RG3 bruises thigh, says avoiding hits is “work in progress”


In one of our five questions about the Redskins, we wondered whether quarterback Robert Griffin III could rebound from his 2013 campaign.

One worrisome point was his inability to stay healthy during his first two seasons and we got a reminder of why that’s been an issue on Monday night. Griffin took several hard hits at the end of scrambles against the Browns and ended the evening with a bruised thigh. Griffin says that it isn’t a serious injury and admitted that he has to do a better job of avoiding those collisions, calling his attempts to better protect himself a “work in progress.”

Griffin promised that he’d get better at it, something coach Jay Gruden said has to happen.

“It’s something we have to continue to talk to him about — how important he is to this team and this franchise. When he gets out of the pocket, he needs to protect himself,” Gruden said, via the Associated Press. “He’s had a habit in his career of being able to get himself out of those predicaments with his speed and his athleticism. But here it’s a 16-game season, with the great talent across the league in the NFL, [and] he’s got to pick his shots and learn how to get down a little bit better.”

Gruden’s not the first to say that about Griffin and he may not be the last, but at some point one has to wonder if Griffin can change something so fundamental to the way he plays the game without hurting his productivity. It would benefit him and the team if he could, although he certainly wouldn’t be the first player unable to shake such a habit.

83 responses to “RG3 bruises thigh, says avoiding hits is “work in progress”

  1. Can we just get a baseball dude to come in and teach him how to slide already??? He is so awkward looking, folding his legs underneath him in weird ways when he “slides”. It’s only the 2nd preseason game… he can’t keep doing this and expect to make it 16 regular season games.

  2. He’s Mike Vick all over again. If he hasn’t changed by now in year 3 then he won’t. When a guy says its a work in progress it really means its not.

  3. As a REDSKINS fan, I’m a little concerned. Is this guy any good or what? His rookie season seems like ancient history now. Hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t deal away Cousins if I was the REDSKINS.

  4. I don’t understand how the likes of Vick n RG3 can be so athletic yet look do unathletic while sliding. It’s easy, I did it when I was 11 in Little League…

  5. You would think at training camp they would have worked on his slide but apparently did not based on his efforts.

    Cringeworthy they were……..

  6. RG is really not that important to the team or franchise. He’s not very good and neither are the skins.

  7. RGIII slides like I do when coming home late from the bar and I see the wife turn the lights on. We use the same two legged, bent knees, inverted ankles, chin-up technique. Only difference he’s on a football field and I’m “sliding” into our bushes.

  8. Come on Griff, just turn the corner already in your mind and get down BEFORE anyone can get to you. You’re way too valuable to be a crash test dummy with the behemoths of the league!

  9. A “work in progress”? It seems to me he hasn’t learned anything. I’m a REDSKINS fan until the very end but I was not overly pleased with what I saw last night. The 1st team offense had to many turnovers. It was nice to see them able to move the ball but they have to be able to finish. Griffen looked better but he has a long way to go.

  10. He looked awful. Sloppy. Didn’t want to give up the ball. Had one bright moment chucking it up for Andre Roberts. Didn’t see anything else that looked like a playoff team. And if you don’t think that knee still hurts, he got up from that pathetic slide lumping.

  11. so no mention in the article about his play? guy isn’t good. sorry, but you cant teach accuracy as Troy Aikman once said and its a pretty important part of being a NFL QB. sorry redskins fan, he isn’t your savior.

  12. Watched the game last night. My observations — starting with the positive and moving to concerns.

    1. RGIII is a lot more healthy this year vs. last year — he has some wheels and can avoid the rush and pick up some extra yards.

    2. Passing accuracy is coming along. Take away the ill-advised interception and he was fairly on target with his throws, including the long bomb to Roberts.

    3. OK, now the concerns. It is just not wise to take hits from 3 Brown’s defenders on the sidelines in a meaningless preseason game. OK, if it’s the Super Bowl and you need that yard for a first down, do it. But not in this case. I don’t understand how that is a “work in progress”…either you avoid the hit or you don’t. Just do it.

    4. Throw the ball away if nothing is there. You have a great drive to get into FG range and then chuck it away trying to make a play that’s not there.

    There is a common thread to these concerns. It is that RGIII always thinks that he can make a play no matter what — running or throwing — and has a hard time living to fight another day. This is a mental thing I’m not sure can be coached.

