Joe Theismann: RG3 still has to improve on quarterback fundamentals


Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann now serves as the color commentator for the team’s preseason broadcasts, and he’s not impressed with what he’s seeing from Robert Griffin III.

Discussing Griffin’s poor performance before he was injured last week against the Lions, Theismann said that Griffin still hasn’t learned basic pocket awareness.

“The thing that disappointed me the other night is one of the things that is stressed very, very diligently by the coaches is protect the football in the pocket,” Theismann said on NewsChannel 8, via the Washington Post. “Protect the football when you’re trying to escape the pocket. The ball just fell out of Robert’s hands when he wound up getting hurt. That’s a concern for me. That has nothing to do with the offensive line, absolutely nothing to do with the protection. That has to do with the fundamentals of the position, and those are the things that Robert, he can’t be a continuing work in progress.”

Although Washington’s offensive line has received a great deal of criticism for not protecting Griffin well enough, the reality is that no quarterback gets perfect protection from his offensive line, and Griffin needs to be able to feel the pass rush coming and get rid of the ball more quickly. Last year Griffin took sacks at a historic rate, while Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins were sacked far less frequently while playing behind the same offensive line. Theismann acknowledged that Washington’s line has its flaws, but he said it’s on the quarterback to find a way to overcome protection problems.

“Morgan Moses is coming off a Lisfranc injury on his foot, Brandon Scherff is a rookie, they’re works in progress,” Theismann said. “You’ve got about two weeks for the works in progress to be up to speed to be able to play at a high NFL level. Time’s running out. You need to see something. The fans need to see something to get excited, or at least get comfortable with where the Redskins are as far as their position at quarterback goes.”

So far this preseason, Griffin has done nothing to get fans comfortable with the quarterback position.

89 responses to “Joe Theismann: RG3 still has to improve on quarterback fundamentals

  1. I didn’t read the article (because I don’t care what Joe Theisman thinks about anything), but this headline made me realize how thankful I am that I don’t have to listen to this ego maniac announce national games any more.

  2. Gotta learn to walk before you can run……..kinda like having some basic fundamentals before you can improve on them.

  3. So much fodder for comment, so little space.

    But if Joe is serious about mastering fundamentals, he should be telling Little Danny to master the fundamentals of ownership and learning to master the fundamentals of commentating. Exhibit A: his announcement during the game last weekend that RG3 had been cleared to return.

  4. Couldn’t agree more with Theismann.

    In my opinion, RG3 holds the ball too long and doesn’t have good pocket awareness. On top of that, he tends to use his feet when it is unnecessary, because he likes to not be “Ordinary.”

  5. This is the kind of riveting insight former ESPN hacks give you.

    Way to go, Joe. We could’ve never figured that out on our own.


    Dan Snyder still cant figure it out

  6. Top 5 Greatest Redskins all-time:

    1. Darrell Green
    2. Sonny Jurgeson
    3. Doug Williams
    4. London Fletcher
    5. Ricky Sanders

  7. Intelligent.
    Hard worker.
    Man of integrity.
    Leader of men.
    Incredible athletic ability.

    I vividly recall these traits being used by the media over and over to describe RGIII both in his Heisman season and during his rookie year. Now, just three years later, most would agree that only two or three of those still apply.

    As a Titans fan, do you know what the most sobering part for me is? … Knowing that those adjectives are exactly how Marcus Mariota is described today.

  8. 4 years later and we’re still hearing about the stuff he was supposed to work on and fix 4 years ago. Just give him the boot. It’s obvious being an icon or branding himself is more important to him than being a good QB.

  9. It is important to note that Joe T never met a microphone he did not want to speak into. But he is right; Teddy Bridgewater says he wants to complete 70% of his passes (so he wants to become a more effective QB) and RGIII says he is the best quarterback in the league. As a longtime fan of the Redskins (stop laughing) Griffin looks done.

  10. Let’s be honest about a few things:

    1. RGIII will never change his mechanics/fundamentals. He is what he is; a leopard cannot change his stripes (Terry Bradshaw???).

    2. Next year RGIII will not be with the skins. I know they picked up his $15 million option, but I believe that is guaranteed for injury only. They’ll get rid of him somehow. Maybe trade him to the Bills for a parking valet or something.

    3. The year afte that RGIII will be out of the NFL.

    4. RGIII will be remembered as one of The Biggest Bust Of All Time in any sport, let alone the NFL; definitely in skins’ history. The very mention of his name in the DC area will warrant a 3rd class felony charge.

