Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is taking way too many unnecessary hits. Some of them are because of designed plays. Others are because of his recklessness running the football. The rest are from his leaky offensive line.
The punishment began in week two when the St. Louis Rams decided to blitz Griffin III in hopes of forcing him to make mistakes. Though they only sacked him once the Rams got some pretty good hits on him.
In week two the Cincinnati Bengals took their shots. The Bengals sacked Griffin III five times. Defensive end Michael Johnson got three of them. In all the Bengals got 13 hits on Griffin III while he was trying to pass. Not only did the Bengals get to him in the pocket, but outside of it as well.
The Redskins decided to run the triple option against Cincinnati. This left Griffin III open to shots from linebackers and defensive ends. Though he gained 85 yards in 19 carries and scored one touchdown Griffin III took a beating. Not all of the carries came from running the option, but 19 carries along with 13 hits in the pocket equals 32 times that Griffin III took a hit from Cincinnati defenders. NFL running backs such as Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner and Ray Rice have gone whole games without getting hit this much.
In Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Griffin III took a couple of solid shots while running. One was at the goal line while the other occurred on a run to the left.
In the fist quarter, Griffin III went up the middle on a planned quarterback run. At the goal line he was hit hard by Bucs safety Mark Barron and fumbled. Fortunately for Griffin III wide receiver Pierre Garcon recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
In the second quarter Barron got another shot at him. With the Redskins pinned deep in their own territory Griffin III took the snap and headed left. Barron drove his shoulder right into Griffin III mid section, wrapped both arms around his legs and drove him hard into the turf. Griffin III would get up and Barron was assessed a personal foul penalty.
Hits like the ones Barron put on Griffin III will shorten the quarterback’s career. If quarterbacks like Steve McNair, Doug Williams and Jim McMahon saw their talents diminish from taking a lot of hits why wouldn’t Griffin III?
No one wants their quarterback to get hit more than necessary. That’s why they are untouchable in practice. The Redskins need to lessen the amount of contact Griffin III receives in games.
It will benefit everyone by keeping him on the field.