We look at the Ravens quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III and Trace McSorley. Was Jackson able to fix his throwing mechanics in the off-season?
After sitting out the preseason with a fractured right hand, Ravens backup quarterback Robert Griffin III is “ready to play,” coach John Harbaugh said Friday.
Griffin knows that the prevailing hope in Baltimore is that he won’t have to.
“Really, in my role, no one wants to see me go out there, to be honest with you," he joked Friday, as the Ravens finalized preparations for their season opener Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. "And I’m not rooting for anything happening to anybody. My job is to help L.J. [Lamar Jackson], help him lead this team and, if called upon, be ready to roll.”
In a weird way, Griffin said, he’s more ready for Week 1 than if he hadn’t hurt his hand in the Ravens’ open practice at M&T Bank Stadium early in training camp. Most players with a serious enough injury in camp rehabilitate inside the team facility, away from the glaring sun and swamp-like humidity of an Owings Mills summer.
Griffin “decided not to go through the motions,” he said. He asked Harbaugh and quarterbacks coach James Urban whether he could still practice, even if he couldn’t actually throw, at least not initially. He got the green light.
“At this point in my career, I know how important camp is,” Griffin said, and so everything the team’s healthy quarterbacks — Jackson, Trace McSorley and Joe Callahan — did in practice, he tried to do, too. “Shadow reps,” he called them. It was like method acting: When there was a handoff, he’d mime it from behind the play. When Jackson scrambled or ran play-action, Griffin would run, too.
The impersonations paid off, Griffin said. His body is “fresher,” and Ravens coaching analyst Sam Rosengarten, who helps evaluate the team’s player-tracking data, told Griffin he’d been involved in as many practice repetitions as even Jackson had.
“By doing it that way, I got more work than I would have in training camp,” he said. “But it helped me come back faster. So knocking off the rust the first couple of days was easier because I had already trained my brain and my feet to do the right thing. It was just about going out and throwing the football.”