Skip to content

Shanahan: RG3, Kaepernick can’t become pocket passers overnight

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Getty Images

When Washington faces San Francisco on Monday night, we’ll see the two quarterbacks whose ability to run the read-option offense took the NFL by storm in 2012.

We’ll also see two quarterbacks whose passing abilities have been a disappointment in 2013.

According to Washington coach Mike Shanahan, however, no one should be overly disappointed with either Robert Griffin III or Colin Kaepernick this season. Instead, Shanahan says, the seasons that both young quarterbacks are having are exactly what should be expected for young quarterbacks who didn’t come out of a pro-style offense in college.

“If you’re talking about Robert or if you’re talking about a guy like Kaepernick, everybody comes from different [college] systems and when you go to the National Football League and you’re working with a drop-back passing game and you haven’t done a lot of that, it takes some repetition,” Shanahan said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “Whoever has been in those shoes realizes that it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice, it takes repetition, going against different coverages, understanding the strength and weaknesses and just becoming more comfortable in passing situations.”

Shanahan said the key to Griffin and Kaepernick getting better is living and breathing football.

“That’s part of the process of the NFL quarterback that it is hard, the amount of hours that you have to spend studying film, going through your progressions, studying defenses,” Shanahan said. “It’s 24 hours a day, not only during the season but the offseason, to get to that elite level. Everybody is going to have a year or two that is better than the other, but for that consistency, you need a guy that loves football, loves studying because there’s so many different parts. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s the hardest position in sports to play.”

If Griffin and Kaepernick hadn’t had such spectacular seasons last year, the way they’re playing this year wouldn’t feel so disappointing. But the reality is neither quarterback is as good now as he was a year ago. Not only have they not become pocket passers overnight, but they even appear to have regressed. That has to be a concern to their coaches, even if Shanahan isn’t ready to sound the alarm.

Permalink 52 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers, Top Stories, Washington Redskins
52 Responses to “Shanahan: RG3, Kaepernick can’t become pocket passers overnight”
  1. tdubdizzle says: Nov 23, 2013 8:47 PM

    Kaepernick>RGnotme

  2. bassnw says: Nov 23, 2013 8:47 PM

    “The separation is in the preparation” – Russell Wilson

  3. nfl4days says: Nov 23, 2013 8:51 PM

    Cam Russell Andrew > king griffin kaepernick

  4. skipcastaneda says: Nov 23, 2013 8:53 PM

    Kaepernick won’t be in the NFL in five years. I think RG3 will.have the better and longer career.

  5. seabreezes51 says: Nov 23, 2013 8:53 PM

    Nick Foles is the next step in that read option evolution.

  6. quarterbackjudge says: Nov 23, 2013 8:54 PM

    RG3 should’ve spent last season preparing to be a passer first and this year could have been his big “read option year”…you know what I mean?

  7. gohawks89 says: Nov 23, 2013 8:57 PM

    KAP&RG3&OUTwill never be as great as RUSSELL WILSON
    those guys are about themselves
    russell is about the team.

  8. DaveKShape says: Nov 23, 2013 8:59 PM

    RGIII might have more of a shot if you had an offensive line outside of Trent Williams, Shanahan. The interior line gets blown up on 75% of each play. Why you don’t trade out terribly mediocre players like Lichtensteiger, Montgomery, Chester, and Polumbus for Gettis, LeRibeus, and Compton boggles my mind. What’s the point in keeping “proven veterans” who are in reality terrible over young players with potential talent? This guy always is apprently a “film buff”. I don’t know what he’s watching, but what I’m watching is garbage. So much for “putting your players in the best position to win”.

  9. salscobrakai says: Nov 23, 2013 8:59 PM

    If you want a pocket passer. Draft a pocket passer. NFL teams don’t have the luxury of waiting a few years or quarterbacks to develop into something they should’ve learned in high school and college. Michael Vick still isn’t a pocket passer.

  10. gammynomnom says: Nov 23, 2013 9:00 PM

    NOBODY is gonna tell Raandy Griffith how to play this game.

  11. mizzousooner says: Nov 23, 2013 9:00 PM

    If you have to wait for years for read option QB’s to develop, then why on earth would you give a kings ransom to acquire one?

  12. f1restarter says: Nov 23, 2013 9:03 PM

    Neither Kaepernick nor Griffin will ever be pocket passers. They’ll play for a few years until either they get hurt and can’t run anymore, or defenses will wise up to the read-option gimmick.