    Good luck skins’ fans.

  11. Teams are going to keep bull rushing RG3, because he cannot dump off the ball fast enough.

    The play he was injured on, there were 3 open guys when he panicked and tried to run.

  12. Griffin is a victim of believing his own hype. His college career was based on him being the most physically gifted athlete on the field, so he never needed to learn fundamentals or even work from a play book. He made it into the NFL with a blockbuster trade that Washington dumped a ton of picks on him and he was handed endorsement deals left and right before he played a single down. In his rookie season the coaching staff masked his inability to play the position at the professional level by utilizing a college playbook and everyone saw it as “revolutionizing the NFL”. He got hurt and was no longer the faster guy on the field and along the only thing he developed was his ego.

    The best thing that could happen to RG3 is to be traded to another team where he is firmly entrenched as a back up and have him develop to be able to use all of the potential that he has.

  13. he is more worried about wearing a glove ( its over 80 degrees ) on one hand , his silly little sleeve on one arm , his brand logo, and anything else that has nothing to do with football

    this dude was no good in college ( griffin should go GIVE the Heisman to Andrew Luck , he had a better final college season against better teams) he is in too much love with himself ….and nobody with a brain is ….!!!!!!!!

  14. Michael Vick was available: better scrambler and deep ball passer than RGIII, and Vick don’t throw no whiffle-balls like Big Bro Manning.: Vick can spin it, with great velocity. Too late now, Jay Gruden lol

  15. If I throw five punches that hit you in the mouth, the sixth time you may have happy feet and try to avoid it. That’s what happened. He was hit on 6 of 7 dropbacks, and the 8th one he got out of the pocket and lost the ball.

    Losing the ball is on him, but wanting to avoid that collapsing pocket isn’t rocket science. That Coach/QB relationship is as corrosive as the relationship between my boss and I. When he lied on me that was it for me. I don’t like him or speak to him and he doesn’t like or speak to me. Thankfully, he got promoted and is now my boss’ boss, so I don’t need to speak to him at all, but it makes for a tense work environment walking down the hall and we pass not speaking.

    In an office, it works well enough. As a head coach/QB – that won’t work. Something’s got to give. Either they fix it or one of them is gone. Probably the latter, because one or both won’t capitulate.

  16. You don’t have to be Norman Einstein to know how obvious that statement was. Tell us this Joe: if RG3 is not all that, then why do they continue to stick with him? If he is not the QB of the future, he’s stealing snaps from someone who might be. I think Gruden is proving something to the owner, and eventually Snyder will say they have another bad deal on their hands. The sooner they can do that, the sooner they can move away from this circus that is the RG3 train wreck.

  17. Skins would be wise to obtain RG4 who currently is on the Saints rooster and is more a QB than RG3 ever will be. RG4 has trained under Drew Brees for 2 years and knows his stuff. I am sorry Saints chose a QB in the draft thus making RG4 expendable. True Dat!

  18. @godofwine330
    The reason that teams are getting to Griffin is because he cant make them pay.

    Opposing defenses leave players open, and rush in… because RG3 wont find those open players. If he starts finding these open players quickly, maybe the defenses will fall back a little.

    Notice that there seems to be much less QB pressure when Cousins or McCoy play(Even in the regular season).

  19. Kurt Warner said nothing was wrong with them. Who to believe? Maybe if Gruden started coaching his team up instead of acting like a career journeyman is going to save his job, this team might stop sucking.

  20. The old saying that you can’t judge an NFL QB until his 3rd season iv very true. Well RG3 is now on season 4 and if he hasn’t learned the basic QB fundamentals by now–HE NEVER WILL !!! After watching his horrible play the last 2 preseason games, I’m throwing the BUST flag and saying that Joe Thiesman is right.

  21. Until he cuts the dreads and drops the RGIII monicker to become good ole game managing Bob Griffin….he will continue to fail

  22. @troylok
    The reason that Synder is sticking with RGIII is that he bet WAY too much on Griffin and now he is pot committed. (poker term)

    Snyder knows he has a losing hand and is hoping for a miracle on the river.

  23. tennesseeoilers says:
    Aug 25, 2015 1:45 PM
    Hard worker.
    Man of integrity.
    Leader of men.
    Incredible athletic ability.

    I vividly recall these traits being used by the media over and over to describe RGIII both in his Heisman season and during his rookie year. Now, just three years later, most would agree that only two or three of those still apply.

    As a Titans fan, do you know what the most sobering part for me is? … Knowing that those adjectives are exactly how Marcus Mariota is described today.

