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Griffin III: Coaches Coach, Players Make Plays

Posted Apr 22, 2013

Redskins QB Robert Griffin III talks about the change in mindset during the 2012 bye week and how the team came out primed for a run to the playoffs.

The 10 Days with No. 10 series continues on Redskins Nation and Redskins.com, with Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III discussing how back-to-back victories over division opponents after the bye week sparked an unprecedented run to the postseason.

The NFL bye week is traditionally treated as an opportunity for players to rest up physically during the long grind of the season.

For the 2012 Redskins, it was a critical opportunity to rest up mentally and make a highly-unlikely run to the postseason.

The Redskins limped into the Week 10 bye week as losers of three-straight, tied with the Philadelphia Eagles in the cellar of the NFC East.

Coming out of the bye week, the Redskins hosted the Eagles at FedExField, in desperate need of a convincing victory.

“It was a one-game-at-a-time mentality at that time,” Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said during the Redskins Nation 10 Days With No. 10 special. “You come back; everybody’s got a lot more energy. All we talked about when we got back was take care of business, take care of what we can control and that’s basically how we played.”

The Redskins jumped out to a 17-3 halftime lead, showing rhythm on both sides of the ball. The Redskins defense throttled rookie quarterback Nick Foles, while Griffin III opened up for a near perfect day.

His final stat line: 14-for-15 for 200 yards and four passing touchdowns for a perfect passer rating.

“It felt really good to come out and do that,” he said in retrospect. “Every guy [has] got to be willing to put it on the line and when we went out there and dominated that game like we did, it kind of let everybody know or reassured that everyone that look what we’ve been doing is the right thing.

“We’ve been working hard; it’s going to pay off for us.”

The Redskins had a small window to celebrate, as a Thanksgiving game four days later in Dallas loomed large.

Despite having limited time to recover or game-plan for an emotional rivalry game, the Redskins were rolling on cylinders.

“We were in the zone. I think everybody was in the zone,” Griffin III said, noting the team’s four touchdowns in the second quarter. “All the receivers were playing well and it was special.”

It was even more special for Robert Griffin III, who made his return to Texas where he played high school and college football. For his family and fans in attendance, he gave them a day to remember.

“I understand the hatred for the Cowboys within the organization within our fans,” he said with a smile. “So to go to Texas, where I was raised, and have them chant ‘R-G-3’ and ‘Redskins’ in Cowboys Stadium, to dominate the game the way we did, it was special.”

Griffin III keyed the offense in the second quarter and scored 28 points on just 19 offensive plays. He finished the day 19-for-27 for 304 yards and four touchdowns.

“It was something that I’ll always remember, my first Thanksgiving game,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have many more, but it was fun.”

Griffin III exited the field and was mobbed by family, friends and former teammates from Baylor University and Copperas Cove.

But before heading back to his childhood home for Thanksgiving Dinner with his family, Griffin III celebrated the major victory with his teammates.

“The day was set up for us to go out there and dominate,” he said. “The vibe we were feeling when we were there was like this is our moment; it’s time for us to seize it.

“We didn’t have any practice time and it’s a thing I’ll always tell the coaches: coaches coach but at the end of the day when we’re on the field, players make plays. That’s what we did.”

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