Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that quarterback Robert Griffin III wasnāt to blame for the interception that killed a potential scoring drive in the second quarter against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
On first-and-10 from the Detroit 19-yard line, Griffin rolled to his right, looking for an open receiver with defensive end Willie Young in pursuit. Young got a hand on Griffin and started pulling him down from behind when the quarterback chucked the ball downfield, attempting to get it to wide receiver Pierre Garcon around the 10-yard line.
Lions defensive back Chris Houston came back to the ball and intercepted it.
After the game, Griffin explained what happened.
āComing down, I didn’t get to see the throw I got pulled and tackled on. I thought I saw Pierre coming right back down the stem towards me on the sideline,ā Griffin said. āAnd when I watched it on the big screen, he actually stepped out of bounds and the corner behind him kept coming down. Another play where if you make the play, itās a great play, but if you don’t, itās a bad play. And it was a bad play.ā
Shanahan said on Sunday that he believed Griffin was pressing because his team was behind and needed a play.
But on Monday, after re-watching the game, the coach changed his opinion.
āThat was not his fault,ā Shanahan said. āI was very upset during the game. I thought he just kind of threw it haphazardly, and really it was a great throw. It just didnāt work out that way. Iām not going to go through the blame, but as I said after the game, I thought it was just a mistake, and it was a good throw.ā
Griffin’s other major miscue of the game came when he dove head-first and fumbled at the end of a 21-yard run rather than sliding feet-first.
Shanahan explained that the right call was made because Griffin had dove and not slid. The coach said after the game that he has seen quarterbacks use both methods and that all he cares about is Griffin taking care of the ball.
On Monday, Shanahan said Griffin has and will continue to work get better at sliding.
āYou practice his sliding. He actually practices it at practice. Not that heās a great slider, but heās getting better. He didnāt slide very much in college. Heās gotten better at it in practice. Heāll continue to get better as he does it.ā
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