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Robert Griffin III: Now I know when it’s legal for defenses to hit me

St. Louis Rams Dahl tackles Washington Redskins Griffin during their NFL football game in St. Louis Reuters

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been hit a lot in his first three NFL games, and he has complained about some of those hits. But Griffin says that after making his complaints, he learned that the hits he takes aren’t all against the rules.

Griffin said that he was under the impression that when he gives up the ball on option plays, the defense isn’t allowed to hit him. But coach Mike Shanahan explained to him that if he is continuing to run as if he has the ball, the defense is allowed to tackle him as if he has the ball.

I thought they were not legal hits but coach informed me that technically they can hit me,” Griffin said. “Even on keepers, they can hit you if you’re carrying out your fake. I didn’t know that so I guess I’ll be running with my arms up a lot more, letting them know, ‘Hey, I don’t have the ball. Please hit me if you want to get a 15-yard penalty.’”

Shanahan said he wants Griffin to learn when to get hit and when not to get hit.

“If you’re going to carry out your options at this level, they are going to smack you pretty good,” Shanahan said. “There were probably seven or eight hits in that game that he didn’t have to take at all. He’s going to get better and better at that. One thing we want to make sure of, is that he stays healthy. That’s one thing about the option, you have a chance, really, not to take a lot of hits. We looked at that film and we’ll see how it goes.”

The problem, however, is that the Redskins’ option plays won’t be as effective if Griffin isn’t making the defense think he still has the ball even after he hands off. So if the Redskins are going to keep running the option effectively, Griffin is going to keep taking hits. At least now he won’t complain about it.

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81 Responses to “Robert Griffin III: Now I know when it’s legal for defenses to hit me”
  1. genaro1331 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:39 AM

    Wanna know when its legal to hit Tom Brady? Never…. Wanna know when its “DEFINITELY PASS INTERFERENCE!!”? When Tom Brady throws an incomplete pass….. welcome back refs!

  2. insidej0b says: Sep 27, 2012 10:40 AM

    How in God’s name do you make it to the NFL as a quarterback and not know that if you fake like you have the ball that you can get drilled?

  3. greymares says: Sep 27, 2012 10:40 AM

    welcome to the world of Mike Vick!!!

  4. richardf954 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:42 AM

    oh grasshopper You have much to learn,
    I can speak for every defensive player in the league by saying they want to rip your head off regardless of what you think , and due to your whining last week You have made yourself a bigger target.

  5. hutch119 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:42 AM

    There is no way Robert is that dumb. This just sounds like an awful excuse to try can cover up his whininess.

    Really shouldn’t have reminded us of his whining either. Would have been bettered served saying nothing.

  6. shlomotruehovic says: Sep 27, 2012 10:43 AM

    Good job grasshopper you’re learning. I hope Vick is reading this. DONT TAKE HITS!!!

  7. c0rona55 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:43 AM

    Whatever you do.. dont ask McNabb about overtime rules.

  8. meegs34 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:44 AM

    This isn’t the Big 12.

  9. brettfavresmidget says: Sep 27, 2012 10:44 AM

    RGChris Everett?

  10. terraj35 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    Mr character, RG3, is starting to sound like a baby. If you’re going to be a mobile qb you gotta live with the hits and not cry about it.

  11. 1buckeye76 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    Carlos Dunlap, Manny Lawson, Michael Johnson, and Geno Atkins laid some really nice hits on him last week. Was great to see… Go Bengals!

  12. lightcleric says: Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    ‘I didn’t know that so I guess I’ll be running with my arms up a lot more,’

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a really bad reaction if he serious?

  13. xsfmed says: Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    This dude talks too much.

  14. geewhiz23 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:46 AM

    It’s why the option isn’t all that productive in the NFL. You’re playing against very fast/talented/gifted athletes and not one or two gifted athletes and a bunch of future used car salesmen.

  15. hashsview says: Sep 27, 2012 10:47 AM

    Well if any one who has ever played High School Ball knows the best way to defend agaisnt the option is pick one guy and clean his clock. I could go on and on why the option is rarely used in the NFL, but Ill let the Redskins record show why no one uses it.

  16. bucrightoff says: Sep 27, 2012 10:47 AM

    Michael Bennett and Gerald McCoy will ensure you’ll be getting hit lots on Sunday.

  17. ken0west says: Sep 27, 2012 10:47 AM

    Or he could pass the ball. Kinda hard when people actually cover receivers, not something that has happened on some of his “better” plays.

