- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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ASHBURN, Va. -- The progress, or more accurate the results, change by the day. One day Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and the offense look sharp. The next day it could look different. That’s partly what happens when learning a new offense.
But that doesn’t mean Griffin ever feels overwhelmed learning Jay Gruden’s passing system. That’s a hard thing to admit anyway, but more than that, Griffin likes having more responsibility. And this gives him more.
“I don’t think anything they’re asking us to do is too much or too heavy for us,” Griffin said. “I like to think I can hold a lot of weight on my shoulders, as a quarterback, as a leader of the team. That’s the way it goes. That’s what the greats do and I want to be the greatest.”
Quite a lofty goal, but it’s not exactly the first time Griffin has uttered that line. And there’s a long way to go before fulfilling that sort of desire.
But the added responsibility shows up, too, in his communication at the line. Griffin has the power to audible in Gruden’s system, something he didn’t have the past two years.
“It’s a quarterback’s dream you want to have control at the line,” Griffin said, “to get out of things and to protect yourself in protection. I enjoy it. It’s fun.”
Griffin had a strong start to his day Friday in the full-team work, first hitting receiver DeSean Jackson in stride -- after he beat corner DeAngelo Hall -- and then having another good pass dropped by Jackson down the left seam.
After needing time in the pocket later, Griffin connected with tight end Jordan Reed down the left side. I couldn't tell if Griffin would have been sacked on the play or not. But it was a good throw.
Another time quick pressure by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was negated by a quicker decision by Griffin to throw a quick out to receiver Pierre Garcon.
Griffin missed Jackson once after he had extended the play by sliding to the left. The coverage was outstanding on this red zone play, but Griffin still was able to throw back to the right side, leading Jackson to the sidelines and allowing him to run. But Jackson mistimed the jump and the pass was incomplete.
There were times Griffin held the ball a long time -- again, it’s always tough to know why, whether it’s the coverage or the decision-making. Another time in the pocket Griffin did not get his feet around well enough and threw behind Jackson on a crossing route. Jackson got a hand on the ball, it popped up and Hall intercepted. Earlier in a red zone drill Griffin did get his feet around in the pocket, but a pass to a covered Reed was deflected, hit off safety Ryan Clark and into Hall’s hands.
I did like how Griffin connected with Reed on one out route, throwing it before he cut and leading to a completion.
Griffin showed excellent speed racing around the end on two different occasions (once when the linebacker to the right vacated the backside and created an opening).