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OPEN THREAD: Blame Gruden for Griffin's injury?

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OPEN THREAD: Blame Gruden for Griffin's injury?

Robert Griffin III sustained a number of brutal hits in a little more than a quarter of action Thursday night. To make matters worse, the beating came in a meaningless August preseason game, and resulted in an apparent injury. 

Because all things with RG3 become a referendum, some fans and pundits took to social media to blame Redskins coach Jay Gruden for letting Griffin take too many hits. That mindset, however, seems misguided. 

Griffin came into the second preseason game needing to show a command of Gruden's offense, and the only way to get that is game action. While the absence of Trent Williams on the offensive line looms very large, the remaining four players lined up in front of RG3 on Thursday were all presumed starters. Further, Detroit did not line up a roster of world beaters on their defensive line.

MORE REDSKINS: SHOULD COUSINS GET A SHOT?

Griffin needed reps, and was playing behind 80 percent of the Redskins starting offensive line. The coach needs to see his starting quarterback work, and show the progress that has been talked about all summer against live competition. In three drives, Griffin and the offense showed little, so Gruden brought him out for a fourth chance. The coach explained his thought process:

“We weren’t doing that well on offense. I wanted to get something going," the coach said. "A lot of quarterbacks play into the second quarter in a pre-season game. Football is a tough sport. We wanted to get something going offensively. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”

RG3 produced a terrible stat line, throwing for just 8 yards on 2/5 passing. And the line play in front of him, particularly the right side combination of Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff and left tackle Willie Smith, was poor. But Gruden was certainly within reason to want another drive from Griffin.

Sacks, and taking big hits, have become a problem for RG3 in recent years. It looked the same Thursday night. It's hard to decipher when the line also plays poorly, which it did, but neither Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy took a sack once they entered the game. It also seemed that familiar problems of missing open receivers and holding the ball too long creeped up from Griffin. 

"I’m not going to lay any blame on the QB or the offensive line," Gruden said following the game. "It was not a very good performance for our first-team offense, to say the least. I think we had one first down in four drives and a turnover. We have a lot of work to do.”

Did Griffin take too many hits? Certainly. Was that Gruden's fault? Hardly.

Disagree? Should Gruden have pulled RG3? Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

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NBC Sports Washington

Fans, Redskins pay tribute to longtime NBC Sports Washington reporter Rich Tandler

NBC Sports Washington lost an important piece of its family this week when longtime Redskins reporter Rich Tandler died on Tuesday. He was 63.

Tandler joined NBC Sports Washington in 2011. He began his writing career in his 40s after working in restaurants and created his blog, Real Redskins, in 2004, which became the longest-running blog on the team. He also wrote three books on the Redskins and posted an estimated 2,300 consecutive “Need To Know” posts, becoming a must-read for Redskins fans as part of their morning routine.

“We’re devastated to learn of the loss of one of our most loved and valued media members, Rich Tandler of NBC Sports Washington,” Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement. “His dedication to covering the Redskins over the past 14 years has made him an irreplaceable presence among our media corps, and he will be in our hearts. Our thoughts are with his family, our family at NBC Sports Washington, and the entire Redskins community. He will be truly missed.”

The team will hold a moment of silence for Tandler before its game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and will keep his regular seat on press row empty. On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith offered his “thoughts and prayers to his family.”

“Rich’s kind and warm nature made him a good friend and an especially close colleague to many of us at NBC Sports Washington,” NBC Sports Washington General Manager Damon Phillips said in a statement. “His passion for his work and the Redskins was inspiring and made him a critical part of many of our successes over the past seven years. This is a very big loss for the sports community. Our thoughts are with his family and his many friends.”

Fans, Redskins players, fellow reporters, and friends of Tandler paid tribute to him on social media.

“Incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of NBCSW’s Rich Tandler. He was a great talent and an important voice in the DC sports community. Our thoughts are with his wife @MissSkeetersmom, his family and his family at @NBCSWashington,” Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis wrote on Twitter.

 

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2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

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USA Today

2018 NFL Power Rankings: Patriots prove they still got it, Rams remain top dog

In a thriller in Foxboro, the Patriots handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.

It wasn't pretty but the Rams slipped past the Broncos to remain the lone unbeaten in the NFL.

Remember when the Lions beat New England on Sunday Night Football and folks were ready to bury the Patriots? Yeah... how did that 'hot take' work out?

CLICK HERE FOR WEEK 7 NFL POWER RANKINGS

Will the real Redskins please stand up? A win over the Panthers moved the Skins up three spots. Give the Redskins this, they are consistently unpredictable.

The Ravens are on the rise and Marcus Mariota is happy the Titans won't have to play Baltimore again.

So the Cowboys have an offense now? Or does Jacksonville not have an elite defense anymore?

And the Bears let Brock Osweiler throw for 380 yards. Yes. You read that correct. 380 yards. 

How far will the Bears drop because of that dreadful defensive performance? 

CLICK HERE FOR WEEK 7 NFL POWER RANKINGS