If youve watched much television or been on any sports-related websites this offseason, theres a very good chance youve seen Robert Griffin III on the screen.From award shows in Los Angles to big-budget commercials for adidas and Gatorade, the Redskins rookie has, at times, seemed to be everywhere.Griffin, though, made one thing clear the eve of his first NFL training camp Wednesday: hes done filming commercials for now and wont be making any appearances on the red carpet until next offseason.He also said he plans to put down the smartphone and stop using Twitter to update his nearly 270,000 followers.Its all about the Redskins playbook now.Its all business, Griffin said told reporters during a wide-ranging 26-minute news conference at Redskins Park. Were getting down to the season time. Im not going any award shows or doing any commercials during the season.He wasn't quite done with being a pitch man, however. During the news conference, which was televised locally and nationally, he wore a burgundy and gold T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase "No pressure, no diamonds" and the adidas logo.Although Griffin wont toss his first pass in an NFL contest until he suits up for the preseason opener August 8th in Buffalo, the quarterback said he never had any hesitation about doing the types of commercials that are often reserved for more accomplished pros.Youre only unproven if you think youre unproven, he said. Im not proven, but I dont think Im unproven, either. The only thing I made sure I stayed with was companies I truly believe in and not just doing things to get money. It was great experience doing all those things. Everybody wants to be in the Gatorade commercial, get the Gatorade dripping from your face.Asked if he sought the counsel of any veteran teammates before agreeing to do the high-profile ads, Griffin said followed the advice from those in his inner circle.I talked to my guys about that type of stuff, he said. We wanted to make sure I wasnt doing too much before I even played. But the situations that arose seemed fine. If it wasnt good, I definitely would have felt it in the locker room. But when all the guys showed up, most of them were even laughing about them or saying they were really cool. It rubbed the team the right way.The team doesnt look at me as a celebrity, he added. Yeah Im their quarterback and Im the guy thats going to lead them to victory, but theres no celebrity.Then he cracked: Theres no autographs in the locker room, for the most part. Im not RG3 to them, Im just Robert.Like the commercials and other endorsements, Griffin added that Twitter will have to wait, too.Its not that he has tweeted that much. In fact, hes only sent out 377 of the 140 character messages, and many of them have been responses to his growing legion of fans.As far as getting rid of it, probably not, he said. But as far as tweeting goes, probably not too much tweeting. We dont plan on losing any games, but you cant tweet when you win and not tweet when you lose.So, he added, you might as well not tweet altogether.Some observers have wondered recently if Griffin was putting himself at risk of becoming over exposed. Perhaps. But the good news for Redskins fans is that no one needed to tell him that playtime over and it was time to get to work.He figured that one out on his own.Its going to be really good to just bear down and focus on football," he said.
Here are my five key observations from the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the Jets.
— It was good that the offense clicked well in the series that Alex Smith was in the game. He was a crisp four of six for 48 yards. It wasn’t good that they couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and that Smith exited after that one series. I know there were concerns about Geron Christian being at left tackle instead of Trent Williams and Smith did get hit pretty hard on the first snap of the game. But after the starting offense sat out the preseason opener I think they needed to go for another series or two.
— The starting defense was in for two series with mixed results. The first Jets possession ended with a three and out with Daron Payne getting a third-down sack to close out the series. The second time, however, Sam Darnold like a drive that covered 42 yards and resulted in a field goal. The rookie completed passes for 13, six, 11, nine and six yards in the drive and looking every bit like the phenom that Josh Norman talked about in Richmond this week. The starting defense was good against the run, allowing 13 yards on six carries in the two drives.
— It looked like WR Cam Sims’ roster bubble was about to burst in the second quarter when he had a Colt McCoy pass in his arms in the red zone with no defender within a couple of yards of him. But the ball popped up in the air and the Jets’ Doug Middleton accepted the gift interception. But later on, he caught a key third down pass between two defenders. In that same drive he made another catch surrounded by defenders and he held onto it when he hit the ground hard. But the touchdown was called back by an illegal formation penalty. Then on the next to the last play of the game, his 20-yard reception set up the game-winning field goal.
