RG3 makes Redskins ground game among NFL's best


RG3 makes Redskins ground game among NFL's best

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Robert Griffin III's look back at his 76-yard touchdown run was surprisingly analytical.

``I didn't realize how much I slowed down at the end, when was looking back at the guy,'' the Washington Redskins rookie quarterback said Wednesday. ``I was enjoying the moment. I usually don't do stuff like that. But I talked to a bunch of the players and the coaches and they said that was one of the best moments they've ever been a part of. I definitely realize how big it was and it is fun to watch it.

``But I'm done watching it now. ... I've moved on, but it's something that will live on in history, so I'm sure 20 years from now they'll still be talking about it, and that's the great thing about being able to play at the highest level.''

Twenty years from now? Griffin didn't sound like someone who was joking, nor did he sound like someone who was bragging. He's compartmentalized the moment and is ready to move on to his next hurdle - or high-jump bar. His teammates are pumped for their first NFC East game of the season Sunday vs. the New York Giants, but he claims not to be putting any extra into his preparation.

``I used to high jump back in the day,'' Griffin said. ``And my dad would always tell me you jump the same at 6-8 that you do at 6-foot. Just because it's at 6-foot doesn't mean you put less into it.''

The 76-yard dash - the NFL's longest touchdown by a quarterback in 16 years - in the 38-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings has helped make the Redskins the No. 2 rushing team in the NFL, and their 3-3 record means first place will be on the line Sunday at the Meadowlands. The Giants will be preparing for an offense that combines a scrambling quarterback, the option, other designed QB runs, a zone blocking scheme ahead of rookie running back Alfred Morris and timing routes from the West Coast passing offense.

Asked to come up with a name to describe it all, Shanahan's best effort has been ``the East Coast offense.''

``I'm not sure what the name of the offense is,'' Shanahan said. ``But we're just experimenting with what Robert can do, and we're having fun with it.''

Morris ranks fourth in the NFL, and is tops among rookies, with 538 yards rushing. Griffin is 15th with 379, easily the top quarterback. That 76-yard run was the first run of 15-plus yards allowed by the Vikings all season. The Redskins have run for at least 125 yards in every game this season, and Griffin (6) and Morris (5) are the NFL's first set of rookie teammates to each have at least five rushing touchdowns in the first six games of a season.

They make quite the tandem for opposing defenses.

``I don't think they can key on just Alfred, and that's one of the main plusses of the offense - is that they have to prepare for everything,'' left guard Kory Lichtensteiger said. ``They've got to prepare for Alfred. They've got to prepare for Robert running the ball. They've got to prepare for (receiver Brandon) Banks coming into the backfield - who knows where that's going to go. I think we've done enough to keep the defenses second-guessing themselves.''

Shanahan hints that the creativity is only just beginning.

``You get a quarterback like Robert, you see what he's comfortable with,'' Shanahan said. ``And you try to run your offense accordingly. But it's a learning experience. We're going to grow with this every week. ... It's kind of fun to tinker around with a number of things - some things you haven't done before.''

Notes: Shanahan said he doesn't plan to review the Redskins' concussion procedures after the team's third concussion in three weeks. Safety Jordan Pugh left Sunday's game late in the fourth quarter with a head injury, was cleared to return, then left the game again three minutes later with a concussion. ``I think we're fine with the procedures that are intact right now. ... It's in the doctor's hands. They do a great job evaluating these people, and hopefully they always make the right decision,'' the coach said. ... Griffin doesn't seem offended that Giants DE Osi Umenyiora referred to the rookie as ``Bob Griffin'' back in training camp. ``Bob, Robert, I don't care,'' Griffin said. ``I don't really talk that much trash. Osi is a great player. He's done great things, so I can't argue with him.''


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3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

3 reasons the Caps beat the Stars

The Washington Capitals had not beaten the Dallas Stars at home since 2006, Alex Ovechkin's second season in the NHL. That streak ended on Tuesday in a 4-3 Caps win.

Here's how the Caps were finally able to down Dallas in Washington.

Oshie still hot

After going 19 straight games without a goal, T.J. Oshie has been red-hot of late with four goals in his last four games. He scored Washington’s first goal in what would become a three-goal period for the Caps as they battled back from a 1-0 deficit into a 3-3 tie through 40 minutes. Oshie also added an assist as he won a power play faceoff that John Carlson fed to Alex Ovechkin for the goal.


Ovechkin victimizing his favorite target

You knew Ovechkin would score given he was playing against one of his favorite targets. With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has 22 goals against Kari Lehtonen in his career, tied with Henrik Lundqvist for the most goals he has scored on any netminder. Lehtonen has not been in the Eastern Conference since the 2008-09 season. When he goes to sleep at night, Ovechkin is who he sees in his nightmares.

The Carlson-Klingberg duel

Carlson and John Klingberg entered Tuesday’s game each with 59 points, tied for the league lead in points among defensemen. Carlson downplayed the matchup both before and after the game, but it was clear that both players were playing at another level all game long. While both players tallied two points on the night, you have to give the win to Carlson as he had the most significant point, a game-winning goal in the third period.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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