    Once they are no longer a threat to scramble, the next time you’ll see them will be as “analysts” on ESPN.

  13. thefiesty1 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:04 PM

    Just why do they have to be pocket passers? KApernik did make the SB last year without being a pocket passer. Times, they are a changing.

  14. dontbugmeonsundays says: Nov 23, 2013 9:04 PM

    Talent wise, RG3 clearly has the edge. Kaep just has a better team around him to make up for his deficiencys. Where as in RG3, the team goes as far as he can take them. Those are facts not opinions.

  15. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 23, 2013 9:05 PM

    They are runners playing quarterback, not quarterbacks who can run.

  16. baltimoresnativeson says: Nov 23, 2013 9:08 PM

    All you have to do is look in to the eyes. That will tell you all you need to know. Look into Brady, Peyton, Eli, ben, rogers, joe, wilson, and brees eyes, and you see a ice cold stone cold killer. Look into rg3 and kaps eyes, you see an emotional little girl.

  17. skinsfan91 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:08 PM

    It’s just the facts. Wilson and Luck came from a more pro-ready college system. Good for them. Even Aaron Rogers sat for 4 years or whatever. Fact is we’re all expecting too much too fast from guys who killed it their first years starting due to a gimmick offense. Now with that gimmick not as effective they’re not as advanced at reading defenses as they need to be to shred defenses from the pocket. Doesn’t mean they can’t pick it up but they don’t have the luxury of sitting and learning for 3 or 4 years to learn this. They’re supposed to carry their organizations right out the box.

  18. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:09 PM

    So you gave up a fortune in draft picks to get this kid presumably because you liked the skill set he has, now you want him to be a pocket passer.

  19. d111981 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:10 PM

    Read option worked for Griffin and Kap last year, but they have both regressed so far this year. Both have to work on becoming better better pocket passers.

  20. slbasegame257 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:10 PM

    Russell Wilson>Andrew Luck>RG3 and Out> Kaepernaked. GO HAWKS

  21. tmilowski says: Nov 23, 2013 9:11 PM

    Maybe if Washington changes its name RG3 might play better… rofl

  22. nomoreseasontix says: Nov 23, 2013 9:13 PM

    The fact is, Shanarat hasn’t been anything since Elway gave him a name.

  23. salscobrakai says: Nov 23, 2013 9:14 PM

    Anyone else wonder how good Ryan Mallet is after backing up Brady for a couple of seasons? Call me crazy, but I bet if given then chance a lot of coaches would take a chance on someone like Mallet over a read option QB.

  24. lgbarn says: Nov 23, 2013 9:18 PM

    Mike Glennon is getting it done from the pocket as well. Glennon looks like the best rookie QB so far this year.

  25. wwwfella says: Nov 23, 2013 9:22 PM

    i read somewhere that rg3 never took a snap under center until he was in the nfl. dont know if its true or not tho

  26. ravenswhat says: Nov 23, 2013 9:23 PM

    I actually truly believe Cousins would have more wins at this point in the year had they put RG3 on the shelf for half the year like he should’ve been.

  27. hex25 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:31 PM

    Ya not overnight is right, but over months n the off season with the best nfl qb coaches, O coaches, head coach,,,, improvements should be a lot better

  28. 1rockyracoon says: Nov 23, 2013 9:33 PM

    Sometimes instant success prevents a player from learning how to play a position properly. Both QB’s have been put in their place by defended this year. It’s up to them to learn and bounce back next year.

  29. d111981 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:34 PM

    Really, Eli a stone cold killer? He’s the king of making whiny whoa is me facial expressions after every bad play he makes. I agree with the other qb’s you mentioned.

  30. mizzousooner says: Nov 23, 2013 9:42 PM

    .
    thefiesty1 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:04 PM

    Just why do they have to be pocket passers? KApernik did make the SB last year without being a pocket passer. Times, they are a changing.

    ____________________________________

    People keep saying stuff like this, but oddly, it keeps being not true.

    Pocket passers who are accurate and can read a defense have and will own the NFL.

    One read QB’s who run as a 2nd option, get hurt a lot and simply don’t win championships.

    It is what it is.

