Jay Gruden says he’ll let RGIII ‘be himself’

‘Foolish’ to make RGIII a pocket passer: When Jay Gruden was hired as Washington’s new head coach, the biggest question was what would he do to help Robert Griffin III return to being the dynamic quarterback we saw in 2012. So far, we know one thing Gruden won’t do — confine Griffin to the pocket. The coach says he’d be “be foolish to try to turn RGIII into a pocket passer” and will mold the offense to fit his quarterback’s natural abilities. The biggest question will be whether or not Griffin has learned (or can be taught) to protect himself better on the field. His propensity to take big hits in his first two seasons has led to doubts about his ability to stay healthy long term. Now that he is a full season removed from major knee surgery, he should look more confident running the football. But until questions about his durability have been sufficiently answered, he’ll remain a low QB1 or high QB2 in 2014.

Giants offense to go up-tempo: Allow the New York Giants and new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to remind us that the NFL is a copycat league. Big Blue’s new O.C. says he plans for the team to run a more up-tempo attack in 2014. Certainly teams like the Broncos, Patriots and Eagles have found success running a more high-speed offense. It’s a move that has Victor Cruz excited, but it will be interesting to see if Eli Manning‘s predilection toward throwing interceptions will make this a viable change. In the meantime, the idea that Cruz, Andre Brown and the rest of the Giants offense could see more snaps will help their draft value. Now if we only knew who the team’s second receiving option was going to be.

Jaguars not counting on Blackmon?: Suspended Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon will be eligible to apply for reinstatement sometime before the beginning of next season. When that is, however, is unknown. In the meantime, the team reportedly is looking at having the young WR’s presence as a “luxury“. That seems to imply that the Jags aren’t certain Blackmon will be reinstated for the start of 2014 and could start looking for other options to pair with Cecil Shorts. Blackmon’s talent is undeniable, but with two suspensions for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, he has become a major risk.

– Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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