Jeff Fishers impression of Robert Griffin IIIs debut was a familiar one, the St. Louis head coach said Wednesday.I saw the same thing everyone else saw, said Fisher, who took over the Rams this season after a mostly successful run with the HoustonTennessee franchise from 1994-2010. What a terrific debut. Very, very impressive. As people were saying, thats historical.Griffin completed 19 and 26 passes for 320 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a stunning 40-32 victory over the Saints. The 22-year-old also rushed for 42 yards, while his 139.9 passer rating was the best for a rookie in his first NFL game.He did a great job, Fisher added, speaking on a conference call with local reporters. He threw with accuracy. He was poised, made some plays with his legs and has a good grasp of the offense. Obviously, theres a lot of things offensively that have been worked on during the offseason and preseason that werent show in the preseason games and it ended up being very productive and successful for him.Fisher, however, has an edge the Saints didnt: he possesses a game of film on Griffin to scout. But that, Fisher said, doesnt necessarily give his team an edge as it prepares for the Redskins dual-threat quarterback.In Mike Shanahans quest to acquire RGIII, he felt all along that defenses cant defend those dynamics, Fisher said. Basically, hes right. If youre lucky defensively, you create a one-on-one situation with the quarterback. With his athletic ability, he usually wins that.Asked how the Rams plan to contain Griffin, Fisher laughed.Do you want me to send you our game plan? he cracked. Id be happy to send you our defensive game plan. Youre just going to have to wait and see. Were putting a plan in place and we think it will give us a chance.
What do Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis have in common? They're all excellent NFL corners — and they all rank behind Josh Norman when it comes to ratings in Madden 17.
The Bronco (93 overall), the Seahawk (92), the Cardinal (91) and the Jet (91) should be proud of the grades handed to them for the next edition of the legendary video game. It's Norman, though, who's at the top of these top-notch defenders, checking in with a skillset that's good enough for a 94 in the eyes of EA Sports.
"Norman is expected to be a lock down corner for the Redskins this season," reads the description underneath Norman's name in a post ranking the elite cornerbacks that was published Thursday. "He is best in zone with his 97 zone coverage rating, but has the ability to match up in man to man situations with 90 speed and 92 man coverage."
These numbers are subject to change during the course of the season, so if No. 24 has a rough outing or two, he could tumble down a few points and give up the crown to someone else. As it stands now, however, Madden thinks he's the preeminent man at his position.
And that's something Odell Beckham Jr. can't say.
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After opening training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that LB Perry Riley has been activated and will practice on Friday.
Riley went out last December with a foot injury and missed the Redskins run to the NFC East title. A six-year veteran, Riley was drafted by the 'Skins in 2010 and emerged as a starter in 2011. Riley struggled somewhat early in the 2015 season, but his play was improving into the second half of the year.
"I expect him to come on and continue his strides," Gruden said of Riley's improved play.
Coindence or not, Riley's play improved once Will Compton took over at starting linebacker for Keenan Robinson.
"I think it did," Gruden said of Riley playing better paired with Compton. "Maybe it's just the whole entire defense got better as the season went on."
Gruden said that the defense as a whole was becoming more comfortable with new coordinator Joe Barry, and that should only increase this season.
Some think with a $5 million cap number - and a potential savings of $4 million if he was released - Riley could be subject to a roster squeeze. But after Compton and Mason Foster, Riley is the only inside linebacker with significant NFL experience on the roster compared to Martrell Spaight, Steven Daniels and Terence Garvin.
It will be interesting to watch Riley's return from injury, both to see how he looks, and to watch where he fits with the defense. In nine games last season, Riley grabbed two interceptions and 24 tackles.
RICHMOND—Josh Norman was brought to the Redskins to help the defense. But he’s trying to solve one of the potentially biggest problems facing the other side of the ball.
In a part-time role last year, running back Matt Jones fumbled the ball five times, losing four of them. This year Jones is projected to be the full-time running back and if he continues to fumble at the same rate Norman and company will be coming onto the field a lot sooner than they planned on many occasions.
Norman has taken it upon himself to try to fix this. When Jones is carrying the ball Norman makes an effort to knock it out of the back’s arms. It’s become a running competition between the two.
“We crack up all the time because [Jones] knows when he comes to that hole I’m looking for that ball,” said Norman. “I’m punching; I’m looking to get it out of there.”
So far, Jones is doing a good job with ball security, something he’s been working on all offseason.
“He’s holding that thing high and tight and I don’t know if I've got him once yet,” said Norman.
Norman said that his goal is to knock the ball out of Jones’ grasp five times during training camp.
“I’m going to be lurking, trust me, I’m going to try and get it,” he said. “And that makes him better because he knows he’s going to have to hold that thing tight.”