    Look, I think all the comments about him “sucking” or “being a bust” are totally wrong. His potential is sky high. But he’s limiting it with mental errors. It is very frustrating to watch as a fan.

    I will say this, if Jay Gruden can turn this kid around then folks really need to give Gruden coaching props. I think the Redskins were wise to bring in a QB-guy as head coach. The number one goal of the franchise this year should be getting RGIII’s head right. If they can do that, with the other weapons, they can be competitive this year.

  13. On his first slide his cleats caught the turf and I honestly thought for a second he had blown out his knee again.

    If you are drafting a team in Fantasy Football this weekend, do NOT draft him.

    Did Jay Gruden really keep Jim Haslett and Rahim Morris from Shanny’s staff?

    18th ranked defense, and they kept their jobs?


  14. He’s beginning his 3rd NFL season and he’s still “trying” to protect himself better and avoid the unnecessary hits he takes…

    At this rate, in another 3 to 6 yrs he might learn… most likely from the sidelines while recovering from a serious injury…

    Nah… he’ll be on the sideline recovering… but he still won’t have learned…

  15. I saw one play, where it was basically 4 big LB types against RG3 and he didn’t go out of bounds, didn’t go down….. just stood there like a punching bag.

  16. “He can’t play the game at this level. The good ones take ” 0 ” hits.”

    Didn’t multiple Super Bowl champion and HOFer Steve Young retire because of concussions?

    Wonder how he got those?

  17. yeah…rg3 will learn to protect himself….just like michael vick learned to slide.

    let’s see…rg3 had knee surgery at baylor, so he entered league with injury history. then in season 1 he got concussed. and in season 1 he injured knee in playoffs. and in season 2 he struggled as knee was not 100 %.

    seems like “rg3” and “injury” appear a lot together.

    skins, or whatever they will be called, aren’t going anywhere with their injury prone qb…

    and their bad defense too.

  18. This should be a very clear conversation: RGIII, you can choose to have a 5-10 career like Vick, injured frequently, or you can have a 10-15 year career marked by accomplishment. THEN teach him how to SLIDE!

  19. He’s never going to learn how to slide, it’s just the way he plays. Nobody likes to hear it but he’s exactly like a Mike Vick 2.0 in that sense. Every time he runs it’s going to be a universal butt-clench by Skins fans.

  20. Not a fan but I would love to see the REDSKINS win the SB just to see how the media implodes over the silliness of a harmless nickname.

  21. He’s having trouble evading rushers too. I hadn’t seen anyone tackled by a shirt sleeve in a long time.

  22. Not a Washington fan, but not a fan of seeing players get injured either.

    This guy needs to learn to slide or learn to throw the ball away and avoid hits.

    He was very lucky last night. On one play, ?#33? for Cleveland could have really lit him up w/ a shot in the back. But you can tell he backed off his speed at the last second and just gave him a hard bump instead.

    RG3 won’t get that kind of consideration once the games count.

  23. ctiggs says:Aug 19, 2014 7:35 AM

    RG3 had some great plays, then he had some bone head plays, but he still was BY FAR the best QB on the field last night.
    Kirk Cousins
    Colt McCoy
    Brian Hoyer
    Johnny Manziel

    That’s not exactly a glowing vote of confidence.

  24. He won’t learn how to slide because he can’t do it. How long did coaches try to get Mike Vick to do it an not succeed. It’s just not in his nature. He will not make it through and entire season. Bet on it.

  25. The scary thing is this happened in the preseason against the Browns defense.. Just think….he has to go up against the NFC West this year. YIKES!

  26. There is no way this guy will stay healthy the whole season unless he changes his style. I know the guy is a competitor and just wants to win, but you can’t lead the team from a stretcher…

  27. tgillespie74 says: Aug 19, 2014 9:15 AM

    Wilson, Kapernick. They run and takes hits all the time. Nobody says anything. I don’t get it?

    because they know how to take hits. they are usually bracing for the hit or at least reacting like they saw it coming. wilson especially. when RG3 gets hit, he looks like a rag doll.

  28. To the guy who said Wilson takes hits. Watch the the Seahawks game last week against San Diego. Wilson ran about 5 times 2 for touchdowns and never got touched once.

