Former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley now hosts a radio show on ESPN Radio and recently spent a segment giving a very detailed look at everything Robert Griffin III did wrong during the team’s recent loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The analysis, which can be seen in detail in The Washington Post, concludes that RGIII failed at almost all of the basics of being an NFL quarterback including missing basic reads, not seeing wide-open receivers, misreading the defenses, and failing to run the team’s offence.
It got so bad that, Cooley says, the coaching staff eventually had to switch to what Cooley called a “Day-One offence,” the absolute basics.
It is an absolutely scathing analysis backed up with plenty of details from the game that leaves you shaking your head at the realisation of just how bad it has gotten for a quarterback who once seemed destined for greatness but has now been benched.
But after all that, Griffin may actually have a bigger problem, one that could be an underlying cause of the other issues and one that he and the coaches may never be able to fix.
Robert Griffin III has the yips.
‘He’s short-arming the ball,’ Cooley said. ‘He has bad technique, he’s not setting his feet right … He has the yips. He does have the yips, where the ball’s just not coming out of your hand right, so now you’ve aborted all technique, because you don’t have a feel for the ball coming out of your hand, and you’re getting this shot-put throw action. You’re aiming. He has the yips. He does. He just does.’
The yips are something most closely associated with golfers putting and occasionally with baseball players throwing, with an athlete suddenly unable to do a basic skill he or she has done thousands or even millions of times before.
The most famous case came in during the 2000 MLB playoffs when the St. Louis Cardinals’ young star pitcher Rick Ankiel suddenly lost the ability to aim his pitches. Ankiel never recovered and eventually reinvented himself as an outfielder.
If RGIII does have the yips, not only does it affect the throws he makes, but it probably also affects his confidence, which could explain why he is not making the throws called for in the game plan and why he is not throwing to wide open receivers.
An athlete with the yips can become consumed with the fear of failure and may avoid those situations at all cost.
Unfortunately for Griffin, there probably won’t be a chance for him to switch positions — so if he can’t fix the yips, they could end his career.
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