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Rick Snider: Colts' Jim Irsay is talking nonsense about Redskins' RG3

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Jim Irsay pops off regularly, but this time the Indianapolis Colts owner misfired.

Irsay told the Indianapolis Star he would have chosen quarterback Robert Griffin III if he had the second overall choice in the 2012 NFL Draft instead of keeping Peyton Manning around. The Colts, of course, actually had the first pick, which they used to take Andrew Luck.

But then Irsay second-guessed how the Redskins handled Griffin, who suffered three injuries last season, with the final one requiring knee surgery.

"I wouldn't have exposed him to injury in the same way they have in Washington," Irsay said. "My philosophy on quarterbacks is, first and foremost, you've got to keep them healthy and on the field."

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's response should be "Mind your own business."

Shanahan was widely second-guessed for not pulling Griffin in the first-round playoff loss to Seattle. It was clear something wasn't right and eventually became very wrong when Griffin collapsed and needed surgery on his ACL and LCL.

Griffin may miss part of the coming season as he rehabs, but the earlier injuries, including a concussion, were not a result of a lack of protection as Irsay suggests. It was parts bad luck and poor judgment by Griffin, not invisible blocking and excessive running.

Irsay wants Secret Service agents for linemen, but Luck was hit more than Griffin. Luck sustained 41 sacks to Griffin's 30, though the Redskins quarterback missed one game. Luck threw 627 passes to Griffin's 393, meaning the Colts quarterback was vulnerable to pass rushers 50 percent more.

But Irsay was likely referring to Griffin's zone read option runs. Griffin ran 120 times to Luck's 62. That's twice as many but only four times more per game. Given that many were sprints to the sidelines, Griffin might have been exposed once more per game than Luck.

Big deal.

Offensive tackle Trent Williams is the Redskins' only Pro Bowl lineman. The rest are average players who executed Shanahan's zone blocking system well. It's not that Washington wouldn't mind upgrading its blockers. But given their salary cap restrictions, the Redskins might be forced to start second-year guard Josh LeRibeus instead of re-signing Kory Lichtensteiger. The second-round selection in April should be a right tackle or safety. Center and right guard could use upgrades, but a team that can make only a few moves likely will wait another year before worrying about those two slots.

Meanwhile, Griffin proved smarter late in the season, not trading an extra yard for a sideline hit. He will be even better about avoiding hits after a year's experience. That compensates for an average line.

As for Irsay, he should worry more about the Colts than the Redskins. Griffin and Co. will be just fine.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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