Those who think that the Redskins have a chance of showing substantial improvement this year are likely counting on Robert Griffin III having better ball security in 2012 that did Rex Grossman and John Beck last year.In 2011 the Redskins and their fans endured a season of Good Rex and Bad Rex with Grossman mixing in some nice downfield passes with interceptions that made you want to bang your head against a wall. Grossman (20) and Beck (4) combined for 24 picks; only the Eagles and Bills threw more.But the conventional wisdom is that RG3 might turn the ball over a lot as well as rookie quarterbacks are prone to doing. Is it reasonable to think that Griffin will be able to throw substantially fewer interceptions than the Beck-Rex combo did last year?There are a few reasons to think that the rookie might hold onto the ball better than the veterans who preceded him. In three-plus seasons as Baylors staring quarterback (one year was cut short when he tore is ACL early in the season), Griffin threw just 17 interceptions in 1192 pass attempts. Doing the math, just 1.4 percent of his passes were picked off.While the good habits that prevent interceptions can carry over from the NCAA to the NFL to some degree, Griffin will be facing considerably tougher defenses in the NFC East than he did in the Big 12. That doesnt render his Baylor performance totally moot but it does leave us looking for more evidence that he can stay away from throwing the ball to the guys in the other-colored jerseys.One thing we can do is look at how well quarterbacks with similar credentials to Griffins have performed as rookies. Since 2008, four quarterbacks who were drafted in the top five picks of the draft have started 15 or 16 games as a rookie. Cam Newton (17 interceptions), Sam Bradford (15), Mark Sanchez (20), and Matt Ryan (11) all threw fewer picks as rookies then Beck and Grossman did last year. In addition, Andy Dalton, a second-round pick of the Bengals last year, started all 16 games and threw just 13 interceptions.So, it can be done. It is not unrealistic to think that Griffin will be able to cut into the interception total substantially in 2012. Given all of the picks thrown last year, it is not a particularly tough act to follow.
C Spencer Long (concussion)—He missed the second half of the Cardinals game and has been in the concussion protocol this week. John Sullivan will start in his place.
S Will Blackmon (concussion)—Blackmon also has been in the concussion protocol and has not practiced all week. Donte Whitner and Duke Ihenacho will handle the safety position.
DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the Arizona game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.
G Shawn Lauvao (groin)—It was a surprise to see him watching practice on Wednesday as no injury had been reported for him. But he came in for treatment and did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday. If he can’t go, Arie Kouandjio will start at left guard.
OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Fortunately Trent Williams is back from his suspension; Nsekhe was the starter while he was out. If Nsekhe is out, Vinston Painter will be the swing backup tackle.
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—After missing last week’s game with a third-degree separation of the AC join in his left shoulder, Reed was able to practice on a limited basis this week. If range of motion is still an issue he could sit or play very limited snaps. If it’s a matter of pain tolerance he will be a full go.
G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Eagles.
DE Chris Baker (ankle)—Baker missed some practice this week but he should be able to go against the Eagles although his level of effectiveness will bear watching.
Also questionable for the Redskins: DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee), OLB Preston Smith (groin), ILB Will Compton (hip), TE Derek Carrier (knee)
WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) and RB Ryan Matthews (knee) were full in practice all week and it seems likely that the Eagles’ leading receiver and rusher, respectively, will play on Sunday. Up in the air is the status of WR Dorial Green-Beckham (oblique), who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday.
RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will miss his third straight game. He had a rough start in his NFL debut against the Redskins in Week 6 but he remained the starter until getting injured in Week 11. Since then the Eagles have moved LG Alan Barbre to right tackle with Stefen Wisniewski going in at left guard.
Ryan Grant generates a ton of reaction from Redskins fans - and it's not always postive. The third-year wideout sat down with JP Finlay to talk about the ups and downs of life in the NFL.
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