Concern for the number of hits Robert Griffin III has absorbed over the first three weeks of the season reached a fever pitch Monday morning on sports talk radio, blogs and sports pages.But you know who insists hes not concerned about the seemingly inordinate number of times the Redskins quarterback has been forced to peel himself off the turf?Griffin.Rookie bravado? Perhaps. But his comments after Sundays 38-31 loss to the Bengals provided an interesting glimpse into his psyche.Ive never played scared in my life and it doesnt matter how many times I get hit, he said. Im going to continue to get back up. Even if they have to cart me off the field, Im going to get off the cart and walk away.On Sunday, the hits Griffin absorbed were a combination of game planning and poor protection. Griffin was sacked six times, and according to NFL stats, the Bengals laid 13 hits on him during pass attempts. Griffin also received a number of hits on the 12 times he carried the football, particularly on option plays.Through three games, Griffin has rushed 32 times, which puts him tied for 26thin the league. Hes the only quarterback on that list. Next, in fact, is Carolinas Cam Newton at No. 39 with 24.Coach Mike Shanahan pointed out after the game that just because a quarterback carries the ball it doesnt mean the run ends with a tackle or even a hit. But what cant be argued is that exposing Griffin so often drives up the probability that the franchises most important player will eventually absorb a blow resulting in injury.A lot of people outside of Redskins Park are worried.Griffin, however, is not.One is too many, to be honest, he said, asked how many hits constitutes too many. Im not trying to be funny. As a quarterback, youre a stationary target most of the time. When youre a mobile QB, the teams are still going to come after you even more because they feel like if they get a sack on a mobile quarterback, it counts as more. Thats just their mindset when they go into the game. Like I said, one is too many, but the one thing I wont do personally is quit of play scared.
All around the DMV, people are searching for clues as to what the Redskins are going to do with Kirk Cousins.
Lines are being read between. Conclusions are being jumped to. Yet still, no one truly sees how the situation is going to play out — and that includes Cousins' teammates.
"No one outside of the front office knows what they're going to do at any time," defensive lineman A.J. Francis, who has a reserve/futures contract with Washington, told Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay in a recent #RedskinsTalk podcast.
"I've learned that through all the teams I've been on, crazy moves I've seen, whether it be who they let go, or who they sign back for how much, or who they drafted. You never know. And to say you think you have an idea about what's going to happen is wrong."
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There are only a few finite ways the Cousins dilemma can play out (this isn't an M. Night Shyamalan movie, after all). The Redskins can put the franchise tag on him again, they can look to hammer out an extension, they can let him walk or they can try and trade him.
But, for those hoping to get the scoop from someone who shared the locker room with the quarterback for parts of the last season, sorry to say, but he's got nothin'.
"It's all up to the two or three people that really have a say in the decision making process and they're going to come up with a decision whenever they want to and not a second before," Francis said.
Guess it's time to get back to playing interviews with Cousins in reverse to hear if a secret message is being glossed over, as the wait continues for some news to break between the two sides.
For more from this episode of #RedskinsTalk, including Francis' thoughts on the team's defensive coordinator search and his opinion on Finlay's faltering athletic ability, click below. And don't forget to subscribe, either.
John Pagano's entire NFL career has been spent in San Diego, not a bad location. Hired by Mary Schottenheimer in 2002, he began as a quality control coach in 2002, then moved up to assistant linebackers coach in 2003. In 2004, he advanced to coach the outside linebackers, and then in 2005 he took over as linebackers coach, a position he held until 2011.
By 2012, his 10th year in the organization, Pagano moved up to defensive coordinator, at that point working under Norv Turner. The former Redskins coach of much of the 1990s, Turner was let go after that season, and Mike McCoy was hired. McCoy retained Pagano to serve as his defensive coordinator, and he stayed in that role until this offseason.
The circumstances surrounding Pagano's release from the Chargers are a bit sloppy, including this report from a San Diego broadcaster:
The important stuff for Redskins fans: As defensive coordinator his team's twice finished in the Top 10 in yards allowed in 2012 and 2014. That's about the only real highlights on his coordinator resume, though it's worth pointing out few coaches last as long with one organization as Pagano. Below are his defense's ranks from 2012 to last season.
It also seems Pagano has no real ties to the Redskins organization, which might be considered an advantage. He never worked directly with Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden or Scot McCloughan, though his team's deployed the 3-4 base like the Washington defense. Pagano's brother Chuck is the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts.
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!