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Griffin III Called Plays On Final Drive

Posted Sep 30, 2012

When Robert Griffin III took the field for the final drive, he realized that the headset in his helmet was not communicating with OC Kyle Shanahan.

The best way to handle adversity in a game is to practice overcoming adversity during the week.

That’s what Robert Griffin III discovered on Sunday evening, as he took the field for the game-winning drive and realized that the headset in his helmet was not communicating with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

This is a panic-worthy scenario for any player, especially a rookie running his first NFL 2-minute drill.  Good thing the Redskins prepared for this exact situation in practice.

“Every week, we always practice me calling the plays [as if] the headset has gone out,” Griffin explained. “The funny thing is, the headset did go out on that drive.

“It was neat how that practice scenario played out in the game. You don’t want that to happen, but I was pleased.”

The radio line of communication between play-caller and quarterback is a relatively new-fangled system in professional football, with honest technical difficulties and “technical difficulties” forcing teams to get creative.

Precisely what Griffin III and the Redskins did on that drive.

With 1:42 remaining on the clock and only one timeout, the Redskins marched methodically downfield, only needing to spike the ball once and saving the final timeout for the game-winning field goal.

Griffin III could be seen running back to the Redskins sideline from the huddle, where he was able to communicate with Shanahan.

When the game clock was rolling and there was no time to communicate, Griffin III took control of the huddle and called his own plays, including a 15-yard scramble to put the team in field goal range.

His confidence was buoyed by a pep talk from veteran quarterback Rex Grossman during the Bucs’ final drive that resulted in a long field goal to take the lead.

As anxiety mounted on the visiting sidelines, Grossman reminded him that Griffin III was the man for the job.

"Before they kicked their field goal, I was talking to Rex on the sideline," he recalled, "and he kept saying 'You want him to make this so you can take this team down the field and win.'"

Grossman’s prediction proved prophetic, as Griffin III connected a perfect four-for-four for 46 yards, confidently working the middle of the field and hitting receivers for 20- and 15-yard gains.

“It’s just like in the movie, The Replacements,” he said with a grin.  “’Winners want the ball in their hands when it’s crunch time.’  It’s funny that I just quoted that movie, but it’s also how really is.

"You want the ball in your hands when something has to happen, and you make it happen.  You try to rise to the occasion.”

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