Tip-Off for 9/26/12 (featuring Mos Def): Are NFL coaches are putting multi-dimensional quarterbacks in harms way?

(Nick Wass/AP)

                                   Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is knocked out of boards shy of the goal line during the second half of an NFL football game against Cincinnati Bengals in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

If the recent playcalling for RG3 continues, you can count on his career being shortened.

Robert Griffin III has taken a beating three weeks into his highly anticipated rookie season.

Two weeks ago against the St. Louis Rams Griffin claimed that the Rams took shots at him after the play. Last week against the Cincinnati Bengals the pounding continued. Griffin was sacked six times and by his own recollection cannot remember the number of times he was hit. 

The question that needs to be asked is why are multi-talented quarterbacks like Griffin are being asked to run when his arm is just as effective?

This is a sight Skins’ owner Daniel Snyder doesn’t want to see on a regular basis.

The coaches approach to multi-faceted quarterbacks hasn’t changed since the days of Randall Cunningham. Coaches continue to put more emphasis on the running ability of quarterbacks as opposed to using his skills as passer as well. Opposing defenses anticipate the moment when RG3 or Cam Newton leave the pocket, out running blockers and entering their crosshairs.

Griffin has 32 rushes for 209 yards and three touchdowns over three games. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has inserted some plays that Griffin ran at Baylor into the Redskins playbook which is the easiest way to land your quarterback on the cart. In the case of Newton, his coaches have become so caught up in his size and speed that they forget that he is a quarterback with a powerful and accurate arm. Unless a coordinator has observed a weakness in the defense that the quarterbacks legs can expose it would be foolish to run them just for the sake of running.

I’m waiting for the day when a multi-dimensional quarterback gets the same playbook as Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers isn’t asked to run because the Packers play to his passing strengths. The Packers roll the pocket or bootleg occasionally. I can assure you that Mike Shanahan never attempted to run any kind option with John Elway.

It’s often mentioned concerning these players that coaches have to protect them from themselves which couldn’t be further from the truth. Coaches have ignored running the ball and most importantly getting the proper protection when it comes to the passing game.

The Lineup:

Hawks will not offer Josh Smith an extension (Inside Hoops).

Players will not boycott games (Pro Football Talk).

Jason Terry is on a mission (Dime Magazine).

Off the field squabble continues (NFL.com).

The Marlins put Heath Bell on blast (Miami Herald).

Jim Thome is still rolling (Fox Sports).

Shyne drops ‘Gangland’ mixtape tracklist (So Raspy).

NFL owners not budging on deal for refs (NFL Football News).

Packers or Falcons will not be fined for Tweets (NFL.com).

Top ten basketball shoes since 2000 (Dime Magazine).


Umi says…

9 Responses to “Tip-Off for 9/26/12 (featuring Mos Def): Are NFL coaches are putting multi-dimensional quarterbacks in harms way?”

  1. MODI says:

    You are right. Elway ran the ball well but always as the last option. Say like 4th and 10 on The Drive. RGIII should be handled similarly at the pro level. Far more worried about him than Cam given his size

  2. Temple3 says:

    Just a few thoughts here:

    RGIII is averaging 10 carries per game. That’s incredibly high, but only marginally higher than Steve Young’s year-long totals during his rookie season.

    Elway’s highest average carries per game was 5.5, also his rookie season. Over the past 30 years, only 10 QBs have averaged that many rushing attempts per season, and only Vick, Culpepper, Cunningham, and Kordell Stewart have done this for more than 1 season.

    RGIII’s numbers are going to come down. If for no other reason than as he becomes more acclimated with the speed of the NFL game, he’ll transition from running to save his life to running to extend plays.

    This video of Elway shows a mix of both types of plays. The key for RGIII is to make the decision to pass rather than cross the line of scrimmage.

    Also, when Elway was doing most of his running, he was usually the 3rd rushing option on his team (RGIII is the 2nd option right now…Roy Helu??)…Denver didn’t have a power running game…and he was only marginally successful as a passer. Elway didn’t hit the trifecta as a passer (yards, high TDs, low INTs) until he was 33 and Shannon Sharpe was on the roster. So, media amnesia aside, Elway’s career always demands a bit of closer scrutiny. RGIII already has a 67% completion percentage and has only thrown 1 pick. So, I think there is a measure of subtlety here that’s worth discussing.

