RG3’s TD run: An oral history

Diagramming Robert Griffin III's 76-yard touchdown run against the Vikings on Sunday. [No. 10: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III; No. 22: Redskins running back Evan Royster; No. 83: Redskins tight end Fred Davis; No. 15: Redskins wide receiver Joshua Morgan; No. 20: Vikings cornerback Chris Cook; No. 54: Vikings middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley; No. 52: Vikings strong-side linebacker Chad Greenway; No. 33: Vikings free safety Jamarca Sanford; No. 22: Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith] (The Washington Times)Diagramming Robert Griffin III’s 76-yard touchdown run against the Vikings on Sunday. [No. 10: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III; No. 22: Redskins running back Evan Royster; No. 83: Redskins tight end Fred Davis; No. 15: Redskins wide receiver Joshua Morgan; No. 20: Vikings cornerback Chris Cook; No. 54: Vikings middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley; No. 52: Vikings strong-side linebacker Chad Greenway; No. 33: Vikings free safety Jamarca Sanford; No. 22: Vikings strong safety Harrison Smith] (The Washington Times)
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The Washington Redskins led the Minnesota Vikings 31-26 with 2:56 to play in the fourth quarter Sunday at FedEx Field. Facing third and 6 from the Washington 24, Robert Griffin III awaited the shotgun snap from center Will Montgomery. What followed would become the signature play in the quarterback’s rookie season, and is presented here in an oral history:

SANTANA MOSS, Redskins wide receiver: “When he was in the huddle, we all said that somebody’s got to make a play. That’s why he’s here.”

LARRY MICHAEL, Redskins radio play-by-play man:“Third and 6 at their own 24-yard line. Evan Royster in the game; he’s in the backfield with RG3, who’s in the shotgun.”

ROBERT GRIFFIN III, Redskins quarterback: “We kind of felt like they were going to pressure us in that situation. So [offensive coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] called a good play.”

MICHAEL: “Third and 6 from their own 24. Robert sends Fred Davis in motion to the right.”

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs 76 yards for a touchdown to put the Washington Redskins up 38-26 in the fourth quarter as the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings. (Preston Keres, Special to the Washington Times)

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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs 76 yards for a ... more >

GRIFFIN: “I saw the double A-gap blitz. I was thinking I’m either going to throw hot, or if they miss this blitz and don’t hit it the right way, then I’m going to run for the first.”

LESLIE FRAZIER, Vikings coach: “We wanted to pick our spot when we did [blitz] Griffin. We knew what the potential ramifications would be if we did do it and didn’t get there.”

MIKE SHANAHAN, Redskins coach: “That was third down and he was looking to the left and we had both outside receivers on out routes, about 10-12 yards. When he looked over there at Josh [Morgan], he saw a lane open up.”

KORY LICHTENSTEIGER, Redskins left guard: “It was an advantageous blitz for a quarterback run. I don’t know if it looked designed, but it looked pretty good from where I was at.”

MICHAEL: “Takes the snap, scrambles up the middle, breaks the tackle.”

GRIFFIN: “I saw that they missed it, took off running and got to the sideline.”

LICHTENSTEIGER: “He left me behind pretty much right when he crossed the line of scrimmage, I was out of it.”


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LORENZO ALEXANDER, Redskins linebacker: “It was amazing. Just to see him drop back, you saw the hole open and he took off. I was looking downfield to see the edge.”

DICK STOCKTON, Fox Sports play-by-play man:“And here’s RG3, he’s going to run for the first down, and still on his feet.”

LICHTENSTEIGER: “I just saw the back of his jersey. I didn’t even try to catch him.”

JOSHUA MORGAN, Redskins wide receiver: “You just see him take off. At the top of your route we’re just coming back to him anyway so you just saw him take off and you just turn into a blocker.”

LONDON FLETCHER, Redskins middle linebacker: “I had a great view of everything, watching the play develop. When I saw the lane part and he was able to get past that first, initial tackle and then on the sideline a guy tried to get him. From there, it was just like, ‘Wow.’”

GRIFFIN: “I just took off running. The rest is history.”

‘I think I can get a little more’

MORGAN: “You look for the closest guy to block and you just block him. Get your hands inside and block him till he gets past you.”

GRIFFIN: “Thought about running out of bounds because everyone has been telling me that lately. You know in certain situations, and I felt like I had the guy outflanked.”

TRENT WILLIAMS, Redskins left tackle: “I was saying, screaming, ‘Get out of bounds, get out of bounds’ and then he turned it up.”

GRIFFIN: “I could see guys telling me I got the first [down], so they were saying, ‘Stay in bounds. Slide.’”

FLETCHER: “With a guy who has the ability to make plays, you have to just allow him to trust his instincts on when he can make a play and when he can make a guy miss and things like that. Right there, he knew he had an angle on a guy and it was just an opportunity to make a play.”

