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Jay Gruden: Read option won’t be a focal point of our offense

Robert Griffin III

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III scrambles with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Md., Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Robert Griffin III can have a lot of success running the read-option, but that doesn’t mean he’ll do it often in Washington this season.

New coach Jay Gruden says he’s not totally scrapping the read option, but he plans to employ it only occasionally to keep defenses guessing about how Griffin might beat them with his speed, rather than making it a major part of the game plan.

“Personally my belief is the read option is better as an element of surprise,” Gruden told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. “If you’re making it a major focal point of your offense -- though they had success with it -- that’s problematic. You want to have some of it, no question, because it’s the way to get the numbers back in your favor offensively. And with a quarterback like him, why wouldn’t you have some of it? But we’re trying to develop him as an all-around quarterback. And I don’t know if they had that [as a goal]. I’m sure they did a little bit, but I think that’s the clear intent moving forward, to develop him as an all-around quarterback. That’s part of his growth, from ’12 to ’13 to now.”

Noting what new coaches Andy Reid and Chip Kelly did last season, Gruden hopes he can have similar success as a new coach this season.

“Our bar is set high here,” Gruden said. “The way you build a team, it can happen quickly. Kansas City was 2-14 one year, then added a quarterback, stopped turning the ball over and made some plays on defense and went to the playoffs. The Eagles get their guys healthy, find a quarterback and all of a sudden they’re flying high. That’s what happens. It takes some weapons, but I think we have enough people here in this building that we can be competitive every week, and there’s no reason why we can’t do some great things this season.”

Those great things will not include Griffin running the read option regularly.