Robert Griffin III still isn’t the same quarterback just yet, but he seems to have a plan to recapture that success.
Griffin won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award last season, but he’s struggled to be the same dynamic quarterback this year after undergoing offseason surgery to repair his torn ACL. Griffin’s game seemed to be lacking something the first few weeks of this season, and the dual-threat quarterback is convinced that running will solve his problems.
“I felt that’s what I have to do,” Griffin said, via The Washington Post. “That’s what I’ve always had to do. You’ve got to use every ability that you have. Broke the pocket a couple of times, broke the pocket and hit some guys downfield as the defense was closing in on me, and then there were times when you just take off and go, and a healthy mix of that and a healthy mix of just executing the plays that are called.”
Through five games this season, Griffin has run the ball just 27 times, which pales in comparison to the 42 rushes he had at this juncture in 2012. Head coach Mike Shanahan and his son and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan may be hesitant to run Griffin too much early on, especially as he was favoring the right knee even on passing plays to start the season. He’s running the ball a little more than five times per game in 2013, which is a steady decline compared to the eight carries he was averaging last season. Griffin says he’s ready to carry the full load once again, though, and plans to get back to what made him so successful last season.
“It just means, you can’t lose faith in who you are,” Griffin said. “You can’t lose confidence in what you’ve done to get you to the level where you’re at. Kyle [Shanahan] will say on a number of plays, ‘You never forget what got you to where you are,’ and that’s all I’m saying. It wasn’t a shot at anything else, or at the coaches or anybody. It was just saying, ‘I’ve got to be the guy that I know that I am.'”
Running more may help the Skins, but that’s not the only issue Griffin has encountered this season. He’s completing just 59.8 percent of his passes in 2013, compared to the 65.6 percent from last season — good for fourth best in the NFL — and he’s already thrown five interceptions through five games, matching his entire season total from 2012.