2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Redskins ask refs about ways to protect RG3

By JOSEPH WHITE - AP Sports Writer
    2013-08-02 15:35

WASHINGTON (AP) - Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan peppered the men in stripes with questions when NFL officials made their annual presentation at Washington Redskins training camp, the quarterback and coach trying to get clarity on how the franchise player can protect himself.

``Mike asked a question, Robert asked a question - they should have had their own private little meeting,'' backup quarterback Rex Grossman said.

The emergence of mobile quarterbacks like Griffin has presented a challenge not only for NFL defenses, but also for the refs, who have to discern what's legal and what's not when it comes to hits delivered to QBs. The zone-read, in which Griffin has the option of keeping the ball or handing it off based on how the defense reacts, is a specific new wrinkle that required some adjustment from all parties.

``That's the beauty of this game,'' referee Gene Steratore said Friday. ``Every year it seems either by new unbelievable talent that comes along, the innovativeness of what the teams coach, what works and what doesn't work - five years ago it was the wildcat, now we're talking about potential read-option plays back in the National Football League because of the talent that's progressing into the league. It's a never-ending learning experience for officials, coaches and players.''

The teams want to know what the officials are looking for, and that's what these training camp visits are all about. Steratore and three other officials spent Thursday and Friday watching Redskins practices and chatting informally with coaches, players and each other. During one practice, two of the officials stood at the goal line pylon, discussing in detail the proper foot placement when judging a play close to the sidelines in the end zone.

The major presentation was Thursday night at the team hotel. The officials showed coaches and players a 13-minute video explaining this year's major rules changes, including the elimination of the tuck rule and a new rule that penalizes running backs who lower their head straight-on into a defender in open field.

Then they took questions.

The Redskins were particularly concerned about plays in which Griffin runs the ball. He's protected from hits if he slides in a timely manner, but it's something he doesn't do well and it costs yardage. But, if he goes head-first: ``The chances of him being contacted are real,'' Steratore said.

``When you consider what the Redskins have,'' Steratore said, ``as far as their quarterback is concerned, and the potential for him to be running free downfield, I would think it would be a question that they'd want to have clearly defined.''

Griffin missed all or part of four games last season due to various injuries and had reconstructive knee surgery in January. The two more significant hits he took came when he was scrambling downfield after he was unable to find an open receiver - not on designed runs or plays using the zone read.

Shanahan says that's proof that the zone read actually protects his quarterback because defensive players can't rush full-bore. They have to pause a beat to see who has the ball and react accordingly.

Last year, officials informed Griffin that he is susceptible to being hit when he pretends he has the ball after handing it off. They encouraged him to raise his empty hands after he releases it.

But when he keeps the ball, he's live game. Griffin absorbed a lot of hits last year, usually because he wouldn't slide or get out of bounds before defenders closed in on him.

Griffin has vowed to be more judicious this year about when to go for the extra yard and when to slide. The tricky thing for the officials is to judge whether, for example, he starts his slide too late to keep himself safe.

``The abuse that he takes, I think there's some concern to get down and protect yourself better (instead of) fighting for that extra yard, especially on the sideline,'' Grossman said. ``He got hit so many times - just get out.''

Note: A helicopter was used to dry the field for practice early Friday after two days of heavy rains. The chopper was supplied for free by a local company after the Redskins asked for the city of Richmond for help.

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group