ASHBURN, Va., -- The Washington Redskins didn't see the progress they wanted in the game. They hope what they saw during the week was something else. But that means they need to see it Sunday.
When it comes to quarterback Robert Griffin III, while he's focused on the San Francisco 49ers, the Redskins are focusing on his development. They also want to win and the two desires don't always mesh. Regardless, they need to see better play from Griffin when it comes to executing his drops and the basics of their pass plays.
He didn't struggle this poorly against Minnesota, but it was bad against Tampa Bay.
"He makes progress in practice," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "He doesn't make every read perfect and sometimes you've got to rep something again to make sure everything is right, but it's just part of playing the position."
So, too, is adjusting. And sometimes, Gruden said, they'll run a play in practice against a particular look by the defense only to get something different in the game.
"Every time you go into the game as a quarterback you are prepared for what you think you are going to see but you also have to react to some other things that could come up," Gruden said. "Somebody might miss a block or a blitz that you haven't seen or something. Some of it is a leap of faith where, hey, you've just got to adjust and know where to go with the ball versus certain things and the more he plays the better he will get at that."
Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay said Griffin handled the distractions of this week well, blocking out the noise. Of course, that noise stemmed from Gruden's harsh criticism of him Monday.
McVay wants Griffin to only worry about his on-field performance.
"The things you always talk about are being able to worry about what you can control," McVay said, "and what he can control is distributing the ball where these concepts dictate based on coverages they're playing and within the timing [of a play] and then letting his teammates help him. As long as he does that we've seen what he's capable of doing."
McVay said Tampa Bay did a good job of disguising coverages, causing Griffin at times to not trust his reads or become indecisive. He missed a handful of throws for this reason. Griffin needs to reach the point where he knows which teams try to read his eyes (Tampa did) and which ones play more of a match-up zone where that becomes less of an issue.
McVay also said, in essence, that Griffin's early success has led to heightened expectations.
"He came into the league and did an outstanding job helping us reach the playoffs. Anytime you're in the NFL with all the coverage and scrutiny this league brings because it's so popular, you're under a close microscope, especially in this media market. We do feel good about his week of practice."