5 Commandments of pocket passers for RGIII

Robert Griffin III fumbles against Detroit

Now we know. For awhile at least, Robert Griffin III is going to be a pocket passer as his knee fully recuperates. This is the first time in his career that he will be a committed pocket-passing game manager.  Get used to it.

RG is too busy to read Hog Heaven. He shouldn't be taking coaching advice from us anyway. This post is for us fans who must start to evaluate RGIII differently. We may not see the genuine dual threat RG until late this season, if then.

Moses and the 10 Commandments

So as the Redskins run an offensive style suitable for Kirk Cousins, or Mark Brunell, here are the commandments we should use to judge RGIII as a pocket passer.

I. Thou shalt step UP into the pocket. On several occasions when pass rushers were closing in on RG, he ran backwards deep behind the scrimmage line to find room to make a play. That doesn't qualify as a decent scramble. If the pocket is collapsing, the quarterback does not run backwards where a long pass may net a three yard gain. Instead of running backwards, he looks to the next commandment.

II. If the pocket collapses, thou shalt scramble outside the tackles and throw the ball away. RG's interception came when he threw from deep behind the line, because he ran there and three into coverage to Pierre Garçon. When we say "throw it away," we mean throw it to the fifth row of the stands.

Blah blah blah "eyes down field" blah blah blah. Do not get caught behind the line with the ball in your hands. If no one is open within 2 seconds of the snap, throw it away.

III. Thou shalt read thy progressions and be mindful that there are other receivers than Pierre Garçon. In both the Hail Mary pass at the end of the game and the interception when he should have thrown the ball out of bounds, RG has a single minded focus on his No. 1 receiver. While that's normally a good thing, it never works when the receiver is triple and quadruple covered. Never.

Joshua Morgan tweeted that Cousins was better at progression reads than Griffin. His tweet disappeared faster than he posted it. His account was hacked, I guess.

IV. When beyone the scrimmage line, thou shalt slide at the first opportunity. The NFL writes rules that protect possession and the quarterback, in that order, when the QB slides after running beyond the scrimmage line. Sliding is the white flag of quarterbacks. Special rules apply. The distinction may be "stupid," but everyone has been coached to recognize it. Rules apply to you too. Don't fall. Slide.  

V. Thou shalt not bob thy head when trying to draw opponents off-side. Another "stupid rule" everybody has been coached to recognize.

Griffin is smart enough to grow from his mistakes in the Lions game. Are fans smart enough to accept that RG must play differently and judge him as a pocket quarterback?

Hog Heaven is less certain of that.

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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