Hall of Fame adds to busy week for Redskins' RG3

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Hall of Fame adds to busy week for Redskins' RG3

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Robert Griffin III's week so far has consisted of his first Monday night football win, hearing fans chant his RG3 nickname throughout the Washington Wizards' Tuesday upset of the Miami Heat, and a Wednesday visit from an official who collected the rookie quarterback's jersey and cleats for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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``He's a unifying figure in the community,'' right guard Chris Chester said. ``I might need to bring him to my son's T-ball games.''

Seriously, Griffin can seem to do no wrong these days. Even Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, who is hardly the easiest guy to impress, confesses to being mightily impressed by Griffin's charisma.

``He kind of surprises me in almost every situation, on how well he handles himself and how well he communicates,'' Shanahan said. ``I wish I could communicate like that. I'm going to have him talk to the team - in fact, I have the last couple of weeks.''

Griffin has led the Redskins (6-6) on a three-game winning streak that has Washington and closing in on first place in the NFC East heading into Sunday's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. He broke Cam Newton's NFL single-season rushing record for yards rushing by a rookie quarterback during Monday night's 17-16 win over the New York Giants, thus prompting the Hall to request his cleats and dirt-stained No. 10 jersey.

``Everyone wants to be in the Hall of Fame,'' Griffin said, ``so we're in there. But I've got a long career, preferably, and this is only the first step. It's an honor to have my jersey and cleats, although they're very dirty, in the Hall of Fame.''

But, by now, everyone knows Griffin is more than numbers. He practically upstaged the Heat-Wizards game when he took his front-row seat to roars from the crowd in the first quarter. Sure enough, a Washington team that had won only one game previously all season stunned the reigning NBA champions.

``What can you say? Those guys are the ones who played. I didn't play the game,'' Griffin said. ``Even Coach said I can't go over there rubbing off, using all my magic on those guys when we need it for us.''

Such attention can be overwhelming for most 22-year-olds, but Griffin can handle it.

``It's humbling to have the fans, whether it's football fans, basketball fans, chanting or cheering for you,'' Griffin said. ``It means you're really doing something for the city.''

So, cornerback DeAngelo Hall was asked, is there anything Griffin can't do?

``Beat me in the 40,'' said Hall, a brave statement considering Griffin was a college hurdles champion. ``Don't tell him that, though. He's got young legs, so he might think he can get me.''

``The kid's special,'' Hall added. ``He's on the verge of being a rock star. We used to travel with Mike Vick when I was in Atlanta, and it was definitely a rock-star-type atmosphere wherever he went. And RG is having that same kind of following.

``When we were in Dallas, we saw people who had on Redskins gear and jerseys, and asked them, `You all Redskins fans?' `Nah.' `You hate the Cowboys?' `Nah. Just love RG.' `All right. We'll take it.'

``And that's kind of how it's been. Guys might not like the Redskins, but they love him. They love him personally. ... Or just like the excitement he brings to the game. People like him. Fans like him. And we're getting that reciprocating effect as far as Redskins teammates being able to get - wherever we go, whatever city we go to - people in the stands cheering for us. Whether they're cheering his name or cheering for us in general, he has that following.''

Notes: Hall was wearing a walking boot Wednesday after hurting his right ankle Monday night. Shanahan said he expects Hall to play against the Ravens. ``There's no way I'm not playing this game, so it's a non-story,'' Hall said. ... LB London Fletcher (sprained left ankle) and LT Trent Williams (left thigh bruise) also did not practice. ... Shanahan on CB Cedric Griffin, who was suspended Tuesday for four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing substances: ``He's a great kid, and I love the kid, how he handles himself. He just made a bad decision.'' ... The Redskins replaced Cedric Griffin on the 53-man roster by promoting T Tom Compton from the practice squad. They also signed CB Korey Lindsey and LB Kourtnei Brown to the practice squad.

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AP Pro Football Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to this report.

