Coaches keep adding nuances to the offense
ASHBURN -- The storyline of the week revolves around future defenses, starting with St. Louis' on Sunday. The element of surprise is gone from Robert Griffin III. Now defenses can scout him on tape and craft more prepared game plans.
Of course, there's the flipside. And that's what Griffin is focusing on these days.
"The coaches are coming up with new concepts every day," Griffin said. "Their imaginations are running wild. It'll be fun to see what we do. I just go out there and execute it."
|» Receiver Pierre Garcon did not practice because of the bruised right foot suffered in Sunday's win over New Orleans. Garcon said he felt fine, and when he was asked whether he was optimistic about playing at St. Louis, he said, "Always." Garcon played only eight snaps vs. the Saints but caught four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Coach Mike Shanahan said he wasn't sure yet what Garcon would be able to do Sunday. If he can't play, second-year Aldrick Robinson would replace him.|
|» Backup nose tackle Chris Baker (ankle) practiced Wednesday and should be fine for Sunday.|
|» Shanahan admitted there was a slight risk putting long snapper Nick Sundberg on the injured reserve/designated to return list. Teams can apply that tag to only one player -- and the player can't return for eight weeks. Shanahan said he went back and looked at the last two years and said, "There wasn't one person who fit in that window."|
|» St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, a good friend of Mike Shanahan's, said their offseason trade didn't occur because of their relationship. Two future first-round picks and a second-rounder were enough to get him to swap this year's first-rounders, allowing the Redskins to draft Robert Griffin III. "There's a personal side to the relationship, and there's a business side," Fisher said. "This was a business deal we thought was in the best interest of both clubs."|
In other words, defenses aren't the only ones who will adjust for Griffin. It's not as if the Redskins ran every play or made every adjustment in their season-opening 40-32 win over New Orleans on Sunday. And even when the Saints tried to stop the running back out of the zone read, Griffin carried the ball. When the Saints tried to stop both the back and Griffin, the Redskins trumped them again with the pass.
"Teams will try to adjust to what you've done," Griffin said. "You try not to show them the same thing twice. ... With the zone read, there are so many things to do off it. It's like pick your poison. What do you want to stop? This is about us knowing if they try to shut this down, we have to make this play in this area."
That's why Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Wednesday, "We're going to have a long week. It's not easy. ... Basically if you're lucky defensively, you create a one-on-one situation with the quarterback. With his athletic ability, he usually wins that."
Griffin won it Sunday, which is why he was named NFC offensive player of the week. He completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He's the first Redskins rookie to win this honor since Rod Gardner in 2001 and the first Redskin to win it since Clinton Portis in 2008.
"Rex [Grossman] told me after the game that I set the bar high and I have to continue to go up," Griffin said. "It doesn't put any pressure on me. It solidifies what I always thought: I could play in the NFL at a high level."
A sore one, too, it sounds like. In college Griffin said he never soaked in a cold tub after a game, but he did so Sunday night upon returning from New Orleans. He said he wants to make sure he recovers right away because it's a long season.
One thing he can't do is slow down the hype. But his coach said it's necessary.
"Let's not get carried away with all this," Mike Shanahan said. "It's a first game, and it's a growing experience, and each game you'll experience different things. ... He'll see different defenses, different blitzes. People will try to keep him a little off-balance. It usually takes the quarterback a couple years to feel comfortable in the system. I don't care who you are."