The Washington Post

Griffin clarifies comments about trying to draw penalties

Robert Griffin III running against the Cowboys. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post) Robert Griffin III running against the Cowboys. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III took to the team’s Web site to clarify his comments from earlier this week about whether he attempts to draw penalties by opponents when running with the ball along the sideline.

“Some people think I’m aiming to draw penalties and that’s not what I said,” Griffin told the Web site. “I was asked about the hits on the sideline and the guys not being afraid to take the 15 yards for unnecessary roughness.

“I told them that against the Cowboys, I was just trying to run out of bounds and some guy hit me. Some guys will take that, some guys don’t really care. It’s just up in the air.

“Some guys will take the penalty and some won’t take the penalty. You’ve got to use the sideline as your friend. I’m not using the sideline to try and get penalties.”

During his weekly news conference Wednesday, Griffin spoke of attempting to draw a penalty by the Detroit Lions’ Rashean Mathis earlier this season.

“I was trying to draw the penalty on Rashean there and he’s a smart player,” Griffin said Wednesday. “He didn’t hit me. Good for him. Move on from that. But in a rivalry game against the Cowboys, Barry Church is not gonna pull off from that. I gave him a little move there before I went out of bounds. But it was clearly out of bounds. He hit me and … some guys are gonna take those penalties.

“It’s hard to walk that line and you’ve always got to protect yourself. I know I was going out of bounds another time and Brandon Carr went low at my legs, not anything dirty. But I had to move out of the way and you’ve just got to be aware of those things. The sideline is your friend and you can get out of bounds at the sideline. But a lot of defensive players, they just don’t really care. Sometimes they’re gonna still get that hit on you.”

Church, a safety for the Cowboys, was penalized twice for hits on Griffin along the sideline during the Redskins’ loss at Dallas last Sunday night. Church was not fined by the NFL, a person familiar with the situation said Friday.


Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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Mark Maske · October 18, 2013