Ron Jaworski is the latest former NFL quarterback-turned-analyst to weigh in on Robert Griffin III's struggles. Griffin, entering his third NFL season, has been inconsistent in three preseason games and fans and media are already in full-on "Let's give Kirk Cousins a chance" mode.
For Jaworski, RG3's problems can be traced back to poor fundamentals.
“Now, he's still young,” Jaworski told ESPN's Colin Cowerd during a radio appearance (via Sports Bog). “He's still developing. We'll see what Jay Gruden and this new offensive staff can do for him. But clearly he's got to learn to play from the pocket.
"His mechanics have regressed, by the way. They have regressed in the fundamental way of throwing the football: his throwing slot, his footwork, his inability to remain consistent in that. When you and I talk all the time, the word that comes up a lot in my mind is consistency. And we see a lot of players in this league, they make great throws. They can make a great play. But you have to do it on a consistent basis. That's what separates the great players from the guys that have short careers.”
Jaworski reiterated that the ability to play from the pocket was paramount to success as an NFL quarterback.
“When you get to big-boy football, which is the NFL, there isa way to play the game,” Jaworski said. “And you have to play from the pocket. And I know when draft time comes around, the first thing you read about [many quarterbacks] is his running ability, his ability to extend the play, for all these mobile quarterbacks.
“And I think that's about number six or seven down on the attribute priority list: The ability to make plays with your legs," he continued. "Because you have to play from the pocket, you have to play smart. Bill Walsh said it best: You have to process information quickly, and that's really what the position is about. You know, every year there's hundreds of guys coming out that can throw the football. But the great ones can process information, throw it accurately, and with pinpoint accuracy, and velocity when necessary.”
During the Redskins' Week 3 preseason game last Saturday, Joe Theismann, who now serves as the team's color analyst, said, "Let's stop beating around the bush. Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has."
Days later, and presumably after hearing from someone higher up on the Redskins food, Theismann qualified his remarks.
"What's gonna have to happen -- and will happen, I'm sure -- is this offense will morph into something that complements [Griffin's] skill set, as far as being able to break the pocket and get outside. In the preseason, because of the way it's been constructed, there's no question. Kirk has played and looked better. Robert continues to work hard. ... And I said it in the telecast, there's no competition here. Robert Griffin III is the starting quarterback.”
Gruden insists that he's happy with his starters, and that includes Griffin, adding that the quarterback "is further along that it appears he is," and "I think he's a lot further along than he gets credit for.”
So for now, RG3 is Gruden's guy. For how has yet to be determined.