Akh Blog: The franchise goes all in with RG3.
How he’ll redefine the concept of the “Franchise QB”…
Up until Friday night, the term “franchise QB” was used to describe a Qb that you build your team around. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers…these are who the term came to define. The redskins trade for the rights to Robert Griffin 3 will, in my opinion, come to redefine the term. With such a high price tag, Robert Griffin 3 has effectively become the franchise in DC. The investment put into him means that he has the veto power over just about everything now. Good thing that by all reports he’s a good, well grounded kid because this power could be corrupting. However, make no mistake: RG3 will outlast the Shanahans in DC in the short or long term. Almost no matter how Rg3 looks early on as a player, Snyder will choose him over either Shanahan no matter how it makes him look in the football world. If Kyyle starts trying to treat him like he did McNabb, Mike is going to have to back up Griffin over him because he didn’t trade 3 firsts for his son. To be totally honest, the entire offensive coaching staff is on notice for 2012. If there’s a clear struggle in any way between Griffin(aka The Franchise now) and the staff, the staff will be flushed in a season for guys who’ll run an offense more suited for Griffin.
Griffin’s taking the reins in DC will also mean a total change in the offense run in DC. I doubt that the skins will go full run/gun spread, but the shotgun spread will be a primary formation(or rather should be). This is not to say that Griffin can’t be comfortable in a bootleg WCO: he has the tools/head for it. The price paid for Griffin means that the skins have to maximize the value from him, and beyond focusing on improving the offense around him, this means changing things for what works for him primarily. They have some pieces for this with Cooley/Davis and Helu at Rb—they do need to change the WR corps entirely imo(save for Hankerson) and to improve the interior of the Oline. Griffin 3’s style of play suggests that the skins need to bulk up the line(its not going to matter whether the Oline is 6-3 or 6-6 in front of him due to his mobility and the use of the shotgun) and find a deep strike guy(maybe two) that Griffin can audible to if he sees an opening. In short yardage situations, I do think that you’ll see use of the option letting Griffin decide whether or not to run or throw it to keep defenses off balance(also expect a heavy use of this inside the 10 yard lines).
Was he worth the gamble?
This is the multiple first round pick question. The arguments seem to be twofold: 1-The skins are so desperate for a franchise Qb so the price is largely irrelevant(NFL personnel men are saying this essentially) and 2-no player is worth the amount of picks given up(NFL pundits are saying this). I think both arguments miss the mark. A franchise Qb is worth their weight in gold because you can build around them but price is a concern. At the very least you’re handcuffing how much you can invest in improving the team via the draft and Robert Griffin 3 will come into the league with a big debt to pay off to the franchise and the fans. Even the slightest wobble in his development will amplify the criticism/pressure to perform due to the price tag(fair or not). My biggest concern with him is his lack of bulk to take the hits in the NFL, and make no mistake: he’s going to get hit…a lot. The trade alone, much less the draft position puts him on a pedestal that opposing defenses are going to want to knock him off of. This is why I don’t want to see him running that much, too much invested to risk on a knee injury on a pointless 7 yard gain. Only time will tell whether Griffin was worth this risk(personally, I think that he’ll be a fine starter for the skins but this question will hinge on who the skins couldn’t get from all the dealt away picks), but I think that his chances are pretty good. Especially if the skins invest in an offense for him to use.
Who is this Griffin fellow anyways?
A primer on the skins’ new QB…
Arm strength: he can make just about every throw you need. His best routes seem to be fades, deep fades, skinny posts and the deep in. Has the arm strength to bullet a short ball in there before the defender can react also.
Leadership: showed amazing calm even when in BIG situations(like the final drive against Oklahoma, if you haven’t seen it, go to ESPN3 and check it out). I’m hard pressed to think of mistakes made in the cluch with him also.
Maturity: his big season came as a result of Griffin actively working on the holes in his game and he did this most offseasons at Baylor. Also, seems to have his head on straight by looking to the future(law school). Also, he’s married and academically was engaged.
Accuracy: not only can he pinpoint throws, he knows how to properly lead a WR to take advantage of a defender’s position. This might be due to familiarity with his WRs, but this is something that will come with time.
Calmness: in 2011, whenever he was blitzed, he rarely panicked. He calmly took his hot reads and took what he could get.
Mechanics: His delivery is smoother and cleaner then most vet NFL qb. Nice, clean single motion without a hitch or any delays. His mechanics are so good that
Size: He needs to bulk up to survive in the NFL. 240ish would be ideal. The body type he would like to emulate is McNabb in the early years.
Rushing stats: he had nearly 500 rush attempts at Baylor. I’m worried about how many hits he took. He needs to learn not to run(except whenever he can avoid a hit like going out of bounds or in the red zone).
Overall: A blue chip NFL prospect worthy of a top 3 pick. Even taking away his athleticism, he has the natural Qbing tools to be worth a high first. Smart, mature, tough, he’d be the #1 pick except for Luck.
Pro comparison: Jmo, but his game probably will resemble John Elway’s. A mobile bootlegger who’ll use his legs in certain situations and his cannon arm most of the time. Not saying he’ll have the same career, but he could in the right situation: he has those level of tools. At the absolute worst, I think that the skins are getting what the Jags were waiting David Garrard to be: mobile gunslinger who plays smartly.
Where do they go from here?
Firstly, Rex Grossman cannot be anywhere near The Franchise. Not in the film rooms together, the practice field, within a 100 yards of him, in the same zip code…anywhere. The Sex Dragon has so many bad habits as a player that I don’t want any chance that he passes them along to the Franchise. Find a vet who’s made the transition from a running QB to a pocket passer to teach him that transition. One name sticks out in the FA list: David Garrard. Yes, he was out of the league a year and never was that great a Qb, but considering the amount paid for The Franchise you start him from day 1. I feel comfortable with Garrard as the mentor/backup. This offseason(and probably the 2013 one as well) have one theme: putting Robert Griffin 3 in a situation to succeed. Fix the oline, fix the WRs, stabilize the backs/Tight ends…give him the tools to win with. If I were Shanahan, this is what I would do for the rest of the offseason:
Jabar Gaffney, Santana Moss, Stephen Bowen, Chris Chester, DeAngelo Hall
London Fletcher. 3 years, 20 million. Maybe a bit high but worth it. I have no prob giving him 4-5 million more then he’s worth to reward him(and see if his work habits rub off on The Franchise).
Carl Nicks OG. 6 years, 73 million. A hefty price tag, but a premiere OG.
Robert Meachem WR. 4 years, 31 million. A deep strike target. Inconsistent for sure, but can burn anyone.
Evan Mathis OG. 4 years, 21 million. Had a strong year in Philly(but was always a solid player when healthy). Chester is dumped to pay for the move and so he’s not targeted in the interior rush with Nicks on the line.
Pierre Garcon WR. 4 years, 31 million. He quietly put together a solid season for the Colts, but they appear to want to totally remake that franchise. He’ll be The Franchise’s Y reliable target type.
Sione Pouha NT. 3 years, 16 million. A real NT, with my dump of Bowen, Cofield and Jenkins move to 5 tech(with both backing up Pouha).
Richard Marshall CB. 3 years, 19 million. Sold if unspectacular starting CB.
3rd: Antonio Allen SS South Carolina. Basically a small LB with great ballhawk skills(10 turnovers in the last 2 seasons). Landry’s replacement. Very instinctive player who showed up in big situations for the Cocks.
4th: Robert Turbin RB Utah State. ZBS RB. I don’t think Shanny is too tied to Helu or Royster. Turbin is a real slasher type who can pass block. Durability is a concern.
4th: Jerry Franklin Defender Arkansas. Can play just about anywhere on the front 7. He’ll find a way to contribute somewhere.
5th: David Molk OC Michigan. A ZBS center, he needs to bulk up a bit.
6th: Neiko Thorpe S Auburn. CB turned to FS, 100+ tackles speaks to his value as a STer/backup imo
7th: Kentrell Lockett 34 OLB Ole Miss. Injury prone, but smart and experienced.