Robert Griffin III watches from the sidelines during the first half against the UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Jay Gruden will let RG3 'be himself' as a runner

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The Washington Redskins new head coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay (though McVay isn’t actually a new face) will have the task of coaxing a bounce-back season out of star quarterback Robert Griffin III, who is still very much a franchise QB. RG3 has quite a few things going for him, but probably the most important thing working in the Baylor product’s favor is health. His knee should be much better, and that will allow him to resume being one of the league’s most dangerous rushers. Colin Kaepernick is an incredibly gifted running quarterback, but RG3 is probably even better and can turn into a different animal with the right kind of development.

We’ve already heard McVay’s thoughts on RG3, and he believes that the key is footwork when it comes to taking his QB to the next level. There are plenty of coaches who stress footwork as being the most important thing- new Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell is one of them- and there’s no doubt that improved technique from RG3 will make him a much better player. Heck, add improved decision-making to the list.

But at the same time, the Redskins can’t tell Griffin to stop running with the football, because that’s part of what makes him so good and such a dangerous playmaker. RG3 is a weapon, and he is very much the so-called “new-age” QB with his dual-threat ability. Jay Gruden? He knows that it would be unwise to try and take that rushing away from his QB, and I’m glad to hear that he won’t take the “No soup for you!” approach to Griffin using his legs.

Here’s what he said to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, “I worked with Andy Dalton for three years in Cincinnati, and built a foundation of concepts and protections that I think worked well with him. With Robert, we’ll obviously use his skill set differently. When it comes to the quarterback position, my job is to make him comfortable and productive. I’m not going to try to turn RG3 into Andy Dalton or Drew Brees. He isn’t them. They’re not him. I would be foolish to try to turn RG3 into a pocket passer. It would be foolish. The way he is as a runner, we have to take advantage of that. He strikes fear into defensive coordinators when he runs outside. I’m going to let him be himself.”

The key with RG3 isn’t restricting him as a rusher; it’s making him a smarter, more efficient, and more polished player.

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Tags: Jay Gruden Robert Griffin Iii Sean McVay Washington Redskins

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