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

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

Stevan RidleyApr 8 07:53p

New York Jets RB Stevan Ridley signed a one-year deal with the team.

Amobi OkoyeApr 8 04:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Amobi Okoye was released Wednesday, April 8.

Emmanuel LamurApr 8 03:43p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Emmanuel Lamur officially re-signed Wednesday, April 8, to a one-year, $2.356 million deal.

Adrian PetersonApr 8 01:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is 'highly unlikely' to face more suspension from the league when he's finally off the Commissioner's Exempt List, according to a source. Peterson's next [ More ]

George JohnsonApr 7 10:23p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed restricted free-agent DE George Johnson (Lions) to a three-year offer sheet Tuesday, April 7. Financial terms are undisclosed. The Lions have five days to match the offer.

Le'Veon BellApr 7 05:23p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season, according to sources. Bell is being suspended following an arrest last [ More ]

Erin HendersonApr 7 05:13p

Free-agent LB Erin Henderson (Vikings) agreed to terms on an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Tuesday, April 7, according to a source. Henderson didn't play last year [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group