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Robert Griffin III Under Fire Before MNF Matchup

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Washington’s quarterback is under fire for his recent comments. Robert Griffin III, however, is focused on Monday's matchup with the 49ers.

Washington’s quarterback is under fire for his recent comments.

Robert Griffin III discussed how the Philadelphia Eagles were in the proper positions to stop Washington’s offense throughout a 24-16 road win in Week 11. Griffin felt like the Eagles knew what was coming the entire game.

Griffin also didn’t take all of the blame for his interception on Washington’s last offensive play.

“We had a certain concept with running and nobody got open so I was backing up, and in the situation where get a sack there, it ends the game,” Griffin explained of the end-of-the-game scenario. “I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn’t get to where I wanted to go.”

Griffin’s comments were not well received by his teammates. On Wednesday, Washington’s franchise quarterback explained his side of the mini-controversies in a conference call with the Bay Area media.

"I don't have any regrets," Washington's signal-caller said. "I feel like for myself, moving forward, I have to be more weary of the hostility.

"I was trying to give a compliment to Philadelphia's defense and it was taken as a shot against my coaches. It wasn't."

Griffin was also asked about his much publicized relationship with his head coach, Mike Shanahan.

"Two guys that want to win football games and we're working together to make sure that happens," Griffin said in a short and sweet manner.

Washington's record hasn't changed Griffin's focus, or his goals for the year. Outside criticism hasn't bothered Washington's starting quarterback.

"You continue to be who you are," Griffin said. "Everyone looking from the outside in can question whatever they want when you're 3-7.

"Start winning, that's the only way you can cure all this."

READ: Josh Morgan to Face Former Team

Griffin has enjoyed a productive start to his NFL career. The second-year signal-caller is one of two players in NFL history with 5,000-plus passing yards (5,914), and 1,000-plus rushing yards (1,160) in his first 25 career games.

In 2013, Griffin has started slow after missing offseason workouts and preseason games due to a serious knee injury suffered in the 2012 playoffs. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound passer had a 102.4 quarterback rating in his rookie campaign, but is down to 83.6 in his sophomore season.

"I think we haven't found ways to win the game," Griffin said of Washington's recent struggles. "We just have to be more consistent and that all starts with me. That's what it is. That's the name of the game.

"It's not easy to win games, no matter what you did the year before. We still have to keep pushing. There's six more games, there's no telling what can happen."

Entering Monday night's matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, Griffin has 14 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 10 games. Last season, Griffin had five interceptions in 15 starts.

Defenses have kept him in the pocket and have taken away the perimeter running lanes that Griffin utilized in 2012.

"I think it's a week-to-week thing," Griffin said of how teams are focusing on his running skills. "Some weeks, everyone is talking about the zone-read. It's a part of the offense... but it's not everything."

Washington has been able to put up yards and points through 11 weeks, just not many wins.

"When you lose, people are going to jump on you and when you win, people praise you," Griffin said.

Washington's quarterback can relate to San Francisco's signal-caller.

Griffin was asked about his similarities to Colin Kaepernick.

"With how busy we've been during the season, we don't really get a chance to watch other teams," Griffin said. "I've never had a chance to meet him, but I'm sure we'll get a chance to talk and do some things in the community together."

Griffin, on the other hand, is quite familiar with the 49ers defense.

"It's one of the best defenses, if not the best defense we'll face all year," he said.

Griffin later commented on Ahmad Brooks' much discussed hit on Drew Brees, too.

"You don't watch the film looking for penalties," Griffin said, before noting, "Brooks is a great player, we've got to be ready to play against him."

Washington's quarterback ended his conference call by recalling his history with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, a former Stanford coach who recruited Griffin out of high school to potentially play in a two-quarterback system.

"I did get a chance to meet a lot with Coach Harbaugh," Griffin said. "He's a great coach and he's done a great job in San Fran."

Griffin was recruited by Harbaugh along with Andrew Luck, the current starter for the Indianapolis Colts. Griffin remembered how he met with the 49ers coach at the NFL Scouting Combine. Griffin elected to play at Baylor; Luck chose Stanford. The decision wasn't forgotten by the 49ers coach.

"He did bring that up," Griffin recalled of his combine interview with Harbaugh. "It was a funny conversation. He really wanted me to go there to play quarterback... At the end of the day, I figured it wasn't the best option for me. But he was professional about it."

Stanford didn't allow early high school graduates to enroll.

"That was the biggest issue," Griffin said.

Griffin can look back at his history with Harbaugh, but ultimately, his focus is solely on helping his current team get back in the NFC East race.

"We want to get back to our winning ways," said Griffin, who didn't rule out his team from making the playoffs for a second-straight season.

"Our thought process is take care of what we can control. The only thing on our plate is San Francisco."


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