Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III absorbed some relatively jarring hits during the Washington Redskins’ loss in St. Louis last Sunday, including some that he later described as cheap shots.

But Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Thursday he’s not necessarily keeping track of the total number of hits taken by Griffin this season as the team weighs the risk against the rewards of having the prized rookie run with the ball on a regular basis.

Robert Griffin III vs. the Rams last Sunday (Sarah Conard/Reuters)

“I don’t think you count it by numbers,” Shanahan said. “I think quarterbacks take the worst hits usually when they’re in the pocket waiting to throw the ball. I think at least when he’s running with it, he has an idea of where it’s coming from. His eyes are on people. Not all quarterbacks have the ability to get out of the way. But he does. I think he’s done a good job of not taking too many big hits. I think that’s a week-to-week basis. You have to keep him healthy. It’s how he feels and what he can handle. He’s done a great job with it so far.”

Shanahan said the Redskins don’t have a predetermined acceptable number of carries for the season for Griffin, who has 20 rushing attempts in two games.

“I don’t know,” Shanahan said. “This is our first time going through it, too. We’re kind of learning as we go also. You never go into a game planning for him to carry the ball all the time. Usually when the defense covers everyone else, he has to be a threat and pull it away and go run with it.

“You hope you’re not calling too many plays where he’s running it versus every single look. You just hope he’s only running it versus premier looks. When you do it that way, he usually has a chance to get some yards before he can go down. He’s not just running power up in there by himself, just butting heads with everybody. [He’s] usually just trying to race people to the sidelines.”

Shanahan also had an assessment of Griffin’s eye-catching, sack-avoiding spin move against Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan last Sunday.

“That move,” Shanahan said, “I thought was just really good coaching.”



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