Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson has gushed over Robert Griffin III as a "tremendous talent" whose "freakish" arm display during a private workout prompted Jackson to tell team executives that "it felt like the Earth moved beneath my feet."
After signing the former Redskins quarterback to a two-year deal packed with $6.75 million in guarantees, Jackson acknowledged that he saw something else in Griffin: The desire for a second chance.
"When I looked in his eyes," Jackson told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. "When we talked, there was a humility to him. He took ownership of what happened to him, of what he needs to work on to be good. He knows he played a big part in what happened. There are still questions to address and work to be done. He knows. In this league, you don't always get another chance like this. Here's one."
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The problem for Cleveland is what Griffin has shown on the field in recent years: diminished speed, confused footwork and an inability to unpack defenses. As injuries piled up, his confidence seemed to wither up, especially under Redskins coach Jay Gruden, who clearly preferred Kirk Cousins.
"That probably played a huge role in what happened with his development," said Jackson.
The silver lining for Griffin, of course, is landing with a quarterback tutor in Jackson who helped develop Joe Flacco and milked a career year last season out of Bengals passer Andy Dalton. If RGIII can be fixed, Cleveland's coach sits on the short list of men who can help reconstruct the quarterback's game.
That won't come easily, though, in a Browns offense currently bereft of weapons after losing deep threat Travis Benjamin and a host of starting offensive linemen. Cleveland also holds the No. 2 pick in next month's draft, making it clear that Griffin might soon face plenty of competition in the form of Cal's Jared Goff or North Dakota State's Carson Wentz.
Jackson made it clear to King that nothing has been handed to anyone on this long-lost roster, saying: "I don't think signing Robert says anything about what we'll do in the draft. You never know. You can never have enough good players."