Last week USA Today talked to Terry Shea, the quarterback guru who has worked with Robert Griffin III prior to the Redskins taking him in the draft and then again a couple of weeks ago in Arizona.
The headline that made the rounds about the article was Shea saying that Griffin “looked 100 percent healthy.” He was the “old Robert Griffin” again.
What escaped the attention of many, however, is the shot that Shea took at Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and former quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur when discussing Griffin’s mechanics from last year.
During the 2013 season Shea noticed that Griffin’s passes frequently missed high. He saw that Griffin wasn’t finishing his weight transfer onto his plant leg. That’s the right leg, the one with the repaired knee.
He was surprised that this was an issue. “For some reason, they just dropped the ball on his footwork fundamentals,” Shea said. “I'm convinced. You get so caught up on schemes and decisions and progressions and they forget that a quarterback needs just as much attention on his footwork and fundamentals as well.”
“They”, of course, were the Shanahans and LaFleur. Saying that they “dropped the ball” on fundamentals is a pretty strong indictment of Griffin’s ex-coaches.
Working with Griffin for six days last month, Shea said that he has fixed the QB’s footwork.
"It was good to see him return to his fundamentals,'' Shea said. "That was my role, bringing him back to a grounded state about feeling good about his fundamentals and the way he was releasing the ball — putting that back foot in the ground and then transferring over the front.”
Why this was not addressed last year will probably forever remain a mystery. Perhaps it was a matter of not having enough time, maybe his knee was never quite right and the weight transfer was not physically possible.
In any case, it’s in the past and if Griffin’s mechanics are indeed squared away, Jay Gruden and Sean McVay will be the beneficiaries and will be able to focus on “schemes and decisions and progressions”.