When Jay Gruden convinced Bengals owner Mike Brown to draft Andy Dalton over Colin Kaepernick back in 2011, the former Cincinnati offensive coordinator acknowledged that he wasn't on board with the read-option craze sweeping college football.
Now that Gruden is coaching a Washington Redskins quarterback who excelled as a dual threat out of Kyle Shanahan's pistol offense en route to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2012, it's fair to wonder if Robert Griffin III's running ability will be minimized going forward.
Gruden conceded to NFL Media's Steve Wyche on Thursday's edition of NFL AM that Griffin's designed runs might be "few and far between" this season. The new 'Skins coach made it clear, however, that RGIII will have the green light to scramble as often as the situation dictates.
"As far as him running in the pocket, quarterbacks make those decisions, not me," Gruden explained. "On game day, it's hard for me to tell them, 'Stay in the pocket -- don't scramble!' But we'll have some designed plays where we get him outside, let him use his legs, obviously it would be stupid not to.
"I feel good where he's at. He made some serious strides just in the spring working in the pocket and delivering throws and pulling it down and running when he had to run. That comes naturally but also comes with a lot of reps and playing the position."
Gruden's comments make a lot of sense.
In reviewing Griffin's 2012 season via Game Rewind, it's abundantly clear that his success was due in large part to Shanahan's scheme, which offered clear, defined reads and relied heavily on RGIII's 4.38 speed to put defenders in a bind.
Gruden appears to be striking the right chord in attempting to minimize injury risk while understanding that RGIII simply isn't an asset as an NFL quarterback at this stage of his career if his legs are removed from the equation.