Is RGIII a fit for Jay Gruden's West Coast attack?


The best news for Jay Gruden? He's no longer tethered to Andy Dalton.

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Hired Thursday as coach of the Washington Redskins, Gruden now shifts from tutoring one of the league's most inconsistent starters to overseeing the development of Robert Griffin III.

Gruden's arrival ushers in a shift from Mike Shanahan's Pistol-heavy, read-option-laced scheme to a more traditional West Coast attack.

The burning question -- undoubtedly asked during the interview process -- is whether Gruden will adapt his weather-worn playbook to make the most of Griffin's unique skills on the ground.

There's a backstory here. Chris Wesseling wrote this week about Bengals owner Mike Brown's preference for Colin Kaepernick over Dalton in the 2011 draft. Gruden felt the opposite, pushing for Dalton as a better fit for the West Coast scheme that he -- like his brother Jon -- has long been married to.

"It was my feeling and a lot of other people's feeling in the building that Andy was the most mentally ready to come in and start Day 1," Gruden told WLW-AM on Tuesday. " ... Colin had the great physical makeup, but there were questions about his quarterback accuracy, as a passer is concerned. I also wasn't really into the read-option stuff and it wasn't really that popular at the time."

At its core, the West Coast approach relies on progression reads and precisely run pass patterns. It's a methodical beast. With Joe Montana at the helm under the watch of Bill Walsh, the scheme is beyond critique; with Dalton pulling the trigger, it can be a tough watch.

We've said for weeks on the podcast that we expect Griffin -- who sounds open to a pro-style attack -- to come roaring back next season, but a brand-new offense adds a layer of complexity to those expectations. RGIII's growth on the field might very well boil down to the flexibility of his new head coach.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" featured a very special in-studio visit from Bears star Brandon Marshall.