  31. najja6 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:42 PM

    Really disheartening to read some of these comments. I’m convinced quite a few of you have no idea what you are talking about. Griffin/Washington have a top 5 offense. Put that offense on the jets, 49ers, Seahawks’ etc. it’s a different story. Griffin was the #2 rated QB in the NFL last year due in large part to his accuracy. He led the NCAA in efficiency the guy can pass the ball! Kapernick is missing nearly his entire receiving core from last year. Coupled with the fact the 49ers rarely run the read option because unlike last year they have no backup if Kapernick gets hurt. Bottomline is these guys are stereotyped by color more than anything . Luck put up equal numbers to Cam Newton at the combine and runs more than all of them but you never hear running QB? Tannehill played WR in college And runs a 4.4. Never hear running QB. All Jake Locker and ponder do is run and you never hear it.

    As for Shanahan he is politicking for hi current job or his next one. First it was cap penalties and now Griffin needs more time. Shanahan was losing before Griffin got there.

  32. pacificnw7722 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:50 PM

    Both of these guys were brought to their team to run the read-option. Now that defenses have figured them out they HAVE TO LEARN to be a pocket passer.

    GOOD LUCK!

  33. donnymacjack says: Nov 23, 2013 9:50 PM

    Unfortunately I’m afraid RG3 is simply too frail to last in the NFL. I love the guy but he looks to have a smallish frame, ala Vick. I hope I’m wrong but I think he’ll battle injuries his entire career.

    Kaep is also a bit frail looking from the waist down. He’s got a rocket arm but he is very long legged and I think that hurts him also over time. He isn’t a shifty runner like RG3 which means teams can contain him by keeping him in the pocket where he HAS to pass or take the sack. His accuracy may be suspect from the pocket so his play this year appears down.

  34. captainspangled says: Nov 23, 2013 9:57 PM

    Kaepernick has been in the league as long as Cam Newton and Newton seems to be a pretty good job of it.

  35. theheyseed says: Nov 23, 2013 10:16 PM

    Funny thing is that if RGIII had a great season it would be amazing, coming off the knee injury. He is having an OK season, top 5 offense, but the team is not doing well. Special teams have lost at least 3 games for them and the D has been terrible at times. So he must be a bust and Shanny is an idiot for drafting him. I just hope you haters have the balls to come back here and say how wrong you were when he leads his team deep into the playoffs and maybe even to a championship. Not this year, but soon.

  36. badmoonrison says: Nov 23, 2013 10:19 PM

    Lobsters will say anything to keep their jobs. Like the politicians in the city you represent, Im not buying what you’re selling. Red Lobster, you’d probably have better luck convincing people Obamacare is working.

  37. sixaceduece says: Nov 23, 2013 10:27 PM

    >>Look into Brady, Peyton, Eli, ben, rogers, joe, wilson, and brees eyes<<

    Joe? Joe who? Montana? I know you aren't talking about Joe Flacco.. "Mr.Deepball down the right side is his only pass" are you?

    Flacco is only elite when there's a big payday to be had. Flacco responds to being made the highest paid player in the league by looking average, what he truly is.

    From now on, any team that overpays an average QB will be called "Getting Flacco'd".

  38. beardinals says: Nov 23, 2013 10:34 PM

    Amazing that there are suddenly a lot more Seattle fans this year. Wonder where they came from?

  39. jbeagles23 says: Nov 23, 2013 10:39 PM

    There’s no real Seattle fans. Forgot they even had a team for awhile

  40. raiderapologist says: Nov 23, 2013 10:42 PM

    najja6 says: Nov 23, 2013 9:42 PM

    Coupled with the fact the 49ers rarely run the read option because unlike last year they have no backup if Kapernick gets hurt.
    ———–
    Yeah, I don’t know about that. After Kaepernick took over last year the Niners ran the option less than 6% of the time.

  41. mizzousooner says: Nov 23, 2013 10:43 PM

    Look at Newton. The less he runs the more Carolina wins. He’ll have a longer career this way too.

  42. chawk12thman says: Nov 23, 2013 10:47 PM

    He wasn’t saying that either QB was bad. Only that they were not as proficient as they will be once they work in the pro system for a bit. I think I would tend to agree that they both have huge upside and I look forward to the competition between all of the current young QBs for several years to come. Wilson, Luck, Cameron and these two will be the nucleus of some exciting football in the future.

  43. xviixxiixxvi says: Nov 23, 2013 10:50 PM

    So Griffin is a failure, huh? Anyone care to see the list of QB’s with more passing yards? Well, here it is:

    1. Drew Brees
    2. Peyton Manning
    3. Matthew Stafford
    4. Matt Ryan
    5. Philip Rivers
    6. Andy Dalton
    7. Ben Roethlisberger

    HE’S 8TH IN THE NFL with one quality receiver, and one promising young tight end.

