But Robert Griffin III didn't really have that option Sunday, seeing as his coach had him running in the open as a wide receiver.
Griffin and the Redskins paid the price for the maneuver, with Griffin taking a hard helmet-to-helmet hit from the Steelers' Ryan Clark as he tried to reel in a pass. While Griffin popped up after the play, it was a scary moment for Washington, which has seen the scrambling Griffin go down hard at other points this season, including a concussion against the Falcons.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan took the blame Monday for putting his quarterback in danger.
"After looking at that play, you feel like a complete dumb-[expletive] because you want him to be wide open," Shanahan said, according to the Washington Post. "I've run that play probably 10, 15 times with [John] Elway, probably 20 times or more with Steve Young, and with Robert, what you usually do is, against the right defense — which is man coverage — no one usually accounts for the quarterback and he's by himself out there."
The problem was that Griffin was covered — and by more than one defender. He had a man on him when Clark steamed in and laid on the hit.
Shanahan said Monday that he should have told Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan, who was throwing the ball on the trick play, not to throw to Griffin unless he was "wide open — I mean wide open."
While some would find it questionable anyway to send the quarterback into the open field, even if he's an Elway or Young, Shanahan did not appear penitent about that part of the move on Monday.