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Should the Redskins exercise more caution to protect Robert Griffin III?

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Grant Paulsen
Grant Paulsen
106.7 The Fan Redskins Beat Reporter @granthpaulsen

If we were having this debate three weeks ago I would have said, “Yes, the Redskins need to be more cautious with their use of Robert Griffin.”

But his carry totals in the past two games are the two smallest of his season. In fact, in Sunday’s game when Griffin suffered the first concussion of his career – he had run the ball just one time through two-and-a-half quarters and he got hurt on a designed pass that resulted in a scramble attempt in the red zone. Scrambles by a speedy quarterback will never be avoided, regardless of how cautious Washington’s coaching staff is.

What I will say is that the notion that Griffin shouldn’t be utilized as a ball-carrier on designed runs is preposterous. He’s a dynamic runner with Olympic-caliber speed and he was drafted No. 2 overall because his running ability is game-changing and can cripple a defense.

Not allowing Griffin to utilize his feet would be no different than asking Justin Verlander or Stephen Strasburg to stop throwing their curveball. That offering is devastating for both of those two pitchers, and without that pitch they wouldn’t be nearly as lethal or threatening to their adversaries.

The Redskins have to find a way to allow Griffin to be himself as a rusher, while coaching in a way that protects him. Maybe you only run keepers to the short side of the field, perhaps you better instruct him on sliding and when to get down. They have an obligation and a responsibility to keep him healthy. But you didn’t draft him to make him a pocket passer. He is not a cookie-cutter quarterback and he shouldn’t be treated like “just another passer.” You have to utilize his skillset to allow your offense and your team to flourish.

He’s special. Let him be special.

credit: Carroll family
Chuck Carroll
106.7 The Fan Sports Blogger @thechuckcarroll

Whether we were having this debate three weeks ago or having it today is irrelevant. The answer remains the same – ‘yes.’

The Redskins paid a steep price for a long-term investment. Mike Shanahan and the Redskins sent this year’s first and second-round selections as well as their 2013 and 2014 first-round picks to the St. Louis Rams for the privilege of drafting Robert Griffin III.

Surely you’d want to be careful with the man for whom you’ve mortgaged the future.

Shanahan has stated Griffin is less likely to be injured on designed run plays. And perhaps he’s right.

The mild concussion Griffin sustained came on a 3rd-and-goal pass play. With all receivers covered, he rolled to the right, trying to elude the rush and gallop into the end zone when Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon rocked him with a vicious shoulder-to-helmet hit that ended his day.

Griffin has proven he has the ability to escape approaching pass rushers in Houdini-like fashion and take off with jackrabbit speed, but what about throwing the ball away? The game was tied at the time and a field goal would have sufficed.

Griffin simply needs to learn to pick his spots. And that’s the type of discipline the Shanahan and the Redskins coaching staff can instill in the youngster.

It’s not a matter of changing his game style, per se. It’s a matter of knowing when to flash RGIII and when to let it go. Doing so will ensure Griffin will indeed be the quarterback of the future.

Pick your spots and get down, Griffin.

Citizens

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