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Jay Gruden: 'Foolish' to make RGIII a pocket passer

Robert Griffin III never found solid footing in his relationship with Mike Shanahan. New Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden represents a fresh start for the quarterback.

Gruden's biggest job with the Redskins, by far, is helping return Griffin to the dynamic future star he was as a rookie. Gruden believes his past experience as offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals will come into play.

"I worked with Andy Dalton for three years in Cincinnati, and built a foundation of concepts and protections that I think worked well with him," Gruden told's Peter King. "With Robert, we'll obviously use his skill set differently. When it comes to the quarterback position, my job is to make him comfortable and productive.

"I'm not going to try to turn RGIII into Andy Dalton or Drew Brees. He isn't them. They're not him. I would be foolish to try to turn RGIII into a pocket passer. It would be foolish. The way he is as a runner, we have to take advantage of that. He strikes fear into defensive coordinators when he runs outside. I'm going to let him be himself."

The question is whether it's smart to let Griffin "be himself." Through two seasons, the quarterback has been unable to protect himself from unnecessary punishment (It's a mild miracle Griffin made it through 13 games this season before being shut down.).

Griffin's ability to make plays as a runner still can be a huge asset. But he also needs a coach who can teach him how to properly harness that skill set. Gruden is right when he said that making RGIII a pure pocket passer would be foolish. But allowing Griffin to expose himself could be equally unwise.

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