Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Robert Griffin III Breaks Down Sack, Fumble Against Chicago
ASHBURN – Robert Griffin III said Monday he and the Washington Redskins’ coaches agreed he needs to be quicker and more decisive when it comes to throwing the ball.
Griffin was sacked three times by Chicago in the first half of the Redskins’ 33-31 preseason loss Saturday. He played just 28 snaps – the entire first half – and finished the day 5-for-8 for 49 yards.
“I’ve just got to get the ball out of my hand, know when to make a play and when to try to, I guess, not make a play and move on to the next down,” Griffin said. “Then when it came to just being in the pocket, you know, the poise was there. It was just a matter of getting through every single read.”
One play that stuck with Griffin came late in the first quarter, when he was hit from behind by defensive end Israel Idonije and fumbled the ball away.
The Redskins had the ball on first-and-10 from their own 17-yard line with 1:04 remaining. Griffin faked the handoff to running back Alfred Morris in play action; rather than pick up Major Wright, the Bears’ blitzing strong safety, Morris ran to the left flat.
Griffin was able to sidestep Wright, who went untouched on his way to the quarterback, but couldn’t avoid Idonije coming from the back side. Idonije powered between tight ends Fred Davis and Chris Cooley, and Cooley released into the right flat.
Griffin finally saw Morris open near the Redskins’ 20-yard line, but he slipped. Idonije hit Griffin just as he began throwing the ball, forcing it loose, and defensive end Julius Peppers fell on it at the 8 to complete the turnover.
“I did tuck the ball and tried to get it back to throw it to Alfred as I was stumbling, and that’s what caused the fumble – when he hit me,” Griffin said. “I think if I wouldn’t have saw Alfred, he would have hit me and I would have held onto the ball, but that was then and this is now.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan said those sacks are among several “different things that will help him throughout the season.”
“Every time he goes into a game situation there’s going to be constant learning experiences, and you’re just hoping you don’t make the same mistake twice,” Shanahan said.