ASHBURN, Va. -- The progress wasn’t visible on Wednesday, not by quarterback Robert Griffin III nor by the offense. The defense walked away feeling good about its day as it should have; the offense did not.
Passes were off target, not just by Griffin but by all the quarterbacks. The first two offenses couldn’t maneuver down the field in the two-minute drill. And, for Griffin, it was a sporadic day at best.
Griffin missed high to receiver DeSean Jackson, running across the field toward the left sideline. He wasn’t wide open, but the pass sailed high. Griffin missed high again to tight end Jordan Reed on an out route, though corner E.J. Biggers had good coverage. Later in seven-on-seven work, Griffin missed high on a Reed hitch route.
There were some moments where the two connected: Griffin flipped to Reed on the run on a bootleg to the right. Reed reached behind for the ball, caught it one-handed and never broke stride.
The defensive backs were partly responsible for any struggles. Corner David Amerson defended a fade route to Pierre Garcon in red zone work. Amerson was right with Jackson on a deep ball to the left, getting good inside position. And when Griffin and Jackson tried to hook up on a pump-and go, corner DeAngelo Hall wasn’t fooled and nearly made a pick. The ball wasn’t underthrown, but sometimes Jackson needs to be led more than most receivers, giving him a chance to pull away. In this case, though, Hall defended it well.
“We’ve had some good days, and we have got a good defense out there,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “Every play is not going to work to perfection.”
The task this summer has been, as usual, to measure Griffin’s progress. He’s looked good some days and struggled others. Thursday, it was the latter.
Gruden, though, looks at more than just the result of the play to gauge Griffin’s game. He said Griffin is calling plays faster in the huddle, has more command of the game and the snap count and is doing a good job changing the protection from one side to the other when necessary.
“Just a total understanding of the game other than you see passes flying in the air, and they’re complete or incomplete,” Gruden said. “Great, but playing quarterback is a lot more than throwing a football. It’s getting us into the right run, it’s handling formation, handling the clock in two-minute, all of these things that he’s starting to understand -- the total big picture of the game -- and I’m excited about his progress already.”