The Hue Jackson — Robert Griffin III marriage is apparently still in its honeymoon period.
Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot spoke with CSN Mid-Atlantic, reporting that Jackson and the Browns are desperate to start the newly signed quarterback. (You can watch the full interview here)
How likely is it exactly that RG3 starts over Josh McCown, Cody Kessler, and Austin Davis?
“The odds are very, very high,” Cabot said. “They want him to be the starting quarterback on day one. They’re not going to have a short leash on him at all, so I believe he will be the starter for week 2 [against the Ravens] and in that very big week 4 [against the Redskins].”
Cabot then spoke about how the Browns are trying to maximize the 4-year veteran’s talents.
“I watched them coach him up on every single play, every single rep. They are riding him hard. They do not let up. Just in terms of mechanics, accuracy, point of release footwork, going through his progressions, standing in the pocket, taking what’s going to be the hits, and stuff like that. They’re coaching him to throw the ball away, and he’s had a little bit of fun with that, he’s thrown it over a 16-foot fence a couple of times to prove his point.
“He’s trying to prove that he’s coachable. He’s sliding, he’s getting up after that to try to show people, ‘Hey, I’m not what they say I am, I’m coachable and I’m going to do what these guys are telling me to do. In addition to that, they’re sending him out to Los Angeles to work with quarterback guru Tom House. They’re doing everything they can to get him ready.”
As the hosts of CSN Mid-Atlantic’s program asked, do the Browns really want Griffin to succeed? Or is Jackson just trying to save face?
Jackson is fully invested, Cabot says.
“Absolutely, 100 percent. We’ve been saying “all in” a lot here in Cleveland, and Hue Jackson and Pep Hamilton are “all in” on RG3. Like I said, they’re doing everything that they possibly can to coax that 2012 type of season out of him again. They see those flashes of greatness, they love the skillset, the mobility,” MKC said. “They think they can coach him up into the kind of player who can not only scramble around and make crazy things happen, but to stay in the pocket, read the defense, and go through the progressions. Hue really believes in himself and what he’s been able to do with quarterbacks since he’s been in the league and he feels he can be successful with RG3.”
At the end of the interview, the talk shifted from quarterbacks to analytics. One analyst on the show accused the Browns of trying out analytics, even though “it has not been proven by anybody.”
Cabot had an intriguing response.
“Well, they’re going to give it the ol’ college try. Speaking of the college try, it’s going to be the Harvard try because there’s a lot of really smart guys in here who have Harvard degrees. And they’re going to try to apply these numbers and see what they can’t do with a football team. We won’t know until probably three years or so how this analytics approach will work in Cleveland. I tend to think they’re missing that kind of old time GM who’s been through that, been on the front lines, has done it, has sat in those stands in rain and freezing cold since he was 18 years old. So we’ll see how it goes, they’re convinced it’s going to work, but we won’t know for a while.”
Time will also tell how quickly opinions change, about both RG3 and analytics.