  18. knackstermyea says: Sep 27, 2012 10:47 AM

    Yea. Run with your arms up. Someone will still take the 15 yard penalty to cheap shot ya! Not a good idea RGIII.

  19. sj39 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:48 AM

    Man, that trade is looking better and better every day. Thank you Skins! RG3 And Out may even be a bust. Where are you at voiceofreasonsays? Been awful quiet lately.

  20. huskersrock1 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:48 AM

    The only way the option is a viable offense in the NFL is if a team is prepared to draft a QB every other year.

  21. bearflagfan says: Sep 27, 2012 10:50 AM

    Wholly mackerel. I’m not sure whose ignorance is more stunning here, RGIII’s because he thought that in the option, it was somehow different than NCAA? Or Shanahan’s for not clearly explaining what would happen in the option vs. drop-back pass.

    I put the burden on Shanahan since he’s been in the NFL long enough to know better. Why he didn’t coach RGIII on this is amazing to me. What’s more amazing is he hasn’t been working on various plays since pre-season that are used in the option, but don’t open the QB for hits.

    Before the first game, RGIII should have known which plays he needed to gut out and expect a hit, and which ones he could dish the ball early (i.e. a quick pitch) and then slide feet first. Then, not only does he avoid an unnecessary hit, if he does get hit by a defender who doesn’t know the rules (common, especially among rookies), then he draws a foul and helps his team out.

  22. connorchew says: Sep 27, 2012 10:51 AM

    as an eagles fan, it sounds weird to admit, but im a HUGE RGIII fan. that being said, he needs to watch what he says to a degree. he does sound like a cry baby when things like this hit the front page. That being said, im sure rookies say this stuff all the time, but since he’s a high pick the media blows it up. Just know your lane rookie.

  23. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Sep 27, 2012 10:54 AM

    Guess he’s not as bright as everyone says he is.

  24. Punk says: Sep 27, 2012 10:55 AM

    Now I know there can be a tie.

  25. 1982ish says: Sep 27, 2012 10:55 AM

    3 Games and 3weeks of whining. I thought this RGIII was a little tougher than this. Play the game, learn it, and talk less.

  26. brutus9448 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:56 AM

    option QBs don’t last in the NFL. You just gave up 3 first rounders for this guy. Why is he running the ball at all?

  27. warewolf94 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:56 AM

    He hasnt even played against the Defenses of the NFC East yet, he’s really going to complain about getting hit after that lol

  28. zoxitic says: Sep 27, 2012 10:57 AM

    “I didn’t know that so I guess I’ll be running with my arms up a lot more, letting them know, ‘Hey, I don’t have the ball. Please hit me if you want to get a 15-yard penalty.’”

    __________________________________

    That does not come off good at all.

  29. chalkruz1989 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:00 AM

    As a teenager I used to play Madden and always utilize Michael Vick and run 90 percent of the time…And similar to real life, he would get hurt after his fourth or fifth big collision. Robert Griffin III needs to understand that his mobility is his biggest and worst asset. He needs to watch Brady, Manning and Brees and watch how quick they release the ball. The less hits you take the better so I’d advise the Shannahan’s to do-away with the option.

  30. pepsilvia says: Sep 27, 2012 11:04 AM

    As long as he is still playing in the highest scoring offense in the NFL he can cry about getting his all he wants.

  31. monkeesfan says: Sep 27, 2012 11:09 AM

    Throw the ball quicker, Griffen.

  32. brianforster says: Sep 27, 2012 11:09 AM

    there was a lot of talk this preseason about how RGIII wants to be known as a passer first and foremost. im confused why the redskins are running such an option heavy offense in the first place.

  33. borophyll says: Sep 27, 2012 11:09 AM

    The more this dude opens his mouth, the less I think he’s got the brains needed to play QB at the NFL level.

  34. bunkmcnulty says: Sep 27, 2012 11:11 AM

    Learn the rules and shut up and play Bobby.

  35. joetoronto says: Sep 27, 2012 11:11 AM

    ‘I didn’t know that so I guess I’ll be running with my arms up a lot more”

    If you keep them over your head and dance, they love you in Frisco.

    Not that there;s anything wrong with that.

  36. steve3211 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:13 AM

    Anybody else thinking the Colts taking Luck first is turning out to be the right move. Guy just keeps quiet and plays. RGIII is giving Ryan a run for his money in the mouth department.

  37. peytonsneck18 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:13 AM

    Rg3 and out of the league, haha!!!! Wheres voice at?

