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Donovan McNabb Says Robert Griffin III Wouldn’t Be A Good Fit With Redskins

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

Former Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is currently a free agent, made an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday morning and said Robert Griffin III, whom the Redskins are likely to select with the No. 2 pick in April’s NFL Draft, would not be a good fit with the team.

Griffin

“I say that because a lot of times, ego gets too involved with when it comes to being in Washington,” said McNabb, who played the 2010 season in Washington before being traded to Minnesota last summer. “Here’s a guy who’s coming out who’s very talented, mobile, strong-armed. We’ve already heard he’s an intelligent football mind. Are you going to cater the offense around his talent and what he’s able to do? What type of offense do you run with him? Is it the spread offense that you try to continue to flourish, that he’s been successful in? Or are you just going to have him in a foxhole, with a makeshift offensive line?

“You just keep bringing in receivers. You have a solid tight end in Fred Davis that you need to feature. What are we going to see? I don’t think it’s a great fit. If this doesn’t work this year, we don’t see a splash like a [Carolina quarterback] Cam Newton splash, this could be it.”

As a follow-up on ESPN’s “NFL Live” later Thursday, former Indianapolis head coach Tony Dungy, asked for a reaction, said McNabb’s comments have to be put in a certain context.

“Well, he makes a good point, in the sense that Donovan’s really talking from the side of being a veteran quarterback that was put in a system that basically didn’t benefit his skill set,” Dungy said. “Robert Griffin is a piece of clay. He’s a rookie. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and I think this system will help him tremendously in this sense. They’re going to run the football in the zone scheme, and you think about the quarterbacks of the past that [Redskins head coach] Mike Shanahan has had success with – John Elway, Jay Cutler, Jake Plummer – those types of quarterbacks understood they’re going to play outside the pocket a lot – in other words, the boots.

This is not a drop-back, West Coast offense. This is a zone offense set up by the running game, and then the boots and the waggles. Donovan McNabb – that’s wasn’t his strong suit. He was raised in a West Coast offense, basically drop back, get the ball out of your hand, those types of things. Then he goes there and he was in a completely different offense. I can understand what Donovan McNabb is saying, but Robert Griffin is a piece of clay.”

Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice agreed with Dungy’s assessment. Rice played for San Francisco when Shanahan was the offensive coordinator in 1992-94 and also was in Denver’s training camp when Shanahan was the head coach in 2005.

“And you’re gonna taper everything to RG3. We know that he’s a franchise quarterback. We know what he’s capable of. We know he can get outside the pocket. He can throw the ball. Then also, the guy’s fast. He can run. But what I like about him is his rocket arm. I think, Mike Shanahan – he’s all excited about working with him. He knows that this guy is the franchise for the Washington Redskins.”

“I think he’s a players’ coach,” Rice later said. “I think he’s gonna try to put his players in a position where they can win. The guy’s very creative. I was with him in San Francisco, and then I had an opportunity to go to Denver and also play for him a couple games. I know what Mike Shanahan is all about, and he’s all about winning.”

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