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RG3 "concerns" identified?

RG3 "concerns" identified?

ESPN host Trey Wingo tweeted the following early this afternoon.
Sources telling me the "concerns" about @RGIII have less to do with health of the knee, much more on how the team plans to use him

— trey wingo (@wingoz) August 30, 2013
Shortly after that, ESPN's Adam Schefter followed up with this:
What @wingoz also reports: Dr. Andrews does not want Redskins to expose RGIII's knee to punishment during games.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 30, 2013
So, as some suspected, the "concerns" of Dr. James Andrews that Mike Shanahan referred to last night may not be not medical but had more to do with football strategy and, perhaps, the need for Griffin to do a better job of protecting himself when he runs the ball or scrambles.

Of course, it is impossible for any football player to participate in a game and not expose his knees to some degree of punishment. It doesn't require too much of a leap here to think that in the interest of brevity that the words "excessive" and/or "unnecessary" in front of "punishment" were left out.

Andrews' concerns are not necessarily in conflict with the assertion that his right knee is sound. Griffin tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 as a sophomore at Baylor. You would certainly expect Andrews to recommend an abundance of caution under those circumstances.

Or are there any concerns at all? Andrews texted a few media organizations, including the Washington Post. "None of it is true. No concerns,” the message read.

Maybe it's a matter of semantics. Perhaps these "concerns" were common sense advice that perhaps Griffin should throw more and run less and when he does run he should quickly look for the nearest sliding area or sideline. And maybe Shanahan is using these "concerns" to slow down the process a bit and establish that the final decision here belongs to him.

And it's hard to blame him for that. The last time Griffin said he could play and Andrews gave the green light Shanahan went along with it and it turned out to be the biggest, most disastrous mistake of the coach's stellar career. It's hard to find issue with him slowing things down a bit and making absolutely sure that starting Griffin is the best thing to do for the long term good of the player and the organization.

It is very likely that Shanahan's answer will be "yes" and Griffin will start a week from Monday but the coach taking his time and making sure of the best way to proceed is the smart thing to do.

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Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

Eagles coach's comments on effort create a stir in the locker room

The day after the Eagles 32-14 loss to the Bengals on Sunday, Philadelphia coach Doug Peterson said that he didn’t think that all his players played hard.

Not everybody, and that’s the accountability that I talk about,” Pederson said, via the Birds 24/7 blog. “I hold coaches accountable for that; I hold myself accountable for that because it all starts with me. I pride myself each week to make sure the guys are ready to go, but at the same time, it comes down to a mentality by each individual player. This is a business where we have to be ready to go every single weekend because every team in the league — there are some teams that are better than others, but for the most part anything can happen any weekend.”

This sort of vague shot fired at the team did not sit well with the players. Safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the most respected voices on the team, said that the comments put players in a bad spot.

“I know the intent of the guys that I practice with and play with every day, and I didn’t see effort being an issue,” Jenkins said. “It puts us in a little bit of a tough position as players because now everybody wants to know, ‘Well, who were you talking about?’”

Some in the media in Philadelphia surmised that two of the players Pederson was talking about were tight end Zach Ertz and safety Rodney McLeod. One on play it looked like Ertz failed to block Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on a Carson Wentz scramble.

“I’m not going to get into the details of every thought I had on that play,” said Ertz. “I’m focused on giving this city everything I have on each and every play. I promise going forward, I will do that. I think I have done that in the past.”

It didn’t look like McLeod did everything he could to keep Bengals running back Jeremy Hill from scoring a touchdown on a two-yard run in the first quarter.

“I thought the ball was going to hit somewhere else, and then obviously it came through. By the time I could react, Hill already crossed the plane,” said McLeod. “Just got caught flat-footed, tried to react and by the time I did, I feel like if I were to hit him it could possibly be late. Just a tough situation.”

You can see both of the plays in question here.

We don’t know if Ertz and McLeod are among the players that Pederson was talking about when he spoke of issues with effort. Leaving things vague like that doesn’t do much for the coach’s credibility in the locker room. And when that starts to be in doubt the coach gets asked about his job security. Pederson said that owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman have been supportive.

“From both of them, it’s been 100 percent support on everything. I meet with Jeffrey and Howie every week and we discuss a lot of things and go over a lot of things. Every week, it’s very positive,” Pederson said. “I just don’t think you can base a guy’s career on one season. I think you got to give it time to develop.

But the fact that these questions are being asked after he has been in his job for a dozen games is an indication that he is facing at least a minor crisis as his team prepares for four games that are likely to be meaningless in terms of the playoff picture. We will see if he can get the train back on the tracks by Sunday.

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Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

Poll: What is your approval rating for the play of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins?

As usual, answer the poll and either rely on Twitter or come back here and hit the comments section.