Keim: Yes. At some point those who are good pocket passers had to learn this as well; you're not born knowing how to operate in the pocket. The difference is guys like Peyton Manning enter the NFL more developed in this area because they've never been able to win with their legs. Therefore the learning in this area occurs before they reach the NFL. Quarterbacks like Griffin have to learn how to be pocket passers while developing in the NFL. It's not easy and not all get it, but, yes, you can improve. I've spoken with mobile quarterbacks such as Mark Brunell and Steve Young about their process of going from scrambling types to pocket passers. It can be done; it takes a few offseasons of hard work in this area and a strong understanding of how to read defenses and coverages and focus.
Keim: Yeah, that was a phrase we heard a lot leading into the season. But, as was explained at the time (by some), that didn't just mean blitzing. It meant allowing the linebackers to rush without worrying about contain as much as they perhaps did in the past. But that certainly didn't help them. Sometimes it was ineffectiveness, sometimes game situations. Part of the problem is they don't have any elite players in their front seven. If you're wondering about blitzing: The Redskins have sent an extra rusher on 153 dropbacks this season, eighth most in the NFL. They blitzed 60 percent of the time against Dallas, but typically have done so on an average of 41.6 percent of the dropbacks. A botched blitz led to a touchdown last week. But, in general, some players just have not produced.
More troubling to Gruden, though, is the fact that Griffin has shown little improvement in the fundamentals of the position, areas such as footwork, timing and rhythm, pocket awareness, reading the field and getting the offense into the proper play.
This may or may not be highly significant but I found it to be interesting. Redskins opponents complete just 56 percent of their passes for 4.5 yards per attempt in the first quarter. In the second quarter, opposing QB's are much more successful, completing 84.4 percent of their passes for 11.4 yards per attempt. It's no wonder that they have given up just shy of nine points per game in the second quarter. Apparently offensive coordinators aren't waiting until halftime to make adjustments against Jim Haslett.