RGIII's throw vs. Oklahoma? More than impressive
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After watching the replay of RGIII’s TD pass to beat Oklahoma from this past season, I had to post this video. Yes, I will talk about scheme here, but this is more about Griffin’s abilities in the pocket and the intangibles he brings to the QB position because of his unique skill set. And I do believe there is plenty to look at here when you break down the game situation and the throw to beat a Top 5 team.
Let’s go to the replay and then we will talk coaching points…
- Baylor has a “staggered” cluster alignment to the closed (strong) side of an empty formation. In the NFL, you will see the “OVS” (outside vertical stretch) in this situation with time running down. A 9 (fade), 7 (corner), Flat combo to give the QB two outside breaking routes that work towards the boundary (sideline). Here, Baylor is running the “stick” routes (curl at the sticks) with an inside 9 route to clear out the safety. Basic concept to move the ball into position to set up a FG.
- First thing that stands out with Griffin? The ability to step up in the pocket. Pro QBs have to “feel” pressure, move in the pocket and create throwing lanes. With an outside speed rush, this is exactly what we see with Griffin: step up and buy some time.
- I don’t see any panic from the Baylor QB—and his eyes are down the field. Often times we will see young and inexperienced QBs drop their eye level when they have to move to avoid a rush. That leads to poor decision-making and forced throws into coverage. With RGIII, the QB slides laterally to the line of scrimmage with eyes on the receivers.
- You will hear analysts talk about QBs “throwing the wide receiver open.” What does that mean? Look at the DB in the end zone. He is playing with inside leverage. However, Griffin puts the ball to the outside (away from the DB's leverage) and allows his WR an opportunity to separate and go make the play. And the WR isn’t open when he let’s go of this ball.
- How would I coach up this DB in the film room? This is the "scramble drill" you work on in practice. I want to see him “plaster” to the WR with the QB out of the pocket (similar to defending in basketball with your back to the ball). The real issue here is simple: don’t look back at the QB—because he is not throwing the ball to you. Focus on the WR. And when you look back, it provides an easy opportunity for that WR to push off (which won’t be called), create separation and go get the ball.
- Looking at the basic route scheme here, I can’t see how this ball was designed to go to the end zone. However, with Griffin’s ability to step up, extend the play and buy time for his receiver down the field, the QB went ahead and took a shot. I love that. Go make a play and win the game vs. one of the top teams in the nation.
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