ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski got some headlines on Wednesday by declaring that a quarterback who has started seven NFL games could be one of the best ever.
"I truly believe Colin Kaepernick could be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever," Jaworski said Wednesday on ESPN. "I love his skill set. I think the sky's the limit."
Well, OK then. Some might think it’s a bit premature to say that but when the purpose is to make a bold statement you might as well go out on a limb.
Earlier in the day, the former Eagles quarterback made some statements that drew some attention around these parts when he talked about the throwing mechanics of Robert Griffin III.
“I was watching him throw the football — there were a few clips — and I was concerned in the weight transfer,” he said on Mike and Mike In the Morning via our friends at Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t see the clean mechanics I’ve seen in the past. I’m not there every day, I’m not a doctor, but he just looks a little different right now. It’s pregame, it was warmup, people can discount that. I’m just saying from my eye, I didn’t see the clean drops, the weight transfer, stay on that back foot, snap the hips, that I’d seen out of him.”
This created some degree of panic among some Redskins fans who fear that Griffin’s second ACL injury may have permanently altered the quarterbacks ability to throw. Both Griffin and Mike Shanahan were asked about it yesterday.
Griffin was asked if there were any changes to his mechanics. “I think the experience last year playing through the injury, being hurt out there, showed me a lot about football,” he said. “That’s something that I’ll keep to myself.”
One could surmise from the last part of that answer that Griffin’s mechanics aren’t the same as they were when he had such a stellar rookie season last year.
Shanahan said that any hitch in Griffin’s mechanics may be due him taking fewer practice reps due to his knee rehab.
“When you take a look at his OTAs, the minicamps, there’s about 600 throws in there, so we’ve watched them,” he said. “You know, right now, he’s got well over 200 throws – about 220 – so we’ve had a chance to see what he’s done thus far, and we’ve still got a couple more weeks left, putting him in team situations and things that he’s done in the past.”
“Everybody needs those reps and that’s why we’re going to do it for two weeks before we get in our game week against Philly, so it was part of our game plan in getting Robert ready and we’ve got a couple of weeks to go and hopefully he keeps on progressing like he has.”
If what Jaworski said is true—and remember that he was watching pregame warmups for a game in which Griffin would not play—it’s not necessarily any cause for alarm. Griffin is still rounding into form and the knee is different from the way it was before. In addition, there is a brace on it and that will take some getting used to. The more reps he gets the more comfortable he will be. It’s possible that he will have to live with some flaws in his motion for the rest of the year until he gets them ironed out next offseason.
So it is premature to be overly concerned about permanent issues with Griffin’s throwing motion, if he does indeed have any at all. But it is worth watching and I’m sure we’ll hear more about this when the season starts.