July 19, 2014 in Redskins Personnel
As Training Camp is about to start, now is a good time to take a look at where the Redskins roster stands and how strong it is at each position heading into the season. First up Quarterbacks:
Starter: Robert Griffin III
-RGIII's sophomore season was a year to forget, for both the team and it's fanbase. The 2012 Rookie of Year winner, took a major step back last season as he struggled in returning from his ACL injury suffered in the playoff loss the season before. While there are a number of contributing factors to why it happened, the end result was a quarterback who was pretty ineffective, and at times a liability. Even without having to return from a serious injury, Griffin's performance would have likely gone down as a number of young quarterbacks experience a sophomore slump.
Now the question becomes just how much can Griffin bounce back this season. The 3rd year (as a starter) for young quarterbacks is typically the year that will set the tone for their future career, as they should now have had time to correct bad habits and have a far better understanding of how to read NFL caliber defenses. Griffin has to work on some things this offseason as he looks to take the next step in becoming a top tier Franchise quarterback and the addition of new coach Jay Gruden, could be the answer to helping Griffin overcome these bad habits. Griffin has to work on his footwork and pocket presence, as with most young quarterbacks he has a penchant for holding on to the ball for too long. Griffin also needs to do a better job going through his progressions during a play. When Griffin's first and second options are covered is when he typically gets himself into trouble.
The good news is that Griffin has a lot of natural talent going for him. Even with the knee injury, he will likely be one of the fastest and most athletic quarterbacks in the league, which will force defenses to respect his ability and potentially open up other options for the offense. Griffin also has a cannon for an arm, and can make every throw that is required from him. If he can throw more often with proper footwork and work on his pocket presence and progressions, he has the upside to become a great quarterback.
Back-ups: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy
-Kirk Cousins remains the primary back-up for the Redskins and they should be pretty happy in that regard. Cousins doesn't have the best numbers (though a lot of that can be attributed to the situations he's been put in), but has flashed more than enough potential to suggest that he could eventually become a starter in this league. In the meantime he's one of the better back-up quarterback options in the NFL, and gives the Redskins a legitimate option if RGIII can't go.
Colt McCoy signed as the Redskins 3rd quarterback this year, and while he's got zero chance of being able to unseat either the top two options, this was a nice pick-up for the Redskins. Given the heightened injury risk to Griffin, the Redskins would be wise to have 3 quarterbacks undercontract and should likely keep all 3 when the season starts. McCoy will likely never become the starter that some envisioned after his brilliant college career at Texas, but he's got a little experience and should be a viable back-up caliber quarterback.
Season Outlook: Good to Very Good
-There is little reason to think that Griffin won't improve this season from last year, the only real question is how much improvement can be expected? If Griffin has moderate to good improvement the Redskins will be in a good situation at quarterback this season, but if Griffin really takes the next step, they will quickly have one of the better quarterbacks in the league. It's tough to say just how much Griffin can improve this year as there is a lot of a gray area, but overall it should be a positive for the Redskins and this will likely be a strength for the Redskins organization going forward.