Everyone gasped a little when Washington Redskins receiver Josh Morgan compared rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III to a near-great and two great veteran quarterbacks. It sounded a little too over-the-top.
It is dangerous to draw conclusions from one game, oh but what a game. Morgan was so on the money about Griffin that you can call him prescient — a college word meaning, "Having or showing knowledge of events before they take place." Griffin's performance was historic.
A story in The Wall Street Journal suggests that Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan learned from the Tim Tebow experience in Denver last season. Shanahan mixed the zone read spread offense in the Redskins playbook, building on a growing trent in pro football. From the story...
"But on Sunday, in quarterback Robert Griffin's historically successful debut, something startling happened: The Washington Redskins ran a college offense, complete with loopy formations and unapologetic tributes to long-ignored fads like the pistol, the wishbone, the student-body right and that thing where you have 30 seconds to eat as many Goldfish as you can.
"But what's more significant about this game is the message that Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's offense sent about the future of the NFL: Rather than trying to force talented college quarterbacks to make clean breaks from campus and try to adapt to an NFL system, they're trying to make the NFL seem a lot more like college."
So Coach Shanny is doing what John Fox did last season to make the playoffs, and what Rex Ryan is attempting with the Jets, run the Urban Meyer plays that Tim Tebow already knows well. Shanahan is doing it with a better quarterback than Tebow. It worked beyond our wildest imagination against the Saints who was both the first team to see it, and a team with issues.
Add this from John Keim's story, Redskins RG3 not so easy to read,
@skinshogheaven completely unprepared. The coaching changes had a much more profound impact, this week at least, than I anticipated.— Saints Nation Blog (@SaintsNationBlg) September 10, 2012
"'You haven't seen these offenses since high school or college,' Orakpo said. 'Now you've got to be disciplined to stay with your assignment. That presents a problem. You want to get up the field. You want to get big plays. Guys want to rush and fill the gaps. All of a sudden they draw back the play-action pass, a quarterback keeper. It's a challenge.'"
Of course, these are the pros. It only takes six or eight weeks of game video for defensive coordinators to figure out a player. Then it becomes a match up of talent and execution. Six or eight weeks is when RG3 faces the tough defenses of the NFC East and AFC North. That's when we'll see how prescient Morgan was to compare Griffin to Vick, Brady and P.Manning.
about.com - the zone read offense.
about.com - Defending the spread offense starts with confusing the quarterback.