Contrary to the opinions of those who see Robert Griffin III as just another single-read spread offense quarterback who will need to be wet-nursed through a more complex offense at the NFL level, it seems that RGIII has been doing his homework. On Monday's "Total Access" show on the NFL Network, Griffin got in a room with Steve Mariucci and was asked to draw up a play unfamiliar to him in both concept and verbiage: a West Coast offense staple called "Brown Right F Short 2 Jet Flanker Drive."
Mooch looked to replicate the process RGIII has been going through during his combine interviews with NFL teams this week -- not only will the teams want to know Griffin's plays from Baylor, but they'll also ask him to draw up a few plays common to their own offense. The "flanker drive" concept is very common to any WCO team, and not unfamiliar to anyone willing to look it up on the Internet (much less from an advance version of an NFL playbook sometimes given to prospects), but with a few stragglers wondering how he'd do in the classroom, it's safe to say that Griffin impressed.
"You know what I found out?" Mariucci asked. "RGIII is a very smart guy."
"You might end up in a West Coast offense," Mariucci said to Griffin. "Let me teach you something about the West Coast offense. This is what I coached, and this play is called Brown Right F Short [that's the flanker motion] 2 Jet [that's the protection] Flanker Drive. This will be installed early. This drive concept is going to be a staple in the West Coast offense."
Mariucci then drew the play up, asked Griffin a few questions to try to distract him (a common practice in these situations), and gave the white board over to the kid. Not only did Griffin recall the play, he also drew up the protection that Mariucci hadn't specifically set up on the board.
Boom, done. Though he did call the play "Blue Right" instead of "Brown Right." And yes, the verbiage will be a transition for him ... as it would be for any spread quarterback moving from a two- or three-digit system to a more complicated offense. Even (GASP!!!) Tim Tebow.
Mariucci asked Griffin what he thought was the biggest misconception about him. "That I'm an athlete playing quarterback -- I'm just a quarterback who happens to be an athlete. I don't have to run first; I like to stay in the pocket. My job as the quarterback is to be the point guard of the team. Trying to help everybody -- whether it's the running back, trying to tell the offensive line where to go, or getting those receivers the balls they deserve."
A pure quarterback? Yes, indeed. Between the tape, the interviews, and the football sense Griffin shows, there can be little doubt.