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Robert Griffin III, Redskins' protection have tougher day

RICHMOND, Va. -- It was tough to accurately measure quarterback Robert Griffin III Sunday. The Washington Redskins used shells for half the practice and no pads for the rest. That means the pass-rush would pull up sooner than usual -- and defensive backs often slowed on plays where Griffin appeared to be sacked.

But it was not the best day for Griffin and the offense. He would have been sacked a few times; it's tough to know if that stemmed just from protection issues at times (linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had a few successful rushes against the right side of the line. He drove right tackle Morgan Moses back with one hand on a rush and turned the corner). Or because Griffin held the ball too long. Sometimes those plays ended up as completions, but it's hard to count them because several would have been sacks.

The result: Griffin took off running five times, the most we've seen him do since camp opened.

Griffin was intercepted twice, though the first time occurred after running back Trey Williams had a ball skip off his hands and into the diving arms of safety Dashon Goldson. Another ball that was tipped, this time by corner Justin Rogers, also ended up with Goldson.

The 11-on-11 work was without pads so it's always a tougher one from which to draw many conclusions. But Griffin was not sharp (last week in a similar setting, he called it his best practice mentally and physically).

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan was firm in his praise of Griffin. He saw what he wanted from Griffin in the preseason opener.

"I liked it a lot," McCloughan said. "I see improvement. I see confidence. I see the ball out on time. I see a good football player."