A year ago, all eyes were on Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III as he came back from an ACL injury. On Monday, he was the "other" quarterback in the Redskins' preseason game.
Many folks tuned in to see Browns rookie Johnny Manziel, but got a good glimpse at Griffin as he prepares for a very important third season. Griffin's night was good, though definitely not perfect.
Griffin went 6-of-8 for 112 yards, and also rushed for 24 yards on four attempts. He moved well, which is a great sign. He also took a few huge hits, including getting bounced around by a couple Browns defenders on a run near the sideline. Taking hits has been a major concern for Griffin. He is mobile but doesn't always protect himself well, and looked really awkward on one slide Monday night. He needs to get better at avoiding the big hits or it will cut into how long his career will last.
"I'm fine," Griffin told ESPN after the game. "It's football. We get hit. We get bruises. But I'm fine."
It was also clear that staying in the pocket has become a major priority. Sometimes, he stood and delivered a nice ball after sticking in the pocket. But he had one bad mistake from the pocket when he tried to throw off his back foot. His pass was woefully short and intercepted by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. On a few passes his footwork looked off. He was still productive, and threw an especially nice deep ball on a 49-yard completion to Andre Roberts in the first quarter.
Griffin is facing a big season, especially since the Redskins added deep threat DeSean Jackson (who had two catches for 34 yards). He has all the weapons he needs to have a great bounce-back season, and get his career back to where it was when he was winning NFL offensive rookie of the year two seasons ago. His performance on Monday reinforced some of the positives we've seen from Griffin. He has a couple weeks to work out the rough parts.
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