  38. isujames says: Sep 27, 2012 11:13 AM

    @Genaro1331 You are absolutely correct Lol, when someone lightly brushes up against T Brady he begins to whine to referees.

  39. taintedlombardis says: Sep 27, 2012 11:16 AM

    Any story this glorified blogger will write to make RG3 seem wbiny/unlikeable he will. He is an obvious Giants homer. Why not an in depth look at faking injuries?

  40. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 27, 2012 11:17 AM

    I like RG but he’s starting to get on my nerves. That tells you the (sad) state of the game right now when a rookie comes in and DEMANDS

  41. peytonwantsaflag says: Sep 27, 2012 11:18 AM

    I like RG but he’s starting to get on my nerves. That tells you the (sad) state of the game right now when a rookie comes in and expects not to get hit.

  42. jeagan1999 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:24 AM

    Mr. Griffin…allow me to introduce you to Mr. Gerald McCoy and Mr. Michael Bennett…both of whom will be hitting you a LOT this Sunday afternoon! GO BUCS!

  43. footballfan01 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:25 AM

    Luck is better.

  44. broncosnative says: Sep 27, 2012 11:26 AM

    Rg3 os too good to run the option, this isn’t tebow who can’t throw the ball. If shanny wants to limit hits on his franchise QB, run a pro style offense and leave the running to the RBs.

  45. vablockaderunner says: Sep 27, 2012 11:28 AM

    Simmer down folks. Robert answering questions on media day is not “whining,” and it only makes perfect sense for them to continue working on how to integrate his unique skill set into the NFL.

    The dude has only played three games and you people are drooling all over yourselves with hatred against him, supposedly for how much “talking” he does. HINT: He talks no more or less than any NFL qb, but PFT chooses to report on him more than most.

    FACT: Robert has been an absolute warrior who sacrifices himself for the team. Without him, the Redskins would be getting blown out every single week.

  46. stlrams39 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:31 AM

    So you pretend you have the ball so the defense thinks you have the ball, and you think it should be a 15 yard penalty if they tackle you??
    You just tried to trick them into thinking you have the ball. If you were successful, they think you have the ball… of course they’re going to tackle you.
    Maybe RG3 should play in the league for more than 3 weeks before he starts bitching about how things are unprofessional and illegal. The defenses you’re facing have been playing in the league and know what is legal. You’re just an idiot. Nobody thinks you or Mike Vick can take a hit, so teams try to hit you. Although its not different than any other QBs, teams try to hit them too. They only difference is that the announcers make a big deal about it when its RG3 or Vick.

  47. realitypolice says: Sep 27, 2012 11:35 AM

    If they keep running the option at this rate, it won’t matter what RGIII thinks of the hits, because he will be on the sidelines in street clothes by week 6.

    It’s a lot easier throwing QB’s into the option meat grinder in college when you’re not paying them millions of dollars (well, except maybe in the SEC).

    The Redskins, IMO, need to find a safer way to utilize his talents.

  48. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Sep 27, 2012 11:36 AM

    “How in God’s name do you make it to the NFL as a quarterback and not know that if you fake like you have the ball that you can get drilled?”

    Because no one tackles in the Big 12.

  49. cliffleesbeard says: Sep 27, 2012 11:40 AM

    Vick has been trying to figure what a legal hit is for awhile now…

  50. cliffleesbeard says: Sep 27, 2012 11:48 AM

    Also, I don’t think having your second overall draft pick run the option is a safe bet that you wagered all those first rounders on….

  51. jgava19 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:57 AM

    Not as smart as they made him out to be.

  52. scchamil says: Sep 27, 2012 12:06 PM

    As a Bengals fan, I can tell you that team gained a lot of yards on RGIII’s ballfakes and misdirction…where guys either thought RGIII had the ball or didn’t realize he had the ball. He is a talented guy. For that reason, the NFL has to be very careful about enforcing ANY late hits against them when they are running that option. Their offense is predicated on faking out the defense in that way -so RGIII needs to be considered a live ballcarrier on every play. You can’t reap the benefits and expect not to take the abuse. The only way to defend it is to hit RGIII hard (and cleanly) on nearly every play. If they ever call an unsportsmanlike penalty on that – it better be aggregious (like he literally has both hands up) or it is patently unfair. Skins should really think about letting him be the drop back passer he is clearly capable of becoming.

  53. figpucker says: Sep 27, 2012 12:24 PM

    I love everyone bashing the Skins and RG3. The Skins offense is firing on all cylinders. If they had a secondary at all they’d be 3-0. Go back and watch the films. Here offense is legit.

