Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Redskins 'feel great' about Luck and Griffin
By Dan Graziano
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- As you may have heard, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been wandering around the NFL owners meetings saying his team is undecided on whether it will take Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III with the No. 1 pick in the draft. Irsay could be telling the truth, or he could be putting up a smokescreen, as everyone does about the draft this time of year.
One thing is certain, though. The Washington Redskins, who traded three first-round picks and a second-round pick to the Rams earlier this month to move up to the No. 2 pick, don't care. They know they're getting one of those premium quarterbacks, and that's all that matters.
Mike Shanahan feels both of the top quarterbacks available in the NFL draft are athletic enough to thrive in his offense.
"That's a decision, when you get to the second pick, you've got to feel great about both guys," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Wednesday morning. "There can't be any, 'Oh, I hope I get this guy, I hope I get that guy,' because you don't know what's going to happen. You know what's reported, but you just don't know, especially with this process. But when we did move up to that position, we had to feel great about both of them before we gave up what we gave up."
It's widely believed the Colts have been set on taking Luck for some time, and the likelihood is that the Redskins will end up with Griffin. And because of Griffin's exceptional speed and mobility, conventional wisdom has begun to coalesce that says Griffin "fits Shanahan's system" better than Luck would. But Shanahan disputes that notion, indicating that he believes it underrates Luck's athleticism.
"I say both of these guys, because they've both very athletic," Shanahan said. "When you take a guy (Luck), who's 6-4, that's 240 (pounds) and can run a 4.6 forty, that guy can move pretty good. And obviously with Robert, running a 4.4 or under, usually guys that are that fast can't throw. And he can do both."
The Redskins have not worried, since making the trade, that they paid too much. The franchise has been in need of a franchise quarterback for years -- decades, really. And Shanahan believes that it's an essential ingredient to a championship team.
"The Super Bowls that I've been involved with, with Steve Young, with John Elway, both were franchise quarterbacks," Shanahan said. "They can make plays when everything breaks down. And if somebody can do that, then you've got an opportunity, once you get to the playoffs, to do something special. Now, can you still win without one? Sure you can. But you'd better be pretty special."
Shanahan said he and his staff are spending 11 hours a day preparing for the rest of the draft, going over every possible player and trying to identify potential future stars they can find in the later rounds. But what the Redskins did when they made the deal with the Rams was buy themselves their biggest present a month before Christmas. And every day, they walk past it, wrapped and sitting under the tree. And as excited as they are, they're happy to wait to unwrap it, because they know it's going to be awesome.