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Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

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Sean Payton says Ravens losing week of OTAs isn't that big of a deal

The Ravens forfeited one week of OTAs as part of their punishment for breaking offseason workout rules (the team dressed players in full pads during rookie minicamp, which is a no-go). But don't worry guys, Saints head coach Sean Payton says that's no biggie. 

Of course a few OTA days seem like peanuts to a guy who was suspended for all of 2012, you may be thinking. But hear the man out.  

During a radio interview with PFT Live, Payton was asked about the impact of losing those sessions. 

I don’t think it’s a big deal. The reason I say that is, look, it doesn’t keep the players from lifting and running and so a week of OTAs would be three on-the-field sessions. You don’t want to lose those opportunities and, shoot, one of those opportunities you might have some type of team building experience set up. I think each team does similar things during the OTAs. There’s a lot of offense versus defense. There’s some restrictions regarding one-on-ones but the players are out there in their element, and they’re going though a little bit of a practice format for two hours. So really that equates to about six hours on the field.

Payton explained that the offseason's first phases are valuable because players return to the facility to work out and build camaraderie.

The Ravens may miss out on practice elements, but they're still getting to do what's most important at this early juncture. 

Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman hopes for better health for ailing father and himself

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Ravens receiver Breshad Perriman hopes for better health for ailing father and himself

As Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman looks forward to a healthier season, he is also dealing with his father’s health concerns.

Brett Perriman, who suffered a stroke May 3, has been transferred from a Miami area hospital to Atlanta for rehabilitation, according to The Miami Herald. The 50-year-old Perriman played for the Saints, Lions, Chiefs, and Dolphins during his 10-year NFL career.

On his Twitter account, Breshad Perriman offered encouragement for his father.

Perriman talked about his father’s health issues briefly following the Ravens’ first OTA session. This has been a difficult offseason for Perriman, who was very close to former Ravens cornerback Tray Walker, who died in a dirt bike accident in March.

“It’s been crazy,” Perriman said. “I’ve been through a lot this offseason, but it’s just making me stronger again and just learning to keep faith and pray a lot more. It’s been rough. It still is rough from time to time, but I’m steady getting through it, pushing through it and keeping faith.”

Perriman missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury, but looked 100 percent at OTA’s running pass routes.

“I don’t even think about it (knee injury) anymore,” Perriman said. “I feel great.

“Not being able to play, that was a hard thing … I feel much stronger. I feel like I went through a lot last year and it made me a better player and a better person.”

Perriman will continue to hope that better times are ahead, both for himself and for his father.

Secretary of Defense gives thumbs-up for Reynolds to pursue NFL

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Secretary of Defense gives thumbs-up for Reynolds to pursue NFL

Ravens wide receiver Keenan Reynolds can officially defer his military service to play in the NFL, secretary of defense Ashton Carter said Friday. Carter made the announcement during his graduation speech at the Naval Academy.

Two weeks ago, Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, strongly recommended that Reynolds be allowed to pursue his NFL career. Now Reynolds has the official go-ahead.

“It is a blessing to hear the news from Defense Secretary Carter,” Reynolds said in a statement released by the Ravens. “I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability to fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL.

“I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity. I would also like to thank (Ravens owner) Mr. (Steve) Bisciotti and the Ravens organization for believing in me and giving me this chance.”

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement, “This is good news, and congratulations on to Keenan on his graduation today.”

The Ravens selected Reynolds in the sixth round of the draft, and are intrigued by his potential as a returner and receiver after a stellar career at Navy as a quarterback. Reynolds finished his Navy career as the FBS all-time leader in touchdowns (88).

Reynolds has sought advice on making the transition from quarterback to receiver-returner from CSN’s Brian Mitchell, who was a Pro Bowl returner with the Redskins, and from Hines Ward, a Pro Bowl receiver with the Steelers. The next challenge for Reynolds is to win a spot on the Ravens’ 53-man roster, and many people will be rooting for him.