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Redskins’ Gruden credits QB coach with RG3’s progress

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Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden already sees Robert Griffin III benefitting with the presence of full-time quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

Gruden coached the quarterbacks himself last season after taking a hands-on approach in his first year as a head coach.

Griffin struggled last season when the Redskins finished 4-12, passing for 1,694 yards and four touchdowns with six interceptions in nine games, and now Cavanaugh’s job is to get RG3 ready to turn things around.

Cavanaugh joins the Redskins with 22 seasons of coaching experience across the professional and collegiate levels.

Gruden already sees the decision of hiring Cavanaugh in January as the right one.

“Now we have a set of eyes strictly on the quarterback, and I think that’s important,” Gruden told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Every snap, every handoff, every dropback is being critiqued to make sure we do it the right way, and I think that’s been a big benefit for Robert.”

Cavanaugh spent 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback for the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.

Cavanaugh won two Super Bowl titles as a backup quarterback with the Giants (Super Bowl XXV) and 49ers (Super Bowl XIX). He was a second-round selection (50th overall) of the Patriots in 1978 NFL Draft, appearing in 112 career regular-season games with 19 starts and passing for 4,332 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Cavanaugh’s background includes coaching stints as an offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears (1997-98), Baltimore Ravens (1999-2004) and University of Pittsburgh (2005-08). His tenure in Baltimore included a victory over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.

Griffin is confident Cavanaugh will help with his preparation.

“Bringing all that knowledge and experience, I think it’s helping everybody,” Griffin said of Cavanaugh. “He’s been with a lot of different teams and a lot of different offenses, and he knows a lot of different ways to get from point A to point B, and I think that helps us and helps me as a quarterback to go out there and see everything.”

Cavanaugh hasn’t promised any quick fixes with his arrival.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Cavanaugh told the newspaper. “It’s a good group of people that works really hard, and we’ve all got the same goal, which is to win. We’ve got some time yet. I think we took a big step the last couple months through OTAs, not just on the field but in meetings, figuring out what we want to be offensively. That’s a good start. Now, when we come back (for training camp), we just need to focus on a few more things in detail, and try to hone in on exactly what we’re going to do.”


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