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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

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Can RG3 do it again in St. Louis?

If the Redskins are going to go on the road and win in a hostile dome again, it would help if Robert Griffin III can come close to duplicating what he was able to do last Sunday in New Orleans. But history shows that it difficult for a rookie to repeat a stellar stat line such as the one Griffin posted against the Saints. In fact, its hard to even come close.In his NFL debut Griffin passed for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Since 1990, just five other rookie quarterbacks have passed for 300 yards or more in a game (any game during their rookie seasons) with at least one touchdown and no interceptions. And none of them came close to duplicating that performance the following week.Here are the quarterbacks, dates, opponents, and yards-touchdowns-interceptions for their statistical gems and then what they did the following week.Andy Dalton91811@DEN332-2-0
Andy Dalton92511SF157-0-2Sam Bradford112810@DEN308-3-0
Sam Bradford12510@ARI187-0-1Matt Ryan101208CHI301-1-0
Matt Ryan102608@PHI277-2-2Byron Leftwich10503SD336-2-0
Byron Leftwich101203MIA256-0-3Chris Weinke122301STL312-1-0
Chris Weinke123001ARI223-1-1In those first weeks, the five rookie quarterbacks averaged 318 yards passing and 1.8 touchdowns. The week after the average was almost a hundred yards less at 220 with only Ryan (2) and Weinke (1) throwing touchdown passes. All five threw at least one interception with the average coming in at 1.8.This doesnt mean that Griffin will automatically throw an interception or will fail to throw a touchdown against the Rams. Thats a fairly small sample size there so anything could happen. But based on the evidence we have, the other teams defense is likely to have something ready for him.A good day by Griffin would help the Redskins beat the Rams but he shouldnt have to pull the freight by himself. He could be a little off from his historic debut and the Redskins could still pull out a win.St. Louis has upgraded its pass defense by signing veteran Courtland Finnegan to a free agent contract and by drafting Janoris Jenkins with the second-round pick they got from the Redskins in the trade for the Griffin draft pick. But their rushing defense, 31stlast year in terms of yards allowed, remains suspect.That could mean good opportunities for Alfred Morris with perhaps Evan Royster and Roy Helu Jr. against the Rams. And even Griffin might get in on the act and kick in 40 or 50 yards on the ground.Defensively, the Redskins have to do what they did to the Rams last yearkeep the pressure on Sam Bradford. They sacked him seven times last year with Brian Orakpo getting credited with 2.5.Despite that, the Redskins had a difficult time putting away the Rams a year ago because they couldnt score points and Rex Grossman threw two interceptions. This offense seems to have some more life in it even if the new triggerman isnt quite as efficient as he was a week ago.Redskins 30, Rams 17

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Demaryius Thomas to Josh Norman: Where's your Super Bowl ring?

Demaryius Thomas to Josh Norman: Where's your Super Bowl ring?

Josh Norman is bound to receive a lot of attention for the new story in ESPN The Magazine that centers around him. The Redskins star likely expects it, too, after calling himself "the best cornerback on earth" and Odell Beckham Jr. a "villain."

But Beckham isn't the only wideout whom the defensive back goes after in the feature. At one point, Norman says of Broncos pass catcher Demaryius Thomas, the target Norman held to just one catch in Carolina's Super Bowl loss to Denver: "I don't know what he was out there for. He was supposed to be an all-world guy, and I shut him down."

Well, that quote has clearly already reached Thomas, judging by this tweet he sent out on Tuesday:

Unfortunately, while Norman will have a chance this year to directly silence other players who've called him out this offseason — including the aforementioned Beckham, Cardinals corner Patrick Peterson and his former club who shockingly released him — the Broncos and Redskins aren't scheduled to face one another in 2016.

Unless, of course, both sides are able to make their way to Houston for Super Bowl 51. And if that matchup does somehow come to fruition, Norman will finally be in position to answer Thomas' Twitter taunt and secure a ring of his own. For now, however, Thomas has the upper hand... or finger, that is.

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Josh Norman on increased attention: I'm no longer the underdog

Josh Norman on increased attention: I'm no longer the underdog

ASHBURN - Things turned upside down for Josh Norman this summer, and as the coverage surrounding his every word increases, the new Redskins cornerback knows what to expect. The latest batch of bulletin board material came from an ESPN the Magazine article in which Norman proclaimed, among other things, that he's the best corner in the league. Asked about those comments on Tuesday, Norman did not want to discuss it.

"I’m not about to answer any questions about it right now," Norman said in a media scrum. "I think at a later date those questions will be asked, but right now something that was done five months ago, I really don’t feel like talking about after our practice today."

Though Norman didn't comment on the specifics in the article, the conversation turned around to the new spotlight the Redskins $75 million player lives under.

"When you get a deal like that, everything comes with it," he said. "Everything’s magnified times 10."

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Norman explained that for his whole career - from a late-round draft pick to a backup to an All-Pro - he always felt like he had to earn his spot, though that role has changed.

"Once I was the underdog and I had to fight my way up to the top. I had to like drive, drive, drive, drive and continue to work hard and do everything that I’ve gotten to this point. But now, I’m no longer the underdog. Now I’m no longer that person. Now I am the guy that has to take on a new face, has to take on a new mask and be somebody that is always going to be the standard."

Changing roles will not be too much for Norman to handle.

"That’s something that I haven’t experienced yet and now taking that challenge and looking at it, I want to do it in a way I want to do it and not no way nobody else wants to make me do it. I think that, in an aspect, I just have to grow in that field, which I will. Those things come and I just got to understand that, but still have that dog when you’re on the football field."

Norman said that his faith helps him handle challenges, and pushes him to get through tough times.

"I can take it. I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful."

For Redskins fans, as long as Norman is successful on the field, the headlines and increased exposure will be fun distractions. 

"I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now."

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Redskins RB Matt Jones on shoulder rehab: I'm making big strides

Redskins RB Matt Jones on shoulder rehab: I'm making big strides

ASHBURN - When Matt Jones left last Friday's preseason game against the Jets with a shoulder injury, Redskins fans were near panic mode. Washington's running back unit looks quite thin behind Jones, so the consternation made sense, though nerves calmed some when the prognosis for the running back did not seem too worrisome.

On Tuesday, Jones worked off to the side at Redskins practice with other injured players, rehabbing from the sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. Interestingly, the work Jones put in with trainers seemed more focused on his legs than his shoulder, which Jones explained as a way to keep his legs strong when he's not taking reps with the first team offense. More importantly, Jones feels like his injury is moving along quickly.

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"It's feeling pretty good. I'm moving fast in my healing process right now," Jones said. "I'm taking big strides."

Asked if his goal was to be back for the Redskins regular season opener against the Steelers on September 12, Jones replied "definitely."

Sitting at his locker, Jones did not have a sling holding his left arm or look to be in any noticeable discomfort. A rookie last year, Jones rushed for 490 yards on 144 attempts, good for just a 3.4 yards-per-carry average. Washington coach Jay Gruden will need more than that this fall if the team is to improve a rather dull run game last season. Jones knows the expectations are increased, and he's working hard to deliver.

"I just keep taking my practice reps like the game reps. I'm just going to keep that preparation going," he said. 

Before the injury against New York, Jones carried the ball well, running seven times for 31 yards, an average of a full yard more than last season. That's the Jones the coach wants to see, and it looks like the shoulder injury shouldn't be too much of an impediment.

"I don’t feel like it’s a setback at all," he said. "I'm actually moving, running around a little bit. It's starting to feel better and better each and every day. I'm just going day by day."