Very troubling article in today’s Washington Post on RG3 and the number of hits he’s taking. I’m assuming Mike Shanahan is going to start protecting his prized first round draft pick and I’m not liking the methods being discussed. Against Cincinnati in week 3, the Skins had trouble moving the ball in their regular sets in the first half. They went to a triple option look in the third quarter and Cincy couldn’t stop it. What the Bengals did do was hit Robert hard on every carry, even when he handed off to the fullback or pitched the ball. Such is life in the option and is probably why no pro teams regularly execute it. But his ball faking was exceptional and the Bengals were forced to defend the whole field. If the option is removed or Robert starts lifting his hands to indicate he’s not a fair target after a handoff, the scheme looses its effectiveness. I’d like to see them go to a two tight end set and execute a power running game with a few bootlegs and some misdirection play action added in. Until they get Pierre Garcon back, they’ll have to move the ball closer to the line of scrimmage and only stretch the field occasionally. But it’s important to maintain RG3 as a running threat.
Playing not to get hurt in the NFL often has the opposite affect and limits your team’s aggressiveness and creativity. Donovan McNabb’s downfall started in Philadelphia when Andy Reid tried to turn a world class scrambler into a pocket passer. McNabb was the best when he got out of the pocket and made the defense defend the whole field. I’d hate to see Shanahan make the same mistake with RG3.