  54. keem513 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:25 PM

    Still a better leader than luck and is going to have a better career

  55. 8ovie8 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:27 PM

    With skins’ offensive line, he is going to get hit anyway. In the pocket or the option.. I wouldn’t run him directly to get hit, but the back up tackle wasn’t even in the league last year. So take your licks. But for the posters saying he is a bust? That is laughable. A superstar, maybe not.. a bust, probably not.

  56. mjkelly77 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:29 PM

    Robert Griffin III: Now I know when it’s legal for defenses to hit me
    __________________

    Defenses are told “Don’t hit him until you see the white of his horse teeth.”

  57. matthewcarlson1 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:33 PM

    Bob Griffin might not be as smart as everyone thinks.

  58. colts419 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:37 PM

    And to think there was talk Indy would take this kid first. When its all said an done his career arc will fall somewhere between v young (hated villian) and d mcnabb (loveable loser).

  59. beavertonsteve says: Sep 27, 2012 12:41 PM

    Tebow doesn’t throw his arms up… just sayin’…

  60. ramslam says: Sep 27, 2012 12:45 PM

    I was a big critic of this guy when he cried about the Rams hitting him, but I have to give him props for admitting his mistakes and his willingness to learn the rules.

    People can criticize people all they want for their lack of knowledge, but I give more credit to people who admit their mistakes, learn from them and get better.

    Sorry about the Dis a week ago RGiii…

  61. pskotte says: Sep 27, 2012 12:50 PM

    Last week the Redskins stopped running the option after Manny Lawson absolutely detonated RG3 on the pitchout. I’ll bet every team on Washington’s schedule will make note of that. Young man, if you don’t start flipping the ball and using your speed for elusiveness you will have a very short career.

  62. crush22 says: Sep 27, 2012 12:51 PM

    Luck knows the rules.

  63. clu1perceiver says: Sep 27, 2012 12:53 PM

    Smart guy ,but not knowledgeable or experienced inn the game.

  64. bigblackanvil says: Sep 27, 2012 12:55 PM

    Bengals hit RGIII with some hard but legal hits. The Rams did extra dirty little hits after the play that would have been called by regular refs. Anybody denying that is in……denial.

  65. steeelfann says: Sep 27, 2012 12:57 PM

    Anyone notice a trend in Big 12 players? Not all of em, but sure noticeable.

  66. dansnyder says: Sep 27, 2012 1:01 PM

    xsfmed says:
    Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM
    This dude talks too much.”

    He doesn’t talk any more than the rest of the quarterbacks in the league. He’s a high profile rookie qb who plays in DC, in a market that hasn’t had such a thing in over 20 years. Brandon Weeden responds to reporters but you don’t ever see any headlines of what he says or thinks because no one gives a hoot.

  67. hail74 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:02 PM

    Gotta love the haters declaring him a bust after 3 games regardless of the fact that he’s 6th in QB rating and runs the highest scoring offense in the league. In the 2 loses he also managed to drive his team down field only to have penalties ruin the drive. Same record as rodgers, brady, and for you peytonsneck, luck.

  68. Patriot42 says: Sep 27, 2012 1:14 PM

    Do you really think you are too important to smash? I think not.

  69. tocolts says: Sep 27, 2012 1:29 PM

    Thais why u don’t open your mouth in the first place rookie just play the game

  70. nathanbetz91 says: Sep 27, 2012 2:05 PM

    Running with your hands up completely defeats the purpose of a play fake

  71. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 27, 2012 2:10 PM

    He simply learned the NFL game from watching Tom Brady…he throws great, and thinks nobody can touch the QB!!

  72. footballchic777 says: Sep 27, 2012 2:18 PM

    I would say it would be a wise thing for this young man, who is very talented and should be an elite QB in the future, to not put off his fans now by crying about getting hit. And especially when you are the key of the offense, know the rules. Don’t want to be the butt of a Donovan McNabb joke…….about not knowing the rules…..