— Tim Settle continues to impress. For a couple of drives in the second quarter the Jets’ offensive starters were up against the Redskins’ second-team defense, including Settle. The rookie manhandled former Redskins center Spencer Long on a few snaps and beat some double teams as well. Settle didn’t just impress against the run. He got a couple of pressures on Darnold and nearly got a sack. They will have to find snaps for him in the rotation if he keeps this up.
— The final word here is on playing time. For the most part, the Jets’ starters played the first half. For the Redskins it was one series for the offense and two for the defense. I have to wonder how ready this team with a new quarterback under center will perform coming out of the gate. They will be playing with fire if they don’t sweep their first two games against the Cardinals and Colts. Gruden is 0-4 in season openers as the Redskins coach. I have to say that I’m skeptical that his method of preparing the team for Week 1 will work.
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LANDOVER, MD — Here is my instant analysis of the Redskins’ 15-13 preseason win over the New York Jets.
— Alex Smith started the game and so did most of the other players who are expected to start Week 1. Rob Kelley was at running back, Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson lined up at receiver, and the offensive line was intact — with the exception of Geron Christian playing left tackle. Vernon Davis was the tight end.
— Smith moved the team efficiently on the first drive, completing four of six passes for 48 yards. He converted one third-and-9 by finding Doctson in a big soft spot in the Jets’ zone for 11 yards. On third-and-goal at the 4, he threw a pass a little behind Trey Quinn; it was catchable but not easy and Quinn couldn’t handle it. A field goal made it 3-0. After that 11-play, 71-yard drive, Smith and most of the rest of the offensive starters left the game.
— Ten of the 11 regular defenders started the game, the exception being Matt Ioannidis. In his first series in a Redskins uniform, Daron Payne stopped the drive with a sack on third down. After that three-and-out, they weren’t as effective against Sam Darnold on their second possession. The rookie was sharp leading a 12-play, 42-yard field goal drive.
— The first time Samaje Perine touched the ball, he ran for 30 yards off left tackle, following a nice block from J.P. Holtz, a tight end who was lined up at fullback. Since they released the only fullback on the roster last week, TE as FB is likely to be the plan. Perine then left the game with an ankle injury. He did not return.
— There were some special teams gaffes in the first half. Dustin Hopkins hit the right upright on a 35-yard field goal try but it went through. On the ensuing kickoff, though, the kick went out of bounds. Later on, Byron Marshall put the ball on the ground on a kickoff return but replay showed it that he was down. So there was one costly miscue and two near-misses.
— The Redskins backup defensive unit was back on its heels in a second-quarter drive with most of the Jets’ offensive starters in. They ended the drive when Danny Johnson make a good tackle to force a third and one. The Jets went for it and Darnold’s pass was tipped by Deshazor Everett and intercepted by Troy Apke. Tim Settle dominated in the middle, usually matched up against former Redskins center Spencer Long.
— It was bad news, then good news for rookie WR Cam Sims in the second quarter. First he had a pass in his hands for a first down in the red zone but the ball popped out without him being touched and the pass was picked off. On the Redskins’ next possession he made a nice catch between two defenders for a 27-yard gain on third-and-10. Later in the drive he made a leaping catch in the end zone, but a penalty negated the TD. He has been inconsistent in practice in Richmond and is carrying over.
— The Redskins had some red zone woes in the first half. The had three shots from there and settled for field goals every time. They also had the situation where Sims had the pass in his hands in the red zone before it popped out for an interception.
— Long shot Martez Carter got his name on the board with a runs of nine and then 30 yards, showing blazing speed around the corner on both runs. He remains a long shot but speed like that will get you some attention.
— Third QB Kevin Hogan was able to lead a scoring drive on his first possession but it was done mostly via Carter’s runs and the first application of the new helmet rule in a Redskins’ game this preseason, a flag that went against the Jets. The next two possessions he went two for three for seven yards and the Redskins went three and out both times.
— The Jets kicked a late field goal to take a 13-12 lead. Hogan had a chance to bring them back and got them into Jets territory. Then Cam Sims made a 20-yard grab to set up a 40-yard field goal attempt. Hopkins hit it as time ran out to give the home team a 15-13 lead.
— The win doesn’t mean anything but it’s always more fun to win than to lose.