Robert Griffin III understands need to protect himself, and the ball


Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III slides in front of Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Christian Kirksey on Monday. (Richard Lipski/Associated Press)

Robert Griffin III said he understands that every time he takes off running in a game, he subjects himself to risk of serious injury. He also understands that because of those risks, he sparks concern both from his coach, teammates and fans. And, Griffin knows that he must do a better job of protecting himself.

Griffin said as much Monday night when after he had two close calls – an awkward tackle on one scramble, and three unnecessary hits at the end of another run – he tweeted to fans that he would do a better job of sliding.

Wednesday morning, Griffin reiterated that. He watched video of the game with coach Jay Gruden to go over the good, bad and ugly. And during that session, Griffin saw where he could’ve avoided the dangerous plays.

“I’m glad that people care,” Griffin said in the locker room before Wednesday’s practice. “I talked to coach about it and he understood what I was doing in all three of those situations. … But it’s a continual process of getting better at everything, and I’m aware of that. So, fans, don’t worry.”

Griffin’s first compromising situation came when he came under pressure during what should’ve been a bootleg pass. The quarterback didn’t see anyone open and tried to dash past Browns linebacker Karlos Dansby, who dragged Griffin down from behind, bending his knee awkwardly.

The second came at the end of an 18-yard run to the left. When Griffin neared the sideline, he ran into a defender, bounced off of him, and then two others before falling down. Griffin avoided risk on his third scramble as he slid after a two-yard gain.

“This was three instances in two quarters of play,” Griffin said. “The first one, I’ve got to get down sooner. The second one, I was trying to get out of bounds and just got popped back in from the guy on the sideline, and the third one, I got down.”

Griffin said he knows how to slide, but at times, his competitive urges take over. He admitted, however, that he has to have better awareness, particularly in the preseason.

“I’m out there running and stuff and playing the game, and I’ll get better at getting down and staying out of harm’s way,” he said. “It’s that intensity you have for the game, makes you who you are. For me, the second game of the preseason, I just can’t do that. I acknowledge that in the tweet, and with my teammates, my coaches and with the fans. I understand that, and I’ll have to get better at managing those situations.”

Griffin also said after looking at video, he saw how he could’ve avoided his interception. Washington had marched downfield and into Browns territory when Griffin threw a pass intended for DeSean Jackson on an out route. But cornerback Joe Haden picked it off.

“Just a ball I can’t throw, can’t throw it late. I talked to coach, watched the film. That’s the takeaway we had from it. You don’t want to leave those out-breaking routes inside,” Griffin said.

The quarterback did see positives in Monday’s play, however, and added that he hopes that with attention to detail in practice this week, he and his teammates can carry the positives over into Saturday night’s game at Baltimore, while also correcting their errors.

“We did a good job overcoming some of our mistakes,” Griffin said. “We just can’t continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with the turnovers and penalties.”

The Post Sports Live crew tackles Monday night's Redskins-Browns preseason game, and discusses quarterback Robert Griffin III's performance and what he needs to improve on. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

 

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

Outsider: A closer look at things Griffin did well, not-so-well on Monday

Updates on Griffin, Thompson from open locker room

Thompson plans to practice | Jackson says he can do it all

Wise: Referee avoided Washington games for eight years because of the name

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Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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