    RGIII may either need Fred Davis to evolve into a poor man’s Shannon Sharpe or for Shanahanigan’s to round out that receiving corps. You can have the playbook, but you need the players. We just saw Aaron Rodgers get his a$$ handed to him by the Seahawks defense because his receivers couldn’t get open.

    Every athletic QB who has played with shitty wide receivers has been through this. Vick went through it in Philly. McNair went through it in Tennessee. McNabb went through it in Philly. Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon are not elite receivers.

  3. Temple3 says:

    Ron — you are on the SUBLIMINAL TIP!!!!!!!!!

    I just listened to Umi Says and didn’t even realize that was the video you posted here. WOW!!

  4. Sinclair says:

    The elite WR argument is fraught with complexities. Steve Smith is elite and it’s not doing Cam much good. On the other hand, Fitzgerald is making Kolb look not terrible – something I never thought was possible. Then there’s Brady, who has forged a first ballot HOF career while playing with only one elite WR for one season (Moss, 2007.) A QB’s performance depends on so many factors outside of their control. But the prime factor, in my opinion, is the o-line. This game begins and ends in the trenches. It’s not trendy to talk about but offensive line play MEANS EVERYTHING. It is the foundation of ALL OFFENSIVE EXECUTION. Weapons don’t mean shit, if you can’t block for the QB. And I include the running backs in the blocking business. Trying to execute an offense without offensive line weapons is like framing a house without a foundation. What’s the point?

    Also, I agree with Temple3 that the sample size is way too small to pass judgements on RG’s whole career. 3 games? Please.

  5. Temple3 says:

    I agree on the elite WR thing. I guess I was basically thinking that Moss is old and Garcon can’t catch. In Carolina, the issue is that without Jonathan Stewart, teams can often successfully commit to stopping the Carolina run game without committing a safety…and they can effectively double Steve Smith wherever he goes.

    Brandon LaFell, according to Mayock, has improved. I don’t really see it. Carolina needs a number 2 receiver to step up. Olsen and Smith were blanketed by the Giants…and if you’re first and second looks are taken away, you’re usually in trouble.

    What did Rodgers do when Jennings and Jordy N. couldn’t get off the line of scrimmage? He ducked and chucked. And his coach took the heat for opting not to run earlier in the game (You listening Andy Reid??).

    Guys are simply going to have trouble when they face teams with solid edge rushers and stout DTs. St. Louis has that — and so do the Bengals. The Saints don’t, and Washington dropped a 40 spot on ’em. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Washington beat Tampa, and then struggle against more stout Front Fours in ATL, Minnesota and the Giants.


  6. DeShawn says:

    Name one NFL position player that can do his job well when his teammates aren’t doing theirs. QBs are susceptible to a poor offensive line or receivers who can’t run a route. Punters obviously need a good OL. Placekickers can be thrown by a bad snapper or a bad holder. Wide receivers will drop passes or get creamed by a safety if the QB doesn’t pinpoint his throw. Running backs are nothing without good blockers. Even guys like Darrelle Revis are ineffective if his fellow safeties and corners stink, because then the QB never has to throw in his direction. No football player can play his particular game well and with great impact if his teammates aren’t doing their jobs. The situations for Vick, Newton, Griffin, and so on all boil down to this. There’s no conspiracy afoot. Such thinking is ridiculous.

  7. DeShawn…what’s ya Daddy’s name?

  8. Sinclair says:

    Is there something personal going on here that I’m missing?

  9. Melzie says:

    Unfortunately, RG3 is experiencing the effects of the Skins notoriously physically broken down offense. Year after year, they fail to keep the O line starters healthy. I guess my point is that it’s one thing if the strategy is to run the ball often and it’s effective, but when your QB is running to make a play and trying to keep a 300lb LB off his tail that’s an issue. It’s been a downfall for years and I’m worried we’re right back to the same ol’ stuff.