The word “chemistry” is used a lot in sports and it can be very hard to define. However, when it comes to wide receivers and quarterbacks, the term means something quite precise. There are two elements:
—The receiver needs to run exactly where he is supposed to run.
—The quarterback needs to know where that spot is and trust that the receiver will be there.
Robert Griffin III is learning his second offense in three years in the NFL and two of his top three receivers, DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, are new to the team. They will need to get in sync. The process started in Arizona in March when Roberts, Pierre Garçon, and other pass catchers met for a passing camp set up by Griffin (Jackson was not yet with the team). It has continued through the offseason program, with Griffin and receivers putting in some extra time away from Redskins Park in addition to the workouts at the team facility.
Gruden thinks that things are coming along pretty well. “We’re not perfect and I don’t think anybody is right now,” he said on Wednesday. “There’s been some out of route too sharp, not sharp enough, maybe a little bit short, maybe a little deep. But I think the more we watch it, the more we rep it, the more comfortable [Griffin] is going to be of knowing where people are and what depths and how they’re coming out of their cuts.”
Last week the Redskins were hampered in the process of getting everyone on the same page by Jackson’s absence from most of practice with a hamstring injury. He was still somewhat limited in the OTA that was open to the media on Wednesday but he still was able to get in some good work with Griffin.
“It’s good to have him out here back at practice with us,” said Griffin. “He’s doing what he can. He’s excited about it.”
If Griffin, Jackson, Roberts, Garçon, Jordan Reed and the other pass catchers develop the proper chemistry there will be plenty to be excited about.