When the Redskins hosted the Bengals in week 3, it was Robert Griffin III's toughness that left a lasting impression,not Griffin's ability not to run or throw the ball, or lead his team but his gritty play. The young quarterbacks ability to get back up after being hitafter hitafter hitafter hit...It left many to wonder about the rookie's durability over the course of a entire NFL season.That question was answered just seven quarters later.Sunday, as the Redskins hosted the 4-0, Atlanta Falcons, RG3 was taken out of the game by a shoulder-to-helmet blow delivered by Falcons linebacker, Sean Weatherspoon."It's just a bang-bang tough play. He got outside of our end, I was in pursuit and he didn't go out of bounds, so I just tried to get a good hit on him. Unfortunately he left the game, I wish the best for him, hope everything's going alright," said Weatherspoon."Most quarterbacks either slide or run out of bounds, but he's a tough guy, a tough guy, but I think he'll learn a little bit. He's tough, he's fighting, I commend him for that."Weatherspoon also added that the hit was clean, saying it was, 'a good hit, a good play and it gave us a little bit of energy,' while reiterating his concern for RG3's health while clarifying that it wasn't a helmet to helmet hit, "I'm not that kind of guy to go up top like thatI'm just trying to get a good hit."Weatherspoon said he gave RG3 a tap on the head as Griffin was walking away, and Griffin told him he had done a 'good job.'"He definitely made us prepare" Weatherspoon said with a laugh, "all week man, that's all we talked abouttrying to find a way to stop the run game, even the quarterback running. He's been doing some great things, play action pass, stick it in there and pass it right over your linebacker, so you know, he's a tough guy to go against."Weatherspoon who plays with arguably the hottest QB in the league right now, Matt Ryan, said when comparing RG3 to the veteran signal caller, 'He's an electric player, I know that he's going to do some great things for the Redskins and they'll win a lot of football games with him. I played against him in college so I've seen him for awhile so I know what type of athlete he is, what type of quarterback he is, you know people just think about him being a an athlete but he's a really good quarterback."Cornerback, Dunta Robinson who registered half of a sack versus Griffin said, 'he almost led his team to a victory' and noted that Griffin will have a long and successful season in the NFL.Defensive tackle, Jonathan Babineaux, didn't think the victory was pretty, but would take it to extend the Falcons streak to a 5-0 start to the season. Babineaux also had a tough critique of RG3's performance,"He's still a rookie quarterback, he won the Heisman last year, but he's a professional now. I think for a rookie he played well. He led his team well, he seemed like he was the leader out there, the older guys really seemed to listen to him, so personally I felt like he did a good job. You know he still is a rookie, so we didn't expect much from him, but he did will."It is yet to be determined what Griffin will take away from this game and whether he will continue or curb his tough play. Coach Mike Shanahan said the quarterback did indeed suffer a mild concussion (link to either Tarik or Rich's story) and that he would need to pass an NFL mandated concussion test this week, so while Griffin's future availability may be up in the air, one thing that isn't, is the rookie's grit. He tweeted just after the game that he would be ready to play Sunday as the Vikings take on the Redskins at FedEx Field at 4:25PM.
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.”