In addition to running the whole team, last season Jay Gruden thought he could coach the quarterbacks himself. The results were less than spectacular. With a year under his belt, Gruden decided to bring in a coach specifically to work with the passers, and the team hired Matt Cavanaugh.
The new quarterbacks coach is certainly working with Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, but to be clear, his main charge is to work with and improve Robert Griffin III. Blessed with incredible athletic ability, RG3's accuracy and decision making have been questionable since his dynamic rookie season in 2012, and for the Redskins to prosper, Griffin needs to be better.
"Every snap, every handoff, every dropback is being critiqued and making sure we do it the right way," Gruden said of Cavanaugh. "I think that has been a big benefit for Robert."
There is no throw RG3 can't make, no play he can't improvise. Where his play can improve is the minutia of football, quicker reads and better pocket fundamentals. Working with a coach specific to that task could help. And so far, Cavanaugh is encouraged.
"I came in with an open mind and I've been impressed," Cavanaugh said. "He's got a great work ethic, he's got a lot of ability."
It's interesting to note the new QB coach said he "came in with an open mind." It would be naive to think that Griffin has not developed some type of reputation as perhaps a bit difficult to coach or work with, especially after the fiery departure of former coach Mike Shanahan and a slew of comments that came with his removal. Things clearly ended poorly with Shanahan, and at times last season it seemed Griffin and Gruden did not see eye to eye.
An open mind for Cavanaugh is a good idea, a clean start for both coach and QB, and it sounds like it's going well.
"He takes coaching very well," Cavanaugh said.
But what matters is what happens when the team gets to Richmond, the players wear pads, and the action gets serious. Griffin has the starting job, and the team needs him to be great.
"Next month will be important," Cavanaugh said. "I've seen good progress."
Will working with Cavanaugh be a benefit to RG3? Will it help Gruden to have somebody working with the QBs? Let us know what you think in the comments.