  29. RGIII really has to figure this out if he wants to stay around a long time. It’s sad because he has so many tools in the toolbox. Besides the outstanding speed, he has great arm strength, and good accuracy (at least when his plant leg is healthy). He was one of the best deep passers in football as a rookie, but terrible at it in 2013. He has the tools to mold himself after the Aaron Rodgers/Steve Young example- IF he really wants to. I think we’ll find out how bad he wants it over the next couple years.

    He has to realize that he can’t just run headfirst into traffic like Newton or Luck, because he isn’t built that way. He needs to watch what Wilson and Kaepernick do- they were both good baseball players, and they know how to slide. Go take some sliding lessons from a high school baseball player. Give him like $500- it will make his day and save your career.

  30. One more thing — enough with the:

    “Insert name of black QB” 2.0

    First — it’s not funny. It’s about as funny as saying “replace the Redskins logo with a potato joke for the 5 millionth time.

    Second — RGIII has already accomplished more than Jamarcus Russel or Akili Smith — he’s just not that bad, ok? He was rookie of the year his first year and took his team to the playoffs. It’s too late to say that he “sucks.”

    Third — not all black QBs are identical. You are quite frankly embarrassing yourselves.

  31. jimmyt says:
    Aug 19, 2014 9:26 AM
    Not a fan but I would love to see the REDSKINS win the SB just to see how the media implodes over the silliness of a harmless nickname.

    LOL! If you think Roger’ll ever let your WASHINGTON Football club make it to the Super Bowl with that nickname you’ve got another thing coming… Just like rules are changed to benefit certain QB’s rules will be enforced / changed to make sure that racist owner never makes it to the big game…

  32. I hate to say it RG3 because you are the beacon of Outward portrayal of Confidence, but you will not last in the NFL playing your style, plus Colt Mccoy and Kirk Cousins are basically carbon Copies of Andy Dalton…You are replacable… in a heartbeat.#JayGruden

  33. I hate to say it RG3 because you are the beacon of Outward portrayal of Confidence, but you will not last in the NFL playing your style, plus Colt Mccoy and Kirk Cousins are basically carbon Copies of Andy Dalton…You are replacable… in a heartbeat.#JayGruden

    First, Cousins and McCoy are not as good as Andy Dalton, although maybe Cousins could be some day with good coaching. Second, an Andy Dalton-type QB with a horrible defense and offensive line wins you about 5 games. Cincinnati wins games because they have a top 10 defense, a good offensive line, AJ Green, and Dalton usually doesn’ screw up until huge division games or the playoffs. So if RGIII doesn’t pan out and Cousins doesn’t take a huge step forward, Gruden will be as good as gone.

  34. I have to laugh when I think of the comments about qb’s like Brady being a “girl” when he drops to avoid the big hit. That’s really just smart play by a future HOF player.
    I guess Griffin needs to learn to do the same!

  35. gotta LOL at the doubters.. though think most know better and are just scared and/or jealous of his ability and potential

    also very disappointed in RG3 taking hits and running to much vs running to gain time to pass


    Redskins will be very good… will win division easily and may go far

    RG3 will figure things out and once again enter debate whether he or Luck will be the 5th elite

  36. Look, I think all the comments about him “sucking” or “being a bust” are totally wrong. His potential is sky high.
    agreed and plus the comments on him being a bust are completely stupid with a capital “S.” does he need to learn how to slide yes, but so does Cam Newton (look at who gets hit most, it’s not RG3, it’s Cam) and Vick. the difference is RG3 is smaller than Cam and a better passer than Vick, Cam can take the hits, RG3 wont be able to. i think he will learn as he wants to be great. he’s learning to play from the pocket and the zone read option for him is gone and he is glad it is. i hope in the Ravens game, he runs and slides to shut all the people who think he’s a bust up because it’s FAR too soon to even say that.

  37. When making comparisons with RGIII & other mobile QBs, there is one glaring difference.

    When on the run and facing imminent contact –

    – Kaepernick slides, or goes out of bounds.

    – Wilson slides, or goes out of bounds.

    – RGIII meets the contact head on.

    This weakness in RGIII’s decision making will be a major factor in the length of his career.

    (Newton is the outlier. The size of a house and invariably being tackled by people smaller than him, he gets to choose)

  38. RGIII thinks sliding is for sissies, just like poor free throw shooting bigmen like Shaquille or Howard thinks the underhand toss is for sissies.

