WASHINGTON — Former Redskins quarterback and current TV analyst Joe Theismann had a bird’s eye view for Robert Griffin III’s disheartening performance against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.
Plagued by a ferocious pass rush, poor blocking and indecision, Griffin III was hit on nearly all of his eight pass attempts, leaving the game with a concussion suffered during the team’s fourth possession.
On Friday, Theismann joined Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, advocating for something that many Redskins fans won’t want to see: more preseason, first-team repetitions with RGIII under center.
“I don’t know how anyone could even try and evaluate Robert [Griffin III] based on what we saw in the eight [pass] plays that he played,” Theismann opined. “He got pummeled from every which way when he dropped back.
“Robert is still in the stages of trying to be comfortable as a drop-back passer.”
Theismann revisited his vitriol for the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which severely limits padded practices during training camp and throughout the season.
“I was listening to someone this morning say, ‘Should starters play in the preseason?'” he said. “They have to, because the Collective Bargaining Agreement has hurt players so bad. Young players, veteran players–everybody–because nobody hits anybody.
“You’re not allowed to hit, so you have no live contact, no live bodies flying around you in practice. The only time you get any semblance of what a game is going to be like, is when you play in the preseason. [Griffin III] was scheduled to play the entire first half of [Thursday’s game], 25-30 snaps, which would’ve been great for him.”
Theismann was tuned in to some of the suggestions that fans were offering, but couldn’t endorse some of the “common sense” solutions.
“I’ve heard some people say, ‘Well, wouldn’t it be something to put Colt [McCoy] or Kirk [Cousins] out there with the first team and put Robert out there with the second team just to be able to work on his drop-backs?'” Theismann recalled. “That’s…dumb! He’s your starting quarterback.
“The organization, Jay [Gruden], everybody made the decision that he was going to be the starting quarterback. You go out and perform the duties of a starting quarterback, which means you go out there with the starting units. It’s ones against ones.”
Recognizing that Griffin III can’t control the plays that are called or the performance of the offensive line, Theismann still expressed frustration with RGIII’s learning curve.
“Robert can’t keep getting hurt and winding up missing time, not being able to improve and get better at trying to become an efficient drop-back passer,” he said. “You just can’t keep taking two steps forward and one step back.
“Fortunately for the Redskins, we have 10 days. We don’t go until we have Baltimore next Saturday, and that is supposed to be the dress rehearsal. In a perfect world, Robert would play the first half and on into the third quarter.
“At this point, having these 10 days to sort of evaluate where he is, is excellent for him.”