hung up his cleats over a decade ago.

Now he’s stuck with Grossman and John Beck.

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