Robert Griffin III made a promise to Redskins fans late Monday night: He’s going to get better at deciding when to slide and, just as important, how to do it.
Which is important because, well, he struggled with both during Washington’s 24-23 preseason victory over Cleveland.
“I got caught in an awkward situation on the first one. I tried to slide,” Griffin said with smile before acknowledging: “It was a bad attempt at a slide.”
Griffin then went on to dissect the other two occasions where he did slide/should have slid.
“On the sideline, I was in a situation where I thought I was going to be able to get out of bounds,” Griffin said, referring to a scramble where he stayed in bounds and took a shot instead of ducking out sooner. "The [defender] came back [at me] so I had to protect myself. So that’s why I put my shoulder down.”
Griffin added: “And then my third attempt was very successful. I got down and got out of harm's way. It’s going to continually be a work in progress. I’m going to keep focusing on getting down in those situations, knowing when to fight for the extra yards and knowing when not to.”
Coach Jay Gruden said he and the other assistant coaches must stay on Griffin, who is entering his third season.
“It is something that we have to continue to talk to him about,” Gruden said. “How important he is to this team and this franchise. When he gets out of the pocket, he needs to protect himself. He has a habit in his career of being able to get himself out of predicaments with his speed and his athleticism. But here, it is a 16 game season with great talent across the league. He has to pick his shots and learn how to get down a little bit better.”
Fortunately for Griffin, he avoided injury Monday. But it’s becoming clear that he needs to put a priority on both his decision making and his sliding form.
“The fans have nothing to worry about there,” Griffin said. “I’ll keep getting better at that, I promise you.”