Thursday, September 20, 2012
Tale of the all-22 tape: RG3 right on Rams?
By Mike Sando
Steven Jackson had an appropriate response to Robert Griffin III's accusations of dirty play from Jackson's St. Louis Rams: "It's not the Big 12."
Griffin, the Washington Redskins' rookie sensation, isn't the first quarterback to challenge defenses with his running while seeking the protections afforded pocket passers. Michael Vick lodged complaints last season.
Griffin went further, specifically accusing the Rams of taking cheap shots at him during St. Louis' 31-28 victory Sunday. I've gone through the all-22 video with a careful eye. The Rams did take a couple unnecessary hits, but I wouldn't call their tactics egregious by NFL standards -- or even Big 12 standards.
We'll hopefully find out what the NFL thinks when the league levies fines later in the week.
Among the things I noticed in relation to Griffin:
- First quarter, 3:03 mark: Linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar takes down Griffin and jabs him around the shoulder area with an elbow. The blow didn't appear to do any damage.
- First quarter, 2:00: Griffin runs a bootleg toward the left sideline. Safety Quintin Mikell tries to deliver a hard hit while Griffin is leaving the field. Griffin was a runner on this play. Mikell didn't seem out of line.
- Third quarter, 9:00: Griffin pitches the ball on an option play. Defensive end Robert Quinn shoves Griffin unnecessarily, but no harm is done.
- Fourth quarter, 8:29: Griffin throws to the right, then takes a hit from defensive end William Hayes. There was nothing vicious about this hit. Hayes did not appear to have bad intentions. He did run over Griffin after the ball was gone.
- Fourth quarter, 8:00: Griffin scrambles and slides. Cornerback Cortland Finnegan throws himself into Griffin, striking the quarterback in the helmet with his hip.
- Fourth quarter, 4:40: Griffin gets rid of the ball while defensive tackle Kendall Langford rushes him. Griffin appears to be falling when Langford shoves him down. Necessary? No. Dirty? Don't think so.
- Fourth quarter, 2:00: Griffin rolls right and scrambles, taking a hit from Craig Dahl just just before running out of bounds. Legal play.
Fine information usually becomes available on Fridays.
By the way, the Rams and Redskins each have four penalties for unnecessary roughness, roughing the passer, unsportsmanlike conduct and those labeled more broadly as personal fouls. Only Baltimore (six) and Philadelphia (five) have more through two games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.