It should probably also be unsurprising that the Redskins
rookie quarterback was supposedly the target of some extra-physical football
this past weekend in St. Louis.
Griffin has accused the Rams of playing dirty and taking shots at the quarterback. While the rookie wasn't willing to say the
Rams had a bounty on him, he wasn't shy about pointing fingers.
"There was some extracurricular stuff going on after the plays," Griffin told reporters at a news conference Thursday. "They were doing a lot of dirty things. I still think they have an extremely good team, that doesn't take anything away from them, but the game was unprofessional. Who am I to talk? I've barely been a pro for very long, but from what I experienced against the Saints compared to that game, it was definitely unprofessional and it does need to be cleaned up."
Welcome to the NFL, kid.
While there is no place in the NFL for Saints-like bounty programs, it should surprise no one that a team like the Rams — with a veteran NFL head coach in Jeff Fisher and a known agitator like Cortland Finnegan — would get a little physical with Griffin.
If you go back and watch the tape, there are a few instances when Griffin gets roughed up with hits that definitely toe the line of physical and dirty. Griffin himself even gets a little hot under the collar a couple of times with what he perceives to be excessive punishment.
However, that's life in the NFL, and that's life as one of the NFL's marquee draws. It hasn't gotten to the point where Griffin needs to accuse another team of playing dirty. It should be expected. It should be a sign of respect, even.
Griffin was able to do what he wanted in Week 1 against, ironically, the Saints. He tore up a depleted New Orleans organization, and told the rest of the football world that he had arrived, and he is here to win football games.
The St. Louis Rams watched tape of that for a week straight. Of course they were going to try to make life miserable for Griffin.
"I don't want to tip-toe the lines of anything that's happened with bounties or anything like that," Griffin added, "but they were definitely going after me. They made it a point, obviously, all week to hit me. Some of the shots were cheap of that nature."
Some of the shots may have been "cheap," but there is a fine line between "cheap" and "threatening." Griffin is going to have to get used to teams "going after" him. He's already one of the league's most exciting players, and he's one of the most dynamic as well.
He's also not doing himself any favors by commenting on it, either. By essentially complaining about the Rams' tactics, Griffin is at least giving off the perception that he'll be rattled by such play. Here he is, a few days later, and it's still on his mind. He could have just as easily stepped around any such questions, electing to say that he's moved on to this week, and that the Rams didn't do anything any other team would do.
Every other team, starting with the Bengals this week, is going to be looking for a new way to slow him down. That comes with the territory. How Griffin responds to this type of adversity going forward will be what defines him as an NFL quarterback for years to come.
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