There’s been plenty of drool surrounding Robert Griffin III thus far during the Redskins nine offseason practices, and every drop of saliva is warranted.
Yahoo’s Les Carpenter camped out in Ashburn, Virginia for a day or so, and it likely took about five minutes to discover RG3′s new nickname. They’re calling him “the arm” due to the awe and amazement over his arm strength. Turns out Griffin is more than just a running, scrambling circus clown who can only operate under an environment of controlled chaos. Tim Tebow is the clown king, and Griffin seems to know how to throw a properly functioning spiral, and throw it long and hard with ease.
This would be impressive if it wasn’t expected and predictable. Reading about how awesome guys look in shorts during the months of May and June is the only thing that keeps me from joining the ongoing zombie apocalypse, but overall there’s a strict limit to how far those observations go, which is something Carpenter also notes. Core skills are demonstrated and honed during OTAs, and an offense is learned, but the absence of a true game situation leaves us free to use our imagination, which can be deceiving.
So as it relates to mega star draft picks performing like mega star rookies, OTA reports during the spring should be greeted with a nod and a shoulder shrug. Instead, what’s often important–and especially important to Washington fans who would give several limbs for a franchise quarterback–are the intangibles.
Usually we scoff at such terms, because they’re the root of easy narrative creation that’s given us intolerable labels such as the quarterback who’s a “winner.” But right now in the spring when a rookie QB hasn’t even gone through a dozen practices with his new team it’s important to gauge the presence of unquantifiable qualities.
RG3 has plenty of them, and he’s already confident enough to politely tell offensive lineman Trent Williams to shut it.
From the D.C. Sports Bog:
“I don’t want to brag on him too much, but from what I’ve seen these last few weeks, it’s kind of hard not to. I mean, he commands the huddle. I’ll be in the huddle and joking around. When he walks in, he’ll tap me and tell me to be quiet while he calls the play. That’s impressive for a rookie to have that kind of command over a huddle.”
The quarterback is the clear and unquestioned leader of any offense, or at least he should be. If Griffin is showing this kind of character in May/June, there should be plenty of confidence in his ability to mentally handle the rigors of an NFL season, and not suffer from a classic case of a fractured psyche as Blaine Gabbert did last year.