Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is struggling to escape the pressure and it's the not the pressure that comes with being the second overall pick in the draft.
According to a report from Rich Tandler of the Washingon Times, also cited by Gregg Rosenthal at NFL.com, Griffin has taken a lot of sacks so far during the Redskins' training camp.
The problem seems to be that Griffin is lingering too long in the pocket, before deciding to get rid of the ball. It could be simply a natural part of the transition to the pro game for the Heisman Trophy winner.
However, it could also be due to learning the nuances of head coach Mike Shanahan's rigid offensive structure. The Shanahan scheme relies a lot on creating a moving pocket, via the use of mis-direction, play-action and rollouts.
There have been some concerns expressed about how Griffin, who ran a spread attack at Baylor, will fit into Shanahan's very specific system. Back in early May, Nbcsports.com reported that Shanahan will adjust the play-calling to suit what Griffin can and can't do.
Given what he traded away to select Griffin, Shanahan should do all he can to make the new face of the franchise a success, even if it means abandoning some of his core plays.
The other concern to emerge from this news, is the question it raises about Washington's offensive line. The group is under the microscope this season after surrendering 41 sacks in 2011.
In fairness to Griffin and the line, starting left guard Kory Lichtensteiger and right tackle Jammal Brown, are both currently missing through injury. However, news that Griffin is already facing an intense rush, is hardly an encouraging early sign of the front five's ability to protect Shanahan's star asset.
It's ironic that Griffin should be pausing in the pocket and struggling to escape the rush. His athleticism, mobility and quick release were lauded at the collegiate level.
What the Redskins cannot afford is a quarterback who takes his time in the pocket, wanting to be sure, before having to run from defenders given a clear lane through feeble protection.
Griffin's arrival has generated plenty of hype and optimism in D.C., but there is clearly plenty of work still to be done. His decision-making and timing are two key things to watch once the Redskins begin preseason next Thursday.84050