BEREA, Ohio — At the end of an innocuous play in one of the many offseason practices at the Cleveland Browns facility, Robert Griffin III jumped from the ground and started walking with authority.
“Who says he can’t slide?” Griffin screamed to no one on particular.
Washington coach Jay Gruden emphasized the need to slide. Teammates lamented when he didn’t. And Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones even posted on Twitter that he would teach Griffin how.
“I’ve learned my lesson from my mistakes in the past,” Griffin said.
Like everything with Griffin, the test will come in the regular season when the game is faster and the defenses more complex.
Not only will have he have to stand in the pocket, read the defense and throw — even Jackson admitted teams will try to make him a pocket passer because they don’t believe he can do it — but he will have to react to the rush.
Jackson does not want Griffin to forgo running. He knows Griffin’s ability can bring something to the offense. He just wants Griffin to be smart when he does run.
Naturally, there will be times when Griffin may have to try for the extra yard, perhaps if it’s late in the game or if a key first down is needed.
But there will also be times when he’ll have to sacrifice a few yards to save his health — even if it means the Browns have to punt on the next down.
“You have to be out there playing, not standing next to me,” Jackson said. “I think he’s gotten that message.”
Not trying to be Tom Brady before games. Garoppolo said he’s learned things from Brady about how to approach things before a game, calling Brady a tremendous quarterback while lauding his longevity. But Garoppolo said the key is to not try to be someone else. “Each quarterback kind of has a different style of how they lead, how they approach everything, and me and Tom are real similar in ways but different in ways, too,” Garoppolo said. “It’s one of those things; you have to make it your own. You don’t want to come in and be phony and be someone you’re not.”
Getting into regular-season routine. With the Patriots traveling to face the Carolina Panthers on Friday for the team’s third preseason game, Garoppolo said this week will have more of a regular-season feel. “You try to get into your routine and everything like that,” he said. “Third preseason game, that’s about as close as you’ll get to a regular-season game, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”
A fan of joint practices. The Patriots are one of 15 NFL teams to hold joint practices this year, and Garoppolo hopes they continue into the future. “I love the joint practices, personally,” he said. “You’re with [teammates] 14-15 hours a day, so after a while it’s refreshing to get a new face in there, new tendencies. The competitiveness obviously comes out; against the Bears in practice that was pretty evident.”
First hit always a good starting point. Garoppolo touched on the difference between the preseason opener and Week 2 and how the first game is a breaking-in process of sorts. “First preseason game, you always want to get the kinks out and everything,” he said. “Honestly, I haven’t been hit in over a year, so it’s always good to get that first one out of the way. Once you start rolling, it’s just football after a little while.”