Kendall Wright was Robert Griffin III's favorite target on the 2011 Baylor Bears offense. Wright is making as positive an impression on the Tennessee Titans as RG3 is with the Washington Redskins. The Titans love Wright's hands and his speed.
There is a fly in the ointment, however. Wright admits that he never used a playbook at Baylor. I'm not saying Wright never studied a playbook. He and Griffin III never had a playbook to study.
In his own words:
“I’ve never had a playbook at my school. I am new to all this. I didn’t have a playbook at Baylor. We had a lot of different stuff we ran. Now I have a playbook and I am studying every night and learning with coaches in the meeting.”
We are analytics here at Hog Heaven, so our response to disconcerting news is ... analytical.
This cannot be new news to the Titans or to the Redskins. It might explain Redskins' OC Kyle Shanahan's early trips to Texas with playbook in hand to visit Griffin III. Everything we have read or heard about RG3 suggests that he is a self-starter and already deep in the learning process. (I could be in denial. Um, no.)
Further reassurance may be had by looking over RG3's 2011 stat line, especially the part about 72.4 percent completion rate, 37 touchdown passes against six interceptions with 699 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. No wonder we are in love with this guy!
Guiding college athletes' transition to the pros is what the NFL does. Pro coaches are skilled at it and must have their techniques that work for them. It is a bewildering process for college players and it is why high potential draftees sit early in their rookie season. They sit until they get it right in practice.
Ryan Tannehill was a one-year wonder at quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies, but he intrigued NFL teams because he emerged as a classic pocket passer in Mike Sherman's pro style offense. It gave him a leg up on learning the Dolphins' offense, now by no coincidence Mike Sherman's offense. Yet, the dolphins plan to work Tannehill into the starting line-up slowly.
Mike Shanahan says he will adapt his playbook to exploit RG3's phenomenal skills. That's more flexibility than he showed Donovan McNabb who predicted that Shanahan would do no such thing.
Everybody is learning here.
Playbook smaybook. Veterans and coaches entered 2011 training camps without playbooks thanks to the lockout. We were treated to record setting performances on offense anyway. Maybe playbooks and coaching is overrated.