    He’s throwing for more yards this year than last year. He’s running less (which is what everyone wanted), and unfortunately turning the ball over more, but that’s what young QB’s do sometimes. We couldn’t wait to build outrageous expectations (admittedly fueled by Griffin during the offseason) only to tear the young man down at the first sign of difficulty. I have no doubt he’ll bounce back in coming seasons.

  44. winorlose6burgh says: Nov 23, 2013 11:22 PM

    And everyone thought RG3 would go as #1 over luck

  45. vanpelt says: Nov 23, 2013 11:47 PM

    So far RGIII has had one great year and one crappy year. Next year fans and coaches will get the clearest picture of how well RGIII is developing.

  46. tebownextmarino says: Nov 23, 2013 11:53 PM

    how can you judge a guy when its only his second year? RG3 will be great redskins just need a lot of work like another receiver and a better o line and a solid d and they will be super bowl contenders.

  47. topspin24 says: Nov 24, 2013 3:04 AM

    Luck & Wilson have spent a lot more time studying and a lot less time filming commercials. No one in their right mind would take Kaepernick or Griffin over Luck or Wilson for the long haul at this (early) point in their careers. If for no other reason than the poise Luck & Wilson show.

  48. getsome636 says: Nov 24, 2013 8:55 AM

    Of course he has more yards, he is always throwing against soft/prevent defenses because they are losing. You can twist stats any way you want, but the bottom line is RG3 is not playing well this year. And stop with the kaep wr excuses. Still has top 5 TE and also Boldin, along with Gore. Kaep just plain isnt very good.

  49. aldaviswastheman says: Nov 24, 2013 9:35 AM

    Neither of these guys will be as good as Rookie of the Year, Matt McGloin!

  50. rayphinkel says: Nov 24, 2013 9:53 AM

    We all understand that the QB position is the easiest place to look when looking for a reason why a team is winning or losing, but they shouldn’t be the ones footing the ENTIRE burden.

    Look at RG3′s numbers and look at Brady’s numbers so far this year. They are nearly identical in production, however one team is 7-3 and the other is 3-7. Hell, Alex Smith has been far less productive, and his team is 9-1. The Redskins’ defense has given up 311 points this season (more than 30 points a game). There is only ONE team that has matched that with their offensive output so far this season, and that’s the Denver Broncos. It’s really unfair to assume all the blame should rest on one man’s shoulders when there’s only one ‘team’ that could even keep up with the amount of points being put up against them.

    If the WAS defense only gave up as many points as the SEA, SF, CAR, or KC, at the absolute worst, the Redskins would be 8-2 even with the lack of expected offensive production this year.

  51. adderal says: Nov 24, 2013 8:45 PM

    It’s hilarious to some of us who are actually employed and intelligent that some of you are putting Wilson in Lucks class. 10 years from now luck will be approaching Brady/manning status. Wilson if everything goes right will be second tier at best. griffen and kaep still have more potential then russ. You guys really like that fake rah rah crap?

  52. chubbyboy93 says: Nov 25, 2013 10:23 AM

    najja6 says:
    Nov 23, 2013 9:42 PM
    Really disheartening to read some of these comments. I’m convinced quite a few of you have no idea what you are talking about. Griffin/Washington have a top 5 offense. Put that offense on the jets, 49ers, Seahawks’ etc. it’s a different story. Griffin was the #2 rated QB in the NFL last year due in large part to his accuracy. He led the NCAA in efficiency the guy can pass the ball! Kapernick is missing nearly his entire receiving core from last year. Coupled with the fact the 49ers rarely run the read option because unlike last year they have no backup if Kapernick gets hurt. Bottomline is these guys are stereotyped by color more than anything . Luck put up equal numbers to Cam Newton at the combine and runs more than all of them but you never hear running QB? Tannehill played WR in college And runs a 4.4. Never hear running QB. All Jake Locker and ponder do is run and you never hear it.

    As for Shanahan he is politicking for hi current job or his next one. First it was cap penalties and now Griffin needs more time. Shanahan was losing before Griffin got there.
    ……………………………………………………..
    THANK YOU!!!!!! They all forget that Luck has the most turnovers out of all QB’s within the past two years. The League shows it’s color when it’s about Black QB’s or any other minority at that. They won’t last, they’re immature, they can’t win. This is the same thing that happened to Cam last year. I wish “fans” don’t keep pestering these guys to be something they are not, and run them out of town.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!