LICHTENSTEIGER: “You’ve got to keep blocking, and you never know what’s going to happen because even if it looks like they’ve got him down, he can escape, he can move and he can leave people in his dust.”

GRIFFIN: “And then it all went from, ‘Stop, stay in bounds,’ to, ‘Go, go for the touchdown.’”

FLETCHER: “I’m watching him run down the sideline, and it’s really like he was just in a 400-meter run, just as relaxed as you want to see. You just saw his long stride and I’m really just like, ‘Wow.”’

‘It was all a blur’

FRED DAVIS, Redskins tight end: “I was like, ‘Oh, he was gone.’ He took off on those guys. They had an angle on him, but I just saw him, he took that third gear and he was gone.

GRIFFIN: “It was all a blur. Coach Sean [McVay], the tight ends coach, said he felt me run by him because of the gust of wind. I guess I was that fast, what can I say?”

MICHAEL: “He’s to the 30, 35, 40. Up the sideline, 50. RG3! Electrifying!”

GRIFFIN: “It was interesting to see the different reactions. Larry Hess, our head trainer, was running down the sidelines. He said he was running the same 40 I was running. A lot of guys had some made-up thoughts in their heads. But it was cool.”

STOCKTON:“RG3 is gonna outrace everybody! Seventy-six yard touchdown run by RG3!”

GRIFFIN: “I got to enjoy the moment a little bit. It was pretty fun to hear the crowd and see my teammates on the sideline celebrating as I ran for the touchdown.”

MOSS: “I was watching it from the back. I even stopped watching and I looked at their sideline and I was like, ‘Take that.’”

MICHAEL:“RG3 for the touchdown! Can you believe it? Seventy-six yards, all the way!”

ALEXANDER: “He has world-class speed. You know nobody was going to catch him once he got to that edge and took off.”

GRIFFIN: “I got to prove to those guys that I still have that track speed that they’ve been talking about or saying that I don’t have. So I was able to break a long one. It always feels good when you can do that, any time. A DB catches an interception and runs it back, a receiver gets a long catch or a quarterback throws a long touchdown pass or runs a long one.”

MORGAN: “I don’t know if it was Olympic, world-class speed. He’s not Usain Bolt or nothing. But he’s pretty fast for a quarterback. I’ve had the luck of seeing some fast quarterbacks and playing with some fast quarterbacks like [Michael] Vick and all them. It’s electrifying when you see them in the open field like that and turn the speed on.”

DeANGELO HALL, Redskins cornerback: “I actually didn’t catch it till probably he was at the 20, to be honest with you. But we knew he was going to be an exciting guy, an exciting player, an exciting quarterback. You knew anytime he had the ball in his hands he had a chance to do something special. We’ve seen it in training camp. You guys are starting to see that now.”

SHANAHAN: “Not too many quarterbacks can outrun those defensive backs. That was a heck of a play. You don’t see that very often.”

FRAZIER: “There aren’t a lot of guys who play that position that can break a 76-yard run and not get caught. So that creates some issues for any defense. He’s a heck of a young player that can throw the ball and run the ball. When things break down, he can make plays.”

WILLIAMS: “Seeing a guy with that type of speed from the quarterback position, you don’t see that too often, man. He’ll make history in this league.”

‘You can stop smiling by Wednesday’

PHYLLIS JONES, Redskins fan whom Griffin jumped onto, to Fox D.C.: “We just saw him coming, and all of us were just leaning over and arms spread completely out like, ‘Come on, come on.’”

GRIFFIN: “The jump was fun; I actually tried to leave and they held me down. Fans, gotta love ‘em.”

JONES: “We were all just screaming and yelling. He just sat there and was quite comfortable, actually.”

GRIFFIN: “I just sat there and enjoyed the moment for a little bit. I didn’t want us to get a penalty so I was trying to get down. At the end of the day, I think the refs and everyone understood how big of a moment that was and they didn’t throw any flags or anything like that.”

LICHTENSTEIGER: “I figured I’d celebrate with him on the sideline when he came back over. An 80-yard sprint wasn’t what I needed at that point.”

PERCY HARVIN, Vikings wide receiver: “It was a great play. I am a fan of RG3. He made a big play for his team, so all the better for him.

GRIFFIN: “It’s something special that I can do personally. It was fun to be able to show everybody that and to help us win the game doing it.”

CHRISTIAN PONDER, Vikings quarterback: “We just had to get back out there and score. Obviously, we want to score and take the lead, but they made a play. RG3 is a heck of a quarterback who made an unbelievable play.”

FLETCHER: “It was a huge play, just the difference in the ballgame.”

GRIFFIN: “A couple of guys, [quarterback] Rex [Grossman] in particular came to me and said, ‘Hey, you can stop smiling by Wednesday,’ because I was just all smiles. It was a special feeling.”

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