- Jeff Dickerson, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Preseason football has nothing to do with wins or losses. The whole point of training camp and exhibition games, besides the obvious goal of staying healthy, is to re-enforce good habits on the field and try to avoid glaring mistakes in regards to fundamentals and techniques.
With that in mind, it should be beneficial for some of the younger Chicago Bears’ defenders to face Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III on Saturday night in their second preseason game. Far from a finished product, Griffin -- the 2011 Heisman Trophy Winner and No. 2 overall selection of the NFL draft out of Baylor -- got strong reviews after this first preseason game where he completed 4 of 6 passes for 70 yards and a touchdown.
“Been impressed with him for a long time,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “His college coach is an old high school friend of mine so of course I’ve followed them quite a bit. He can do everything you want a good quarterback to do. I think he had over a 145.0 quarterback rating in the 14 plays he played last week. He’ll be a good challenge for us.
“It seems like most of the quarterbacks nowadays are athletic and they can beat you moving around, buying time to complete passes. He can do that.”
Although Griffin was credited with just one official rushing attempt in his preseason debut against Buffalo, he routinely made plays outside the pocket while in college where he rushed for 2,254 yards and 33 touchdowns. That element of Griffin’s game could test the ability of the Bears’ younger defensive ends to keep contain and not allow the quarterback to get in the open field where he is more than capable of picking up chunks of yardage.
“He’s a great athlete and a great passer,” Bears defensive end Corey Wootton said. “When you have guys that fast who can get out of the pocket in Mike Shanahan’s offense it’s tough because it leaves doubt some plays here and there. But you have to follow your keys and take angles on a guy like that.
“Coach has been stressing angles, especially on a guy who can run a 4.3 or 4.4 (40-yard dash).”