The Washington Post

Griffin gives offense an ‘A’ for its performance in preseason opener

Robert Griffin III completed 2 of 4 passes for nine yards in the Redskins’ first preseason game against New England on Thursday night. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

RICHMOND — Even before the final score was settled in Thursday’s preseason opener, Robert Griffin III recorded a victory simply by taking part — something he was unable to do last year, as he recovered from surgery on his right knee.

After reviewing film of the 23-6 romp over the New England Patriots, Griffin said he’d give himself and the team an “A” for their performance.

The first-team offense played just one series, with Griffin completing 2 of 4 passes for nine yards and running back Alfred Morris gaining tough yards on the ground.

One of Griffin’s misses, a third-down play in the red zone, would have been a touchdown had Aldrick Robinson, who made a terrific leaping catch, not put a hand down out of bounds before landing with both feet in. The drive was salvaged by a field goal.

“In those 10 plays, we accomplished everything we wanted to except for the touchdown,” Griffin said Saturday after the team’s two-hour practice at its Richmond camp. “We were effective, got through all the reads, made all the check and moved the ball down the field in the 10 plays. It was as good a 10 plays as we could have had.

“For me personally, I’m pleased with how I did. Worked really hard on some of the stuff. That’s why we come out every day ready to practice, ready to go some more. Definitely was an A for 10 plays.”

Griffin said he was particularly pleased with the physical tone that Washington’s offense and defense set at the outset of the game, which he felt trickled down to everyone who took the field.

Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo sacked quarterback Ryan Mallett on the opening drive, and the Redskins’ defense held New England scoreless until the final two minutes.

And the special teams unit, markedly improved from last season, pinned the Patriots back with poor field position throughout the game.

“All around — offense, defense, special teams — we executed well,” Griffin said.

“If you have a mind-set going into the preseason — ‘Let’s run the offense, let’s be efficient, effective and move the ball’ — that will help you move into the regular season where it’s the same type of thought process. You just open up your playbook all the way and have game-plan specific things going on.”

As he has done throughout training camp, Griffin took time after practice to sign autographs for fans screaming his name. Upon meeting two young cancer survivors Saturday, Griffin took off his shoes and asked for their autograph.

Liz Clarke currently covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. She has also covered seven Olympic Games, two World Cups and written extensively about college sports, tennis and auto racing.



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