Robert Griffin III acknowledged Wednesday that he intends to take measures to avoid absorbing as many blows as he did Sunday against the Bengals.
One way he hopes to accomplish that, the Redskins quarterback said, is to make it more clear to officials and defenders that hes no longer in possession of the ball on option plays.
On some of the option plays, just make it more clear to the refs that I dont have the ball because then they cant hit me, Griffin said. But I guess if I dont come out with my hands up, then they think I have the ball and, legally, they can hit me. So I just need to make it clear to them that I dont have the ball and then if I do get one of those shots, we get 15 yards.
Griffin carried the ball 12 times and led the Redskins in rushing with 85 yards. While there were a number of examples of needless shots he absorbed Sunday, one in particular stands out: on an option in the fourth quarter, Griffin got driven into the turf by linebacker Manny Lawson after pitching the ball to Brandon Banks as the rookie attempted to sell the fake. Griffin was slow to peel himself off of the turf.
We know the rules, Griffin said. I talked to Coach Mike Shanahan said and he talked to me about it. If I make it clear that I dont have the ball, they technically, by the rules, cannot hit me.
He added: If you take some of those shots in the face youll learn real face. I thought they were not legal hits but Coach informed me that technically they can hit me. Even on keepers, they can hit you if youre carrying out your fake. I didnt know that so I guess Ill be running with my arms up a lot more, letting them know, Hey, I dont have the ball. Please hit me if you want to get a 15-yard penalty.
To emphasize his point, Griffin jokingly raised his arms stick-em-up-style.
Griffin got sacked six times Sunday, was hit 13 times while attempting to pass and knocked down a number of other times on his dozen carries, reigniting concerns about the number of hits the franchise quarterback has taken so far this season.
If youre going to carry out your options at this level, they are going to smack you pretty good, Shanahan said. There were probably seven or eight hits in that game that he didnt have to take at all. Hes going to get better and better at that. One thing we want to make sure of, is that he stays healthy. Thats one thing about the option, you have a chance, really, not to take a lot of hits. We looked at that film and well see how it goes.