Robert Griffin III is eagerly awaiting his next opportunity, even though he doesn’t know when or where it might arise.
Despite throwing just six passes over the past two seasons, Griffin hasn’t been sitting idly in Baltimore. Through his efforts behind the scenes he’s been elevated from Lamar Jackson‘s mentor to Jackson’s backup, which means he’s one snap away from seeing the field.
The veteran signal-caller said the league is in for a great surprise in 2019 regarding the Ravens‘ reconfigured offense.
“I’ve got to make sure I understand the offense, forward and backward,” Griffin said, via the team’s official site. “The offense will look different. I think we’ll shock some people with what we’re going to do. If we need to run it 60 times, we can do it. But if we need to throw it 30 to 40 times, we can also do it. I think that’s what we’re working on, to make sure we have those capabilities.”
Of course, no NFL team ran the ball more often last year. The Ravens‘ run-pass ratio was particularly imbalanced once Jackson was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 11. Baltimore ran on 65.6 percent of its plays from scrimmage while winning six of its final seven games, claiming the AFC North in the process. But as Griffin noted, the plan under new OC Greg Roman is to be more flexible moving forward.
They added several pieces this offseason with that initiative in mind, drafting wide receivers Marquise “Hollywood” Brown and Miles Boykin and running back Justice Hill, and signing former Saints Pro Bowler Mark Ingram.
“This game is about mismatches and that’s what we’re trying to create,” Griffin said. “You get a guy like Hollywood, it’s a speed mismatch. When you get a guy like Boykin, it’s a height and reach mismatch. Get them in situations where they can be successful.”
RGIII already regards his situation in Baltimore as such. The club took a flier on the former star last year after he sat out the 2017 season. It then resigned him to a two-year deal this spring in the aftermath of trading Joe Flacco to the Broncos. Griffin, whose ultimate goal at 29 “is to become a franchise quarterback” again, said Roman and QBs coach James Urban emphasized in a private meeting how much they value Griffin’s role on the team and, potentially, in the offense should Jackson be sidelined.
“It meant a lot for them to sit down and have that talk with me,” Griffin said. “I haven’t had that talk with anyone for a long, long time. I’ve just been fighting for the next meal. And when I got drafted in 2012, I never thought I’d be in that position where I had to fight for the next meal. …
“I’m happy to be here, I’m excited to be here, I love this place, I love this organization. They’ve treated me well. I have bigger goals in mind, and those goals start with the Baltimore Ravens. So I have to make sure I do everything I can to be the best for the Baltimore Ravens.”
That approach has paid off — literally — for Griffin thus far.