The Washington Redskins had to deal with the uncertainty earlier this month that quarterback Robert Griffin III would be available after suffering a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons.
So, what did they do Sunday? Put him out in a pass pattern and took away some of the natural protections there are for quarterbacks in the pocket by virtue of the NFL’s rules.
Predictably, Griffin took a big hit from Steelers safety Ryan Clark. Now, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is re-thinking the gadget play. That’s a good idea.
Griffin tossed the ball to wide receiver Josh Morgan on the play and then went downfield for a pass along the sideline. Morgan threw in his direction. Griffin was called for offensive pass interference on Ike Taylor before Clark crunched him.
“After looking at that play, you feel like a complete dumb-s(—) because you want him to be wide open,” Shanahan said, according to Jones. “I’ve run that play probably 10, 15 times with (John) Elway, probably 20 times or more with Steve Young, and with Robert, what you usually do is against the right defense – which is man coverage – no one usually accounts for the quarterback and he’s by himself out there.”
Shanahan admits it isn’t a good idea to put is quarterback in harm’s way. But he doesn’t sound like he’s ready to rip the page out of his playbook.
“I felt like to do it over again, we’d tell Josh don’t throw it unless he’s wide open, I mean wide open,” Shanahan said. “Of course from his perspective, he was. But that’s part of the growing process for me and having the guys throw a pass from the backfield.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune