The NFLs 18th-ranked rusher is not a running back.Its Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who in two games has carried the ball 20 times for 124 yards. The next quarterback on the list is Carolinas Cam Newton, who has 75 yards on 18 carries.If Griffin maintains this pace, he'll finish his rookie season with 160 carries. Newton led all quarterbacks last season with 126 attempts.I think it will die down over the course of the year, Griffin said. Some games Ill carry the ball 10 times. Some games Ill carry the ball two times. Its just a matter of how defenses are going go play.Although Griffin has not suffered an injury, the high number of carries figures to expose him to the possibility. A prime example came in the second quarter Sunday, when Griffin was drilled in the neck and back of the head as he scrambled for 15 yards up the middle.Griffin said he expected to be sore Monday morning but wasnt. He also said he attempts to avoid getting hit as much as possible.I try to, he said. On designed runs, I cant really give it to anyone. I just have to go out there and try to make something happen. But on some of the runs where I break the pocket, I do try to dump it off to guys and stretch it out as much as I can. Theres always ways to avoid hits. But some of the hits I was getting in this past game were unavoidable.Griffin said he wasnt concerned about getting hit in high school. But as a sophomore at Baylor, Coach Art Briles began talking to him about weighing risk vs. reward.Coach taught me to get what you can, but protect yourself and get down, Griffin said. Ive become pretty good at avoiding hits, or avoiding the bigger hits. There were a couple times against the Rams they were leading with their helmets and I had to dodge them. Its just something that Ive been accustomed to: being able to move my body that way.
Josh Norman made headlines last week when he called out a subset of Redskins fans for booing the home team and others for not showing up to FedEx Field.
Some fans took exception to Norman's comments, but on Wednesday, the star cornerback made clear exactly what he wanted from fans.
"You want to see an atmosphere full with raving Redskins Nation fans and pandemonium," Norman said during an interview with Larry Michael on Redskins Nation.
"That's what you want to see."
Norman's request seems more than fair, especially considering the 6-3 Redskins will take on the 6-3 Texans. Both teams are in first place in their division, and while Washington is coming off a solid road win in Tampa, Houston travels to FedEx Field winners of six-straight.
"It’s big, because the other team is coming in at 6-3," Norman said.
6-3 is the best Redskins record this late in the season since 2008, and Norman recognizes his team is trying to turn mediocre tide of recent years and that fans might need a reminder.
"To change that from the culture where it was to now coming around, come on man, we need your support."
For decades, the Redskins fan base was considered among the NFL's best. Venerable RFK Stadium had arguably the best home-field advantage in the league. Norman remembered that.
"This is a signature storied franchise," Norman said. "I grew up with it knowing the Washington Redskins and knowing how big it was. Down in Carolina that was our team. The Washington Redskins was the team of the South. Everybody was about that."
The 'Skins left RFK more than 20 years ago and now Carolina roots for the Panthers.
Still, for Norman and many players, the challenge is out there for the fans to fill up FedEx Field and make it a hostile atmosphere for the Texans.
"From the inside of the stands to the outside of it, all Redskins Nation going in there live, pumping us up. We feeding off of them, we giving them something to cheer for and they giving us back something to be excited for," Norman said. "Those big 3rd downs. As long as we need them, we hear those decibels. We need it up to 105. Literally just blow it off the roof, those decibels, just shoot them up. That’s what we need."
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After an important road win in Tampa, the Redskins stock is soaring. The team is 6-3 and two games up in the NFC East.
For individual players, Josh Doctson headlines the stock surge but a pair of defenders are moving the other way. Let's dig into the Redskins stock report.
Stock up - Josh Doctson - The third-year wide receiver has scored in two straight games and has caught seven of 10 balls thrown his way. The yardage numbers don't jump off the page, but all four catches in Tampa were important. Further, Doctson rebounded from a tough game against Atlanta where he dropped two passes and got flagged for a (wrong) taunting penalty. Most impressive with Doctson? The touchdown in Tampa came off schedule and showed that he kept working back to his QB once the play broke down. That will garner more trust from Alex Smith, and maybe more chances for big plays down the backstretch of the year.
Stock down - Danny Johnson - For an undrafted free agent out of Southern, Johnson has had a remarkable season. In Tampa, he did not have a remarkable game and got replaced on the field by Greg Stroman. Let Jay Gruden explain, "Danny had a good week of practice. He filled in for Stroman when Stroman had the hip issue last week and we thought we'd give Danny a shot to start. Danny was playing a little soft [coverage] there for a little while, so we decided to give Stroman a crack at it." Once Stroman got in, he grabbed an interception and had a nice pass breakup downfield. Johnson has a firm roster spot - the Redskins just released Josh Holsey - but looks like he fell behind Stroman on the depth chart.
Stock up - Kapri Bibbs - With Chris Thompson on the shelf and a murky timetable for his return, Bibbs is getting more and more chances on the field. And increasingly, he's delivering when he gets looks. Against Tampa, he ran the ball three times for 28 yards and added two catches for 13 yards. He also had a huge gain just before halftime, the Redskins first big chunk play in weeks that Bibbs took after a screen pass, but it got called back on a holding flag.
Stock down - Pernell McPhee - No player wants to be a healthy scratch, but that's just what happened to McPhee last week in Tampa. Jay Gruden explained: "Unfortunately I had to sit McPhee, not performance related, but just I had to get another body on the offensive line because we're banged up." It was mostly a work of roster construction that landed McPhee on the inactive list, but still, Cassanova McKinzy made the active roster after being on the practice squad. McKinzy showed some ability rushing the passer, and he can play special teams. This could be a situation worth monitoring.
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