    Why sobering. It looks to me like two games into the preseason Mariota has made enormous strides in the pocket already.

  24. RG3 had the lowest int persentage but was sacked at the highest rate
    McCoy sack nearly as much as RG3 but slighter higher int rate
    Cousin got rid of the ball quicker but threw to the wrong jersey more often
    None of the won many games they started and finished
    RG3 2-5 injured relieved by Cousin 1-0
    Cousins 1-4 benched relived by McCoy 1-0
    McCoy 1-3 injured relieved by Griffin 0-1

  25. If not balanced properly an OL can appear average to good in the run game and yet be poor in the passing game. If the HC and OC aren’t able to admit to this, then their offense is going to fail. When a QB is sacked more than 20 times a season, there is a significant problem with the offense, either the QB is holding the ball too long for plays to materialize, the OL is the problem or a combo of the two. Some QBs will take 30 sacks a year simply because they are willing for the offense to take off, but that is not good long term. The Redskins should be looking for be using quicker plays to limit the hits.

  26. I guess everyone has forgotten the performance of all 3 qb’s from last season. McCoy & Cousin’s were both given plenty of time to take over the offense and didn’t get it done ! If the offensive line doesn’t improve it’s safe to say all 3 will get their turn at the wheel once again. The Lions (# 1’s) on defense looked like a jail break the entire time RGIII was in their and i don’t care if Peyton/Brady/Luck or whomever was getting the ball taking one step back while d-linemen were advancing “two’ then they would have looked bad too. So piling on the trolls is just ridiculous as it seems to be the “IN” thing to do. Give him a break, he needs a fresh start with a new team and one that doesn’t have what appears to be a HC conspiring against him and a suspect o-line.

  27. One hit wonder, and now it’s all we hear about is how he needs to improve, he’s working hard, he’s more in tune with his receivers, blah blah blah. Time to draft another q/b deadskins fans.

  28. He won’t have enough time to develop into anything. He’s a track star who can throw a football. Its almost amusing watching him get thrown about. I am worried he’s going to get hurt bad. That is NOT a a football body.

  29. Draft Heisman-winning QBs at your own peril. Of all the winners of the so-called “best” college player award since 1989, they’ve all been big fat busts with only a couple exceptions: Cam Newton and Carson Palmer. Neither are elite.

  30. Theismann has a lot of nerve for a guy with 160 TD passes (less than Jon Kitna and Chris Chandler, and one more than Tommy Kramer), 138 INTs, 25K passing yards, and a career rating of 77.4.

  31. If you can’t take criticism for poor quarterbacking, you’re in the wrong league. Theismann is a huge Redskins fan and he’s just telling it like it is. He’d love to see RG3 play well.

  32. Joe confided in me several years ago that he always wanted to be a QB coach. I say the Skins should give him that chance. And Joe – how about a little patience?

  33. Every time I hear Joe Theismann talk it reminds me of him blaming Harry Carson for not wrapping up on a sack that subsequently led to L.T. ending his career. Like Harry Carson tried to miss a sack on purpose. Theismann is the worst.

  34. If, when I am passing away from this earth, I suddenly hear Jon Gruden and Joe Theismann announcing a football broadcast together, I will know that my life was not pleasing to the Lord, and he has decided to punish me.

  35. chiadam says:
    Aug 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    Theismann has a lot of nerve for a guy with 160 TD passes (less than Jon Kitna and Chris Chandler, and one more than Tommy Kramer), 138 INTs, 25K passing yards, and a career rating of 77.4.

    Joe Namath had 173 TD passes, 220 INTs, and a career passer rating of 65.3, and he’s in the Hall of Fame. Since Theismann has as many Super Bowl rings as Namath, then we should logically push for Theismann to be in the Hall of Fame, especially since he had a much higher passer rating, correct?

  36. chiadam says:
    Aug 25, 2015 4:20 PM

    Theismann has a lot of nerve for a guy with 160 TD passes (less than Jon Kitna and Chris Chandler, and one more than Tommy Kramer), 138 INTs, 25K passing yards, and a career rating of 77.4.
    HOF quarterback Joe Namath had 173 TD passes (13 more than Theismann), 220INTs (82 more than Theismann), 27.7K passing yards, a 50.1 career completion percentage, and a career QB rating of 65.5.

    Guess he had a lot of nerve too.

  37. boblavoie says:
    Aug 25, 2015 4:31 PM
    Joe confided in me several years ago that he always wanted to be a QB coach. I say the Skins should give him that chance. And Joe – how about a little patience?

