Until a player actually performs on an NFL field, we rely on comparisons to envision how he’ll respond. New Colts quarterback Andrew Luck reminds many NFL experts of John Elway or Peyton Manning. New Buccaneers running back Doug Martin reminds others of Ray Rice or Maurice Jones-Drew.
Does that mean that these players will look the same on the NFL gridiron or share the same success? Probably not, but it’s a starting point to gauge their pro success.
But what do you do if there is no comparison? What if that player changes the way the game is played? Former NFL executive Bill Polian told Judy Battista of the New York Times, he thinks Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is the type of playmaker that ushers in a new era for the NFL:
Polian was startled by what he saw from Griffin, who dazzles so completely that fans at Radio City Music Hall began chanting his name Thursday night, even before Luck had left the stage and the Washington Redskins’ pick was official.
“This is a new dimension,” Polian said he told the Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay.
Although the Shanahan offensive scheme in Washington has encouraged certain defensive looks, watch out for brand-new systems against Griffin.
He may not have the shiftiness or ability to break tackles like a running back, but with sub-4.4 speed, he will regularly be the fastest player on the field. Forget quarterback spying with a linebacker or safety–you need Usain Bolt.
“You look at R. G. and picture in your mind a Houston Texans offense because that is Kyle and Mike Shanahan-designed,” Polian said of the son and father who now run the Redskins.
“If you now look at the Houston offense and say that every time Matt Schaub comes off the bootleg in the stretch play, which is the staple running play in their offense, you now have a threat of a guy who can put his foot in the ground and go by everybody or stop and throw it 60 yards across the field on the money — even worse.”
“How do you defense that?…How are you going to contain him?”
With any luck, you don’t.
Selecting No. 2 overall, the Redskins may have missed out on Andrew Luck, the highest-rated quarterback prospect since 1983. But if you look around the NFL, very little about the game is the same as it was in 1983 (or 1993, or 2003 for that matter).
Instead, the Redskins added a quarterback with some of the top playmaking potential, ever. There are no guarantees of success, but there’s no question that it will be exciting to watch:
“I can’t wait to see Washington in action and see what he does,” Polian said. “Carolina wants to be a power team, but Mike is going to run that guy up there with the zone blocking. We’re going to get more R.G. III on the outside. Gone, baby, gone.”
Gone, baby, gone.
To read the rest of the New York Times article, check it out right here.
Tags: Bill Polian, Draft, kyle shanahan, mike shanahan, quarterback, RG3, Robert Griffin III, rookie, washington redskins
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