Redskins

The Good and the Bad From RGIII in Preseason Win Over Cleveland

by Brian McNally
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LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 18: Quarterback Robert Griffin III is sacked during a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField on August 18, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

LANDOVER, MD – AUGUST 18: Quarterback Robert Griffin III is sacked during a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField on August 18, 2014 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Brian McNally Brian McNally
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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III sustained a thigh contusion in Monday’s 24-23 preseason win over the Cleveland Browns at FedEx Field. It is not considered serious and he expects to practice on Wednesday. It also typified an up-and-down day where some things went right and plenty went wrong.

Griffin played a little over a quarter and completed 6 of 8 passes for 112 yards. That’s pretty good. He was also sacked once, committed two false start penalties and was intercepted by Browns cornerback Joe Haden. That’s pretty bad.

Griffin has long caused his coaches, teammates and fans consternation with his sliding struggles. They were back on Monday. One attempt was simply awkward, the crowd groaning as the quarterback hit the turf.

“A bad attempt at a slide,” Griffin acknowledged with a smile afterward.

Later, he was trying to run out of bounds, tight end Jordan Reed cut back toward him and Griffin had to lower his shoulder as three Browns tackled him. He did eventually execute a successful slide, ducking out of harm’s way at the last instant. That was better. Still, he hasn’t perfected that technique yet.

“It’s something that we need to continue to talk to him about, how important he is to this team and this franchise,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “When he gets put of the pocket he needs to protect himself. He has a habit in his career of being able to get himself out of predicaments with his speed and his athleticism. But here, it’s a 16-game season with the great talent across the league. He has to pick his shots and learn how to get down better.”

Gruden gave Griffin a pass on the two false start penalties. Referees are stressing that rule in the preseason and it may not be a focus in the regular season. But Griffin’s interception came when he threw a ball late with the Cleveland pass rush in his face. Haden read the play and stepped in front of wide receiver DeSean Jackson. It was a bad decision.

“I just can’t throw it late and if I do it has to be a hum dinger and it wasn’t a hum dinger,” Griffin said. “I floated it out there and that’s what happens when you play good corners like Joe Haden – if you make a mistake they’ll make you pay for it. The good thing that I got from that is that I’ll learn from it.”

Griffin did recover to hit wide receiver Andre Roberts with a beautiful pass on the next drive for a 49-yard completion in stride to end the first quarter. On Washington’s first two drives Griffin was mostly fine. He completed his first five passes for 70 yards, scrambled for another 22. So it wasn’t all bad. But then came an incompletion and then the interception. It’s clear there is plenty of work left for Griffin to do before the regular season opener on Sept. 7 at Houston.

“[Griffin] saw it and knew it right away,” Gruden said of the interception. “I’m glad it happened now, but I wish it would have never happened. It is something that he can obviously learn from.”

Follow Redskins reporter Brian McNally on Twitter.

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