Cumberland Times-News


September 26, 2012

Skins, battered RG3 to tone down ball trickery

ASHBURN, Va. — Put your hands up, Robert Griffin III.

One of the reasons the Washington Redskins rookie quarterback is taking such a beating is that he’s so good at pretending that he still has the ball after he’s handed it off. It gives defensive players freedom to clobber him over and over.

The solution: Stop pretending, if even it means toning down the trickery.

“Some of the option plays, just make it more clear to the refs — whatever refs we have — that I don’t have the ball because then they can’t hit me,” Griffin said Wednesday. “I guess if I don’t come out with my hands up, then they think I have the ball and legally they can hit me.

“So just make it clear to them that I don’t have the ball and that if I do get one of those shots, we get 15 yards.”

Just three games into his career, Griffin’s health has become a significant concern. He’s taking hard hits every week. He’s been sacked nine times. He already has 32 carries, eight more than any other quarterback. He came up dizzy and was checked for a concussion after one carry in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

There have been plays, said left guard Kory Lichtensteiger, that Griffin looked sprawled “like a question mark” on the field after taking a hit.

“Every Monday we come in here, I’m just kind of looking at him out of the corner of my eye making sure he’s OK,” Lichtensteiger said. “He’s a tough guy, and he’s not going to complain about it. But you don’t like seeing your quarterbacks, especially a guy that’s carrying the load like he is, take those kind of hits.”

Griffin is listed at just 217 pounds — 28 pounds lighter than Carolina Panthers agile quarterback Cam Newton, for example — so there’s only so much punishment the reigning Heisman Trophy winner can take.

“There’s not a person in the league that says, ‘Hey, sign me up for a car accident every play,’” Griffin said. “But we know what we signed up for.”

To help ease the pain, Griffin and coach Mike Shanahan looked at the video this week and decided that it was time to curtail the magic act with the ball. Stop extending the fake after the handoff.

Shanahan also wants Griffin to learn when to slide or get out of bounds when keeping the ball. Even so, there’s only so much the coach can do to limit the hits as long as the Redskins run a scheme that includes the option — and as long as the offensive line remains so fragile. Left tackle Trent Williams was limping and did not practice Wednesday after getting a bone bruise in his left knee in Sunday’s game.

One of Griffin’s injury scares came on a 3-yard run when he dived for the pylon and just missed scoring a touchdown in the third quarter against the Bengals. When he got up, he said he felt dizzy and that “everything on the left was on the right and everything on the right was on the left.”

After the Redskins scored on the next play, the trainers checked him out on the sideline and gave him the all-clear.

“It’s not like I was out there wobbling or running to the wrong sidelines,” Griffin said. “So, it was all good.”

Text Only
  • Stags search for first victory

    The Western Maryland Stags, a semi-pro football team of the Mason Dixon Football League, will play their second game today, 7 p.m., at Greenway Avenue Stadium against the Arbutus Big Red.

    July 19, 2014

  • FBN-ChuckNoll-QuoteBox.jpg Past players, co-workers remember Hall of Fame coach

    “Chuck Noll’s passing is more than the loss of the man who created Steeler Nation. It is the passing of a husband, a father, and a wise and steady counselor to a generation of players and employees of the most storied franchise in football." — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and first lady Susan Corbett.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBN-Obit-ChuckNoll.jpg Steelers' Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll dies

    Chuck Noll died Friday night at his home. He was 82.

    June 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPTS-US-Obama Seahawks.jpg Obama salutes Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks

    “As a guy who was elected president named Barack Obama, I root for the underdog,” the president joked.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBN-Browns Manziel.jpg Browns QB Johnny Manziel: ‘I’m just a rookie’
    With all eyes — well, at least the ones allowed to watch him — on quarterback Johnny Manziel, the most hyped college player to enter the NFL in years took his first steps with the Browns, who haven’t promised Johnny Football anything other than a chance to win a starting job.
    And that’s cool with him.

    May 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boise State gets OK to help homeless player

    Antoine Turner said in an interview that he’s recently been living in a motel, along with a car belonging to his girlfriend, as he finishes up classes at Fullerton College in California.

    May 15, 2014

  • SPTS-FBN-Ravens Mosley.jpg Ravens take Urban, then get offensive in draft

    GM Ozzie Newsome started Saturday’s session by taking Virginia defensive end Brent Urban in the fourth round. At the point, four of Baltimore’s first five picks were designed to improve a defense that ranked 12th in the NFL last year.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBN-Redskins Moses.jpg Redskins select 5 more players
    Griffin: “We’re gonna get that excitement back. ... We’re gonna win.”

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBN-Steelers Shazier.jpg Steelers focus on speed during busy NFL Draft

    Now the group labeled “old” and “slow” by critics hardly looks like either.

    May 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPTS-FBN-AcceptingMichael.jpg Hall of Famers believe gay player will be accepted

    As the first openly homosexual player to enter the draft, Michael Sam could face scrutiny unlike any player before him. But many of the greatest players and coaches in football history don’t believe he’ll be subjected to any hatred, harassment, discrimination or bullying by teammates.

    May 4, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Must Read
House Ads