  73. jonny42671 says: Sep 27, 2012 3:39 PM

    This guy is crying more than Brees and Rodgers

  74. jwreck says: Sep 27, 2012 4:20 PM

    xsfmed says: Sep 27, 2012 10:45 AM

    This dude talks too much.
    ______
    steve3211 says: Sep 27, 2012 11:13 AM

    Anybody else thinking the Colts taking Luck first is turning out to be the right move. Guy just keeps quiet and plays. RGIII is giving Ryan a run for his money in the mouth department.
    ________

    Robert Griffin does not call press conferences, press conferences are called for him, at which he is required to answer questions. The problem is that it’s easy to confuse media attention with talent and success, which is why the Ryan brothers are always getting blasted. That isn’t to say that the Ryans or Griffin aren’t talented, just that there isn’t a direct connection between success on the field and how much the sports-media industry wants to talk to you, and it isn’t exactly fair to attack someone because they happen to “sell papers” (attract readership and viewership to ESPN/PFT/NFL Network, your local newspaper, etc.).

    Andrew Luck is a very talented player, and may someday prove to be dramatically better than Robert Griffin, at which point he will be the one generating media hype and he will be “the dude who talks too much”, not the Third. Currently however, Luck just doesn’t “sell papers” as well as Griffin.

    Right now, Griffin is more exciting to the public. He will continue to draw more media interest, and, for the forseeable future, Griffin will be the one whose comments make ESPN and PFT headlines.

    So you can complain and hate the guy all you want, but no one: not Griffin, not Shanahan, not PFT, and not even the reporters covering the story have any control over how much he has talked and how much he will continue to talk. In fact, the only one who really has control over how much more we hear from Griffin than Luck is Andrew himself.

  75. jwreck says: Sep 27, 2012 4:21 PM

    huskersrock1 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:48 AM

    The only way the option is a viable offense in the NFL is if a team is prepared to draft a QB every other year.
    ______
    geewhiz23 says: Sep 27, 2012 10:46 AM

    It’s why the option isn’t all that productive in the NFL. You’re playing against very fast/talented/gifted athletes and not one or two gifted athletes and a bunch of future used car salesmen.
    ______

    The option hasn’t been productive in the NFL for quite some time, however, that’s not to say it can’t be. Both Montana and Young ran option plays very successfully in San Fran back 20/30 years ago. The problem is that, over time, defenses have gotten faster, to the point where the option is generally ineffective. But if you have a quarterback who is fast enough, relative to the defense, there’s no reason the option can’t work.

    Montana and Young were both quick enough on their feet to be able to pull it off in the 80′s and 90′s, but until Griffin came around there just haven’t been quarterbacks who are both fast and accurate enough to run the system. That isn’t to say that Griffin will be the next Montana or Young, just that he seems to have the right tools for the job.

    Additionally, for all this talk about the option, the simple fact is that the redskins are running at most four or five option plays a game. It’s still a pro-style, zone-blocking, west coast offense, just with a little extra flavor.

  76. jwreck says: Sep 27, 2012 4:26 PM

    jonny42671 says: Sep 27, 2012 3:39 PM

    This guy is crying more than Brees and Rodgers
    ______
    How is that what you got out of this article? He was trying to cover up for his perceived whining last week. You can dislike that if you want, but don’t take a comment where Griffin essentially says “yeah, I know I complained about some hits last week, but I was wrong, I’m sorry and I won’t do it again.”

    You can dislike Griffin all you want, it is a free country, but don’t dislike him because of the comments you skipped over in an article you didn’t actually read.

  77. laserw says: Sep 27, 2012 6:32 PM

    Shut the hell up, Griffin! Did you honestly think that the defensive players were going to go easy on you just because you are someone with three roman numerals on your back?

    You embarrass me as a Redskins fans. Friggin’ whining prima donna. I hope someone knocks you out cold and you cling to the ground like a piece of turf. You are a fraud and a prima donna whiner.

    We saw the best game you’ll ever have – and from here on out, you’ll suck. And I’ll be glad to tell your defenders – TOLD YOU SO!

  78. voiceofcommonsensesays says: Sep 27, 2012 6:34 PM

    Luck>Griffin

  79. defscottyb says: Sep 28, 2012 12:49 AM

    Are the people posting all these negative posts about RG3 even watching the games? The Redskins have scored the MOST POINTS IN THE NFL. So, it’s obviously NOT RG3′s fault. He has played very well. If the Redskins secondary was any good we would be 3-0. Watch the film before you post.

  80. sixjak says: Sep 28, 2012 1:55 AM

    Robert Griffin 3.0 is a visionary. What are you people taking about?

  81. broncosnative says: Sep 28, 2012 10:33 AM

    For those who says RG3 should know all the rules and that he talks too much, you should know that players are required to appear upon the media and un some cases, they can get fined for not attending. RG3 and other players are only answering the dumb questions reporters are asking, don’t knock on them for being honest.

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