LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — It’s no secret that Robert Griffin III significantly regressed in his sophomore season. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann said the drop was astounding, but foreshadows the third-year player will be able to return to his rookie form under new head coach Jay Gruden.
Griffin’s resurgence is already evident to Theismann, who joined the Sports Junkies Monday morning on 106.7 The Fan.
“He’s moving extremely well, very fluid, and has a lot of confidence,” Theismann said after watching a few of the Redskins organized team activities and mini-camp practices.
A dismal 2013 season led to Griffin’s highly publicized benching for the final three games and the firing of Mike Shanahan the day after the season ended. But how much of the Redskins first-to-worst regression could be attributed to the quarterback’s ailing knee?
“I wouldn’t say it’s all the knee,” said Theismann. “The offensive line didn’t block well. They got behind where he was forced to throw the ball. And Robert’s mechanics just went to heck in a hand basket.”
Theismann, who is the Redskins’ all-time leader in passing yards, said Griffin’s footwork caused many of his sophomore miscues.
“You just can’t thrown the football with your arm,” he explained. “Throwing the football is like hitting a golf ball — it starts from the waist down. If you don’t have a good foundation, if your feet aren’t set, if you’re not driving the ball it’s going to sail and go all over the place. And Robert made some bad decisions.”
Theismann quantified Griffin’s slump on a sliding scale.
“On a scale of 1-10… the first year was like a nine,” he said. “Last year was a three at best.”
The Heisman Trophy winner enlisted the services of famed quarterback coach Terry Shea this offseason to get back to basics and rectify the problem. And the way Theismann sees it, Griffin is going to get a mulligan on his second NFL season.
“Robert’s really a second-year quarterback in my opinion,” said Theismann. “You can’t discount the fact he had no opportunity through training camps, mini-camps, and OTAs to really work on his trade (last year). It went from rehab to opening game and our business just doesn’t work that way.”
But it’s going to be better the second time around, according to Theismann.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting year,” he said. “It’s going to be an interesting year. And once again we approach this year with caution optimism.”