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Griffin and the Broncos would be a perfect match

By: Myles Nelson

Robert Griffin III had a tremendous rookie season running Mike Shanahan's offense, which is a very similar offense to the one Gary Kubiak runs.

Robert Griffin III had a tremendous rookie season running Mike Shanahan’s offense, which is a very similar offense to the one Gary Kubiak runs.

The Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos are now without a starting quarterback after Peyton Manning retired, and Brock Osweiler left via free agency. They recently acquired Mark Sanchez, but so far there has been no guarantee that he will be starter come week one. Robert Griffin III would be the perfect candidate to come in and compete with Sanchez for the starting spot.

We all know the sour end to Griffin’s run with Washington as he lost his starting spot to Kirk Cousin, had pretty public disagreements with his coach and had multiple reports that he did not get along with his own players, but he still has a skillset that can be utilized by the right team.

Think back to 2012 when Griffin had one of the best rookie seasons ever for a NFL player. He set the record for highest quarterback rating for a rookie quarterback, leading Washington to their first playoff appearance since 2007, and earned Rookie of the Year honors in the process.

Not only did Griffin have success, fellow rookie, running back Alfred Morris also peaked as a rookie. Morris has slowly declined every year with other players at quarterback in Washington. One of the Broncos biggest issues last season was their lack of a consistent running game. Having Griffin as a threat next to the running back could be just what they need to find their running attack. Morris was able to flourish in a similar system. Not to say Griffin was responsible for Morris’ success, but it’s a lot harder to stop the run when you also have to account for a mobile quarterback. That could be what C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman need.

What system does Denver run? Gary Kubiak runs a pretty similar system to what Mike Shanahan ran in Washington when Griffin was at his best. That’s why Griffin would be a perfect fit in Denver.

Kubiak can get Griffin back into that system with a zone blocking scheme that Griffin did so well in. And another thing that makes Kubiak such a great match for Griffin is that he has developed a reputation as a ‘quarterback whisperer’. He managed to get a few very productive seasons out of Matt Schaub in Houston, and after that, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a career year with Kubiak as his offensive coordinator.

Flacco has a huge arm, and while his legs aren’t nearly as dangerous as Griffin’s, he’s pretty comfortable in a moving pocket. Throwing on the move is another part of Flacco’s skillset. Kubiak took advantage of what made Flacco great and did not try to force him to do anything more. He should be able to do the same with Griffin.

Kubiak would allow Griffin to do what he’s good at. Even if it’s not a full-fledged read option offense, at the very least Kubiak would have Griffin running plenty of play actions and bootlegs where it looks like he could take off running down the field. Whether Griffin has intentions of running or not, defenses have to react to him if he moves outside of the pocket, and Griffin has the ability to throw on the run and take advantage of the slightest hint of hesitation by a defense. If the defense doesn’t react to his movement, he picks up yards with his feet, but if a defender creeps up too close to him, the defense runs the risk of Griffin finding an open receiver where that defender should be.

One big difference for Griffin this season would be his health. Considering he just sat out a full season, he’d assumedly be playing at 100-percent for the first time since his rookie year. Denver’s offense struggled last season partially because they had an immobile Peyton Manning running a system that simply didn’t work for him. They looked better with the slightly more mobile Brock Osweiler on the field. Griffin has the arm and legs necessary to excel in this offense. If any team should take a shot on the former Heisman Trophy winner that still has great potential it is a Broncos team that won a Super Bowl without an effective quarterback last year because they had plenty of other talent on their offense, a great defense they can lean on.

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Myles Nelson

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