RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC) — The point was not to talk shop with one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. There would be time for Robert Griffin III to do that.
But Monday’s joint practice with the New England Patriots was about business first. It was a chance for his team to evaluate itself against top competition and get better. Still – Griffin relished the chance for a brief chat with New England’s star quarterback.
“I got a chance to talk to [Brady]. He was interacting with the team – his team and our team, just talking to people and just to see them work,” Griffin said. “They’re out there on the field, we get a chance to watch them a little bit, but at the same time we’re trying to discuss what we’re trying to do on offense. That’s not really a time for us to watch him like we’re at a zoo.”
Griffin, running a new version of the West Coast offense this season, marveled that Brady has been in the same system for 15 years. That stability is a tribute to his immense talent and a big reason why the Patriots have been to five Super Bowls and won three of them. Brady talked to Griffin, 24, about the years he still has in front of him. He’s a third-year quarterback now playing in his second offensive system.
“Going up against Tom is a great way for anybody to get better,” Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather said. “I’m sure their defense go up against him every day. I’m sure they could tell you a lot of things that they going against to get better. Just like their defense going against RG3. Anytime you’ve got somebody that’s a different kind of player, you kind of pull things out from it.”
Indeed, several Patriots mentioned that benefit they will get from trying to stop a mobile quarterback like Griffin for three days in practice. They will see a few similar quarterbacks during the regular season. Washington’s players hoped to get the same use – though few NFL quarterbacks are as accurate as Brady – and agreed any chance to interact and watch Brady work in a practice setting would help Griffin.
“I was over there talking to Tom a little bit in between periods, and just his approach to the game, that’s what you want out of your quarterback,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “If [Griffin is] watching a guy, there’s nobody better than Tom, Peyton [Manning], Drew [Brees] and, you know, Aaron Rodgers and guys like that. It’s definitely going to be good for Robert to kind of sit back, watch Tom kind of command the huddle, you know, get plays out, get checks out and just his demeanor in the huddle.”
Griffin wasn’t completely sharp in 11-on-11 drills Monday, with a few balls being batted down by the New England defensive line and a few instances of holding onto the ball too long, though he looked better during on 7-on-7 work.
“It challenges you as an offense to be efficient, and I think we had more where we were on than we weren’t,” Griffin said. “But we also had some plays where we can get better. That’s just what it is about football and practicing every day – there’s always going to be something. It’s kind of like golf – you know, you can go really bad for 17 holes, but on 18, hmm, you hit a birdie? You’re back the next day. You’ve just got to keep working at it.”