The New Orleans Saints weren’t surprised by what the Washington Redskins did Sunday with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, they said.

They just couldn’t stop it.

“They did the things that we expected,” said Aaron Kromer, who’s serving as the Saints’ head coach with Sean Payton and Joe Vitt suspended. “That’s the hard part to take. It was the things we practiced, the things we expected. And we didn’t play well enough to win.”

Griffin had a dazzling NFL debut, running the ball effectively along with putting up big passing numbers. The Saints said they were impressed.

“He was very poised,” defensive end Will Smith said. “You could tell he was the leader of that team. He kept those guys together offensively. He just came out and played well. He made decisions. He didn’t rush anything. He didn’t try to run every time things didn’t look good. He made a lot of good plays and played a good game.”

The Saints didn’t do a good job of dealing with Griffin. But Kromer said his team wasn’t unprepared for the way the Redskins used Griffin.

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)


“You’re always anticipating with RGIII that he’s going to be running the ball with some sort of read option on the back-side defensive end, or faking it to the right and bootlegging it to the left…. I don’t think they did anything that we didn’t anticipate,” Kromer said.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he wasn’t able to pay close attention to what Griffin was doing but thought his rookie counterpart played extremely well.

“I thought he was extremely impressive…. It looked like he was making a lot of plays with his arm and with his feet,” Brees said.

More on RGIII’s debut

First half is one for the books

Griffin watches first TD pass

RGIII brings game ball to presser