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Given the option to hand the ball off or keep it, Griffin gets to be creative but also opens himself up to more risk. Vick’s reckless abandon led to President Barack Obama to plead for him to slide more. It hasn’t gotten to that point with Griffin, but the Redskins would like to see him avoid hits more often.

Robert, man, he just has a lot of heart,” Davis said. “He knows that the fact that he’s a quarterback, he’s got to protect his body.”

Happy feet

Even when he takes shotgun snaps or drops back to pass, Griffin has an ability to extend plays that left tackle Trent Williams pointed out: “You can’t teach that stuff.” Sliding side to side to avoid sacks, Griffin can be slippery enough to cause headaches for opposing pass-rushers.

“Most times if he’s moving, he’s moving for a reason: He’s avoiding pressure. That’s the good thing about him is that he can avoid pressure,” Williams said recently. “He’s athletic enough to turn a 10-yard loss on a sack into a 15-yard gain.”

When he does, the end result is sometimes an open-field tackle, if Griffin is unable to slide or get out of bounds. When he can’t, like on the final drive Sunday, he’s a sitting duck.

And he knows it.

“As a quarterback, you’re a stationary target most of the time,” Griffin said. “Even when you’re a mobile QB, teams are still going to come after you even more.”

According to league stats, Griffin has been sacked nine times through three games, including six by the Bengals. But considering he can typically spend more time evading pressure before going down, those numbers can be misleading.

What’s not misleading is that Griffin has to drop back and pass instead of freezing defenses with his legs when the Redskins are playing from behind, as they did for most of the afternoon Sunday. The Bengals looked pass more often than not, and Griffin found himself in bad spots.

“You don’t want to put yourself in third-and-long situations. If you do, your quarterback’s going to have a number of sacks,” Mike Shanahan said. “You keep on putting yourself in third and long, you’re going to have some shots, because your quarterback is going to concentrate down field, and he’s going to take some pretty good shots.”

Rookie factor

Pass-rushers tend to get juiced up to face rookie quarterbacks, thinking they can be rattled easily.

“Defensively, I guess if you can have an opportunity to hit the quarterback, sure, you would love that,” Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher said.

Younger quarterbacks generally are more prone to mistakes under pressure. And while Fletcher cautioned that defenders can’t get too caught up in getting hits that they lose sight of running backs, Griffin sensed that the Bengals let that affect them.

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