Robert Griffin III has been showing off his arm in an unusual way during the Cleveland Browns' mandatory minicamp: launching the ball over the practice facility's 16-foot fence, sometimes even hitting neighbors' garages. On Wednesday, Griffin told reporters he was doing it deliberately, and he has a valid reason.
#Browns RG3 admits he's intentionally throwing the ball over the fence to prove he's coachable pic.twitter.com/QX1PXZnrkA— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) June 8, 2016
As a matter of fact, Griffin seemed pleased about the outcome of his efforts to throw the ball away this week.
RG3 throwaway went over fence & hit neighbor's garage. RG3 asked teammate if ball made it over. When told it did, RG3 said yes & pumped fist— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) June 7, 2016
The ability to hit neighbor's garages isn't really a fundamental part of a quarterback's skill set, but there's more context here for Griffin.
Griffin told reporters that in the past, he didn't practice sliding or throwing the ball away enough. Griffin took way too many hits early in his career. Toward the end of a promising rookie season with Washington, a punishing hit from then-Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata resulted in a LCL sprain for Griffin.
Griffin returned to the field, but the knee injury, and the accompanying diminished mobility, impacted Griffin greatly in the Wild Card Round against the Seattle Seahawks. His rookie season came to an abrupt end in that game when, after a botched snap, Griffin's left knee buckled. It was later revealed that Griffin had fully torn both his ACL and MCL, requiring surgical repair.
That's why Griffin is putting so much effort into throwing the ball away during minicamp.
"You gotta practice where you play ... it seems funny throwing the ball over the fence, but it's just part of the process," Griffin said.
And yes, he is deliberately throwing it as far over the fence as he can for Hue Jackson.
"I'm just throwing it away," Griffin said. "Coach asked me to work on those things, so if he says to throw it away, I'm going to throw that thing as far as I can -- all the way away."
Griffin, whose early career has been dramatically shaped by injuries, wants a fresh start as a starting quarterback in Cleveland, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
* * *