    Practically, both macho-types can change their games but their pride won’t allow that.

  39. I’m not a R-Skins fan, but I’m a football fan and RG3 is an exciting player to watch. For his sake and football’s sake, I hope he learns to be smarter on the field. He’s not Superman and needs to check his gigantic ego. Listen to doctors/ coaches and stop rushing back when he’s not ready like with his knee. This isn’t college where he’s the fastest guy on the field. Defenders are fast and can/will put a world of hurt on him.

  40. The better defense and offensive weapons are what’s saving the Redskins from being a really bad team (they are OK right now). It’s obvious that RG3 still has an injury risk and takes far too may hits. But even if Cousins goes in as the starter, the team can win if they are good all around. This is basically what Seattle and the Redskins of the 80s did: plug and play QBs.

    Oh and thanks Rak for knocking some sense into Johnny Boy.


  41. For Vick and RG3 because they have lived their whole lives being so much faster when playing in the NFL where 350lb like men run 4.7 it’s harder to change their game but invariable these guys do. Steve young changed Mcnabb changed Cunningham changed, you have to

  42. “Inability to stay healthy during his first two seasons”.

    Seriously? The guy had one injury his first season, albeit serious, on the Ngata hit. If the team was anywhere close to being a professional organization, he wouldn’t have been out there to completely destroy his knee against Seattle. Read: its the teams job to maintain their turf and sit ineffective hobbled players!

    He wasn’t 100% during his 2nd year, but he didn’t get a new injury so I’m not sure how he was “unable to STAY healthy”

    Should we write off every player that had one major knee injury in the NFL? Adrian Peterson doesn’t think so.

  43. What is obvious, dating back to his ‘Operation Patience’ all-about-me t-shirt last year – RG thinks he is Lebron, or that everyone looks at him like he is Lebron, when in fact he couldn’t be further from the NFL’s answer to Lebron (see Peyton and/or Brady). RG is really just another good college QB who greatly lacks the pocket throwing ability and field managment skills required to succeed as an NFL QB. I have never seen a QB try throwing flat-footed and practically falling backwards as much as this guy. I wish him the best but don’t see it ending well.

  44. The way Griffin (and others like him) play is proof that pre-season matters–at least to certain player. Many of these players play to the best of their ability–pre-season or not, and many of them, don’t know the difference between a practice game and the real thing. That’s why so many of them get hurt. Some coaches do the same thing even though they say they don’t “scheme”. They play to win even in meaningless pre-season games. Pete Carroll kept in most of his starters in against the Chargers in their 2nd pre-season game for the entire first half. That was baffling, since it was obvious the Seahawks already have their roster set in stone.

  45. How many touchdowns has RGME thrown in this preseason?


    Now ask yourself why a player whom you’ve spent four draft picks to acquire isn’t now setting the world on fire in his third season?

    There is now excuse for him being unable to read a defense, to get rid of the ball in less than 3 seconds consistenly and for running and intentionally allowing himself to be hit and hit often.

    This joke has a losing record and far more turnovers than you can tolerate from a starting QB – we could accept improvement at a gradual rate, but there is no hint he’s improved since his first game as a pro. All the stats show he has been in decline and he was not rushed back from a knee injury – his father raised holy hell and Griffin was throwing tantrums. Shanny caved instead of parking the prima donna for the year where he should have been on IR.

  46. “Wilson, Kapernick. They run and takes hits all the time. Nobody says anything. I don’t get it?”

    You obviously don’t watch a lot of niner/seahawk games. Kap will run out of bounds before the hit if possible and usually makes it. Guys take terrible angles on kap because he is faster than those big strides look. Big hits are few and far between.

    Not only does Russell get ob if he can, he is very good at feeling pressure and slides like a baseball pro when the defender is a couple yards away. Gotta be VERY frustrating to chase him all over only to have him slide right before you get him and all you can is put a hand on him or help him up. He will even thank you when you do. His quickness and elusiveness make him a tough target outside the pocket.

    It is like blowing up balloons. Russell and Kap stop a couple breaths short of the balloon bursting while Robert seems to always think he can get a couple more in there. Time after time it blows up but he can’t seem to stop short like the other two.

    Griffen is completely different than those two. They played baseball and know how to slide.

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