- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Jones has way too much respect for Griffin -- or even fear of him -- to take any comfort from RG III’s slow start this season coming off of knee surgery.
"We don't know what we're dealing with in RG III," Jones said Friday on KRLD-FM. "I know that if we're dealing with the same guy that came in here last year, that's enough to lay awake at night about. That was about as impactful a player as we've seen come through here last year."
Griffin has struggled by his standards during the Redskins’ 1-3 start. He’s been a nonfactor in the running game and, while he’s thrown for 1,202 yards and six touchdowns, he’s already thrown four interceptions, just one fewer than he did in his phenomenal rookie season.
But Griffin’s 304-yard, four-touchdown performance during the Redskins’ triumphant visit last season left a lasting impression on Jones, who seemed shell-shocked that day by the thought of having to deal with RG III for the next dozen or so years. With RG III declaring himself “rejuvenated” after the Redskins’ bye, Jones fears his best.
"You say, 'C'mon, Jerry, be real, he hasn't been at his best,'" said Jones, whose defense that has allowed 400-yard passers in each of the past two weeks. “But he's phenomenal and he's a unique and inordinate player. He's got not only physical skills, but I would have to say that mentally he's one of the smartest guys that we've seen in the National Football League.
"Always the case was that he was going to evolve into a quarterback that when you couldn't run him or when he's lost a step, that would be the kind that would get smart and beat you with his experience. The respect I have for him means we could see him come out here and play the way he's going to play the rest of his career.
"I know that we're preparing for him to be really effective."
That's definitely been the trend for quarterbacks who face the Dallas defense.