It’s Logical to Assume the Browns will be interested in RG3
First of all, I have no idea if Robert Griffin III is the guy to lead the Browns out of their misery. I used to be hard on that bandwagon, but softened a bit after the Alamo Bowl. Not sure why (other than an exceptionally mediocre second half), but that’s not what this post is about.
Some fans seem to question his ability to adapt to the Browns version of the West Coast offense, or whatever it was they put on the field when an offense was supposed to be out there.
Terry Pluto (who I usually like, fwiw) wrote in his Sunday column:
“Robert Griffin III is a playmaker, but exactly how does he fit into the passing offense? Everything he does is out of the shotgun, which is not the favorite formation of the Browns. He is most dangerous running around, rather than taking a quick drop back and zipping a short pass.”
Now, to be certain, Pluto isn’t the only one making this point about the offense he played in. A good number of media types and fans seem to share a similar concern. Even those who like Griffin use this point to illustrate why the Browns won’t show an interest in him.
It’s all unwarranted.
I see no reason to think that the Baylor’s style of a spread offense isn’t one that can be adaptable to the Browns’ WCO. Some bullet points to consider:
- RG3 orchestrated an offense at Baylor that is the product of its head coach Art Briles.
- Art Briles was also the head coach at the University of Houston from 2003-2007, and implemented a similar offense – which was run by Kevin Kolb for four years.
- Kevin Kolb was the second round pick (36th overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007 – which was Tom Heckert’s second draft as GM. The Eagles also run a version WCO.
- Tom Heckert is now the GM of the Browns, where he supposedly shares the same vision of an offensive philosophy as Mike Holmgren and Pat Shurmur.
- Similarly, as Typical Cleveland points out, Holmgren loved Sam Bradford – who always played from the shotgun and ran a similar looking spread offense. Oh, and Shurmur was the offensive coordinator of the team that drafted Bradford first overall.
So, Tom Heckert clearly felt that the offense Kevin Kolb ran in college was similar enough to allow him to transition to a WCO. Then why would anyone believe that RG3 ran an offense too distant… when he ran the same offense in college as Kolb? (And ran it so effectively that he was named the nation’s most outstanding college football player?)
Now, I know what you’re thinking: but Kevin Kolb sucks. His play at quarterback this year can most properly be summed up by this:
True. Good point.
But it doesn’t change the fact that Heckert loved him as a prospect and the Eagles organization had a collective boner for Kolb until Mike Vick decided to become fantasy football’s MVP in 2010. If Heckert and the Eagles have any shred of hubris (which I’m sure they do), my guess is they probably feel that any of Kolb’s future shortcomings are due to inept development courtesy of Arizona.
So what is it exactly that makes people think Baylor’s offense is a reason the Browns will be cold on RG3? Because I’m getting lost on that point.
Pluto’s other concern was that “most dangerous running around,” rather than “zipping short passes.”
This was actually similar to one thing I found off-putting about Griffin’s Alamo Bowl: rarely did he make any plays from within the pocket.
But, the more I think about it, the more I’m not sure I care.
By most scouting reports I’ve read, and my own personal observation, RG3 can throw the ball really freaking hard. So, arm strength? Check.
He also completed 72.4% of his passes this season. Accuracy? Check.
Watch any YouTube video of his and look at how many bombs he dropped into someone’s bread basket without them breaking stride. Touch? Check.
Oh, and at one point had 18 TDs to 17 incompletions. Not interceptions. Incompletions.
18 touchdowns. 17 incompletions. What. The. #@$&.
Mind-blowingly cool stat? Check.
To review: The Browns head haunchos have all recently fallen for college prospects as fits to their versions WCO when those prospects came out of systems very similar to the one at Baylor. RG3 ran it as well as anyone in college football history and looks to have all of the physical tools to takes to be a great passer (touch, accuracy, arm strength and efficiency)… to go along with world-class athletic ability.
Now whether he would be the right move or the best move for the Browns is another discussion for another day.
But it’s absolutely logical to assume the Browns will have a keen interest in RG3.