What can Robert Griffin III learn from Michael Vick?
Without a doubt Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III is a dynamic quarterback and athlete. After one season it’s pretty clear that he’s already a better quarterback than Michael Vick was or ever will be. Then what can RG3 learn from Vick? The answer is quite simple; how not to play the game.
After watching the Redskins take on the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card game no one can ever question RG3’s heart. In one of the gutsiest performances in recent memory a hobbled Griffin played on a bum knee often wincing in pain with the execution of each snap. At one point in the fourth quarter, Griffin’s bad knee gave way as he was trying to handle a misdirected snap. It was a scene that had Redskins nation holding their breath as the future of their franchise darkened with the viewing of the replay.
Besides the fact that Griffin should have not been playing at that point given the nature of his injury and the probability of inflicting further damage, here’s the real problem.
Griffin is a great quarterback who happens to be athletic. The problem with Griffin being an athletic quarterback is that his stature, like Vick’s, doesn’t support it. Griffin is listed at 6-2, 217 lbs. Having such a slight frame while being subjected to the punishment of an NFL QB who uses his legs to make plays will result in one of two things; either a shortened playing career or one that is injury plagued. Just ask Vick who is listed at 6-0, 215 lbs. In his nine years as a starter Vick has only played in all 16 regular season games once. Griffin should use Vick’s inability to stay on the field as a reason to curtail his style of play. And he needs to do so immediately.
The problem with Griffin limiting his plays outside the pocket is that his athleticism is a big part of what he does as a quarterback. It’s nearly impossible to defend or game plan against an athletic quarterback. It’s what makes guys like Griffin, Andrew Luck and Cam Newton so successful. The difference is that both Newton and Luck have frames capable of taking punishment; RG3 does not.
Another player that was similar to Griffin in build and athletic ability was former San Francisco 49ers QB Steve Young. Young did manage to stretch his concussion plagued career for 15 seasons however still suffers from the effects of all the punishment he took today. Earlier in the season, Griffin missed time with a concussion, as did Vick.
For Griffin’s sake, let’s hope that he and the Redskins can figure out how to use his talents as a quarterback while minimizing his exposure to potential injuries. If not, don’t expect to see RGIII playing in the NFL for very long.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth.