"Monday Night Football" analyst Jon Gruden did a conference call Wednesday to discuss the quarterback prospects with which he's had a chance to work for his "Gruden's QB Camp" series in advance of the draft. He discussed them all, but the one of greatest concern to Washington Redskins fans is of course Robert Griffin III, whom the Redskins are expected to draft with the No. 2 pick two weeks from Thursday night. As reported fom Rich Campbell at the Washington Times:
"He can revive the Redskins as long as he stays healthy and he buys in and really takes to this new system and he continues to work. But this is a special young man whether the camera is on or off."
Gruden believes Griffin will succeed under Redskins coach Mike Shanahan because of Shanahan's track record with mobile quarterbacks.
"Some of the best tape that I've ever studied was Mike Shanahan and John Elway in Denver," Gruden said. "The back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams, they took advantage of John Elway’s mobility. A lot of people forget just how extraordinary Elway was handing the ball off to Terrell Davis, and those naked bootlegs off of those stretch plays were devastating.
"What Mike did in San Francisco with Steve Young, another mobile quarterback, those were as good of offensive tapes as I've ever seen. I think when you get Robert Griffin, one of the most explosive quarterbacks to ever play the position, in a Mike Shanahan-type system, the possibilities are very exciting, I think, with Mike Shanahan's imagination."
Gruden and Shanahan are friends, it should be noted. And it's also worth noting that Elway and Young are two of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the sport. Griffin could surely have a long and successful career without ever being nearly as good as either of those two players. But that word "revive" is a good one, since that will be the young man's task. (Unless the Colts surprise everyone and take him No. 1, in which case it will be Andrew Luck's task.)
The Redskins and their fan base are yearning for something about which to feel good. Excitement about the Redskins has been dormant for a long time. Just imagining Griffin in a Redskins uniform has begun to "revive" that excitement, but Griffin must deliver on his considerable promise in order to create a real "revival" for the Redskins and their fans. It's hard to find an expert anywhere who doesn't think he is capable of doing that.