2014 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

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

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