Saturday, August 16, 2014

Talking Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins quarterbacks

Obviously I’m excited to see my Washington Redskins play on national television Monday, but also take on my second favorite team, the Cleveland Browns. Living in Ohio for 13 years will do that to a football fan — even to a lifelong 'Skins fan. …

Here’s a brief rundown on what I’ll be looking at most from each team’s quarterbacks.

Browns: Brian Hoyer needs to come out with the same swagger and confidence he’s shown throughout the off-season and prove why he should be the No. 1 QB.

More importantly, he needs to lead Cleveland down the field and score touchdowns. Not field goals, as the Browns only managed to get against the Detroit Lions, but TDs.

As far as Manziel Mania goes, I’m not drinking the Gatorade. At least not yet.

Manziel gave a solid effort against the Lions and proved he’s an accurate passer (7-of-11 for 63 yards). Yes, he also is exciting when he decides to run (he led the Browns with 27 yards on six rushes), but I want to see Manziel do more from the pocket and take many more snaps under center. In the NFL, it’s been proven time and time again that the most successful QBs — even the great scramblers and runners — need to prove their merit with their passing IQ.

And that brings me to the Redskins and Robert Griffin III.

I want to see Griffin play more than one series, as Hoyer did against Detroit.

RGIII needs to prove he can pick apart defenses by relying on his arm. Now that he’s truly healthy from his ACL injury, he can return to being the force of nature he was two seasons ago with the double threat of making great throws and mixing it up by running the ball.

Actor Matthew McConaughey is a lifelong Redskins fans. Who knew?!
Here he shares a moment with QB Robert Griffin III at the 2014 OTAs.
My biggest gripe with Griffin last season was when he threw off his back foot. That needs to stop; even with RGIII’s ridiculously strong arm, good things rarely happened when he did that. Since head coach Jay Gruden is a former standout at QB, I hope the new Redskins head coach has stressed to Griffin the need to make good decisions, throwing into the ball and checking down to find the best receiver.

Don’t be surprised if you see RGIII doing more work from the pocket this season — yet still shocking defenses with a burst of speedy footwork.

Ultimately for this season, I expect Manziel to sit the bench behind Hoyer, whom I believe gives the Browns the best chance for consistent success. The Gruden-Griffin combo should give new energy to RGIII, who might have another break-out year and give the Redskins another chance to be competitive.

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