What happened to RGIII?

Robert Griffin III and Stewart Scott

Several years ago I attended the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards and RGIII was there as one of the presenters. He was riding high as a high draft pick after the Redskins had mortgaged their future by trading a boatload of draft picks. Meanwhile, as a Browns fan, I had to hear about how the Browns blew it by not offering even more for the right to draft him.

Several years later things have changed quite a bit. The Redskins are a mess and RGIII has been benched by Jay Gruden. Meanwhile, Kyle Shanahan is the offensive coordinator for the Browns who are 7-4 with Brian Hoyer as the starter.

What happened?

This article from Greg Cosell sums up just how bad RGIII is playing, and also addresses the challenge of having read-option quarterbacks try to become pocket passers.

The landscape has changed considerably since RGIII had a monster rookie season as the Shanahans were equally brilliant and crazy for the way they used him. They took advantage of his amazing speed and running ability to construct an offense that was very difficult to stop. With the running threat, it made it even easier for RGIII to excel in the passing game as receivers were wide open.

But then he got hurt. And they kept running him.

It should have been obvious then that there’s no way you can have long-term success running your quarterback, unless you go three deep at that position like you do with your running backs. Griffin is an amazing talent who we know know is fragile both physically and emotionally. He’s been pampered, and when the Redskins brought in Jay Gruden and a traditional West Coast Offense things got much more difficult for Griffin. He had to learn a complex system and operate from the pocket.

The results haven’t been pretty, and now his future in Washington is in doubt.

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