    Are you kidding me??? Who hasn’t had patience for RGme the last 2.5 years? No other QB in the league would have a chance in hell of starting with NO competition based on his performance. 3 seasons later and the guy still can’t see a blitz coming. RG fans are clueless.

  38. Russell Wilson should have been drafted 2nd overall, and he also should have been rookie of the year. RG3’s reputation is grossly overblown because he tore up a horrible, horrible saints defense in his first regular season game.

  39. Griffin’s regular season stats were better than Russell Wilson’s.

    The differences between their careers since then are clear.

    1. Russell Wilson plays for a better organization
    2. Russell Wilson has a better coaching staff
    3. Russell Wilson has one of the best special teams and defenses since he was drafted, Griffin got strapped with the worst special teams in 2013 and two horrible defenses he had to overcome in 2013 & 14
    4. Griffin unfortunately has had two major injuries which has stunted his growth

  40. abanig, do you even know what you’re talking about? Griffin is not the best QB even on his team , and I don’t know Wilson’s stats last year but it can’t be worse than Griffin’s. In fewer games started last year, Cousins threw more TDs, fewer INTs, more yards passing, fewer fumbles, and 24 fewer sacks. NFL passer rating is bogus because it doesn’t factor among other things, fumbles and sacks. Not to mention Wilson is dependable because he is durable. I think Griffin’s injuries are overrated in terms of how it affects his game anyway, that college option junk has been figured out and defenses won’t let him run what he did in 2012 anyway. If he can’t read defenses before the snap then they’ll rush him every time knowing he can’t scramble well, is inaccurate under duress, can’t find open receivers or dump offs quickly and prone to fumble.

  41. Top three QBs in Griffins draft class are number one Luck, then Tannehill and lastly Wilson. Griffin doesn’t even register.

  42. @fromthere2: I clearly wasn’t talking about 2014 Griffin when he missed two months with a dislocated ankle and struggled with consistency when he returned.

    I said 2012 & 2013.

  43. 99 percent of you don’t watch the games. I dare any of you to look at the pocket Manning gets and compare it to the pocket Redskins starters provide. I dare you. RG3 gets on averase 0.03 seconds every pass play. I’d love to see Colt and Cousins start a game. They will get mauled behind the o-line disaster.

  44. Listen perhaps you guys don’t understand the value of a good offensive line. But for over a decade we had the best in the Hogs. Theismann has never had to play behind the caliber of crap RG3, Cousins , and Colt have to play behind. I mean people are saying RG3 needs to get the ball out faster. What quaterback is gonna thrive when every play he has to throw in 0.05 seconds? Every play? I was hoping we scored a mauler with Scherff but he’s a open door to the QB. I think Spencer Long show more aggression and should start ahead of hi . And for the record PFT, Cousins and McCoy don’t play behind the same line as RG3 nor do they play the same level competition. The line literally melted like hot butter on a summer day last week against the Lions but RG3 still gets the blame. This is ridiculous.

  45. RG3 is an embarrassment FIRST by virtue of the fact that he cannot keep his DANG mouth shut! Second, is his atrocious play on the field which does not validate his glorious claims. What a clown. BUST.

  46. Ha. Lol @ responses like this. He only talks because he’s asked questions by the overzealous washington media that wants to have the scoop first, whether their info is right or wrong. Everything was fine in 2012 when they were winning and the entire team played better – including him- the entire team has been below average since he hurt his knee in 2012, he hmshares blame in that but no player is ever entirely responsible for the team playing poorly.

    I’ve seen OL miss blocks, I’ve seen Roberts and Garxon drop passes, I’ve seen Jackson quit on routes, I’ve seen their TE on the sidelines more than on the field, I’ve seen one of the worst special teams units in nfl history over the past two years and I’ve seen a below average defense that cousins stop anybody and two coaches who looked lost on how to fix it.

    Now if Griffin played every position, I’d out it all on him but as of right now I see he blame as 60% Griffin, 20% the rest of the team and 20% coaching.

  47. Russell Wilson only threw for 150 more yards than Griffin in 2013 and they won the super bowl and Wilson started all 16 games, Griffin only started 13.

    The team is 1-8 over the last two seasons with Cousins finishing the games he’s played in.

    So it doesn’t exactly add up that the entire issue with the team losing is on Griffin.

  48. Any player who gets drafted in the top 10 generally gets through their first contract to prove they can play in the NFL. There should be no different standard for Griffin.

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