One of Robert Griffin III's biggest weapons is his mobility, as he uses his athleticism to create plays and churn out yardage when things break down. The Washington Redskins quarterback has now found another way to use his mobility, which to draw penalties, according to John Keim of ESPN:
"There will be situations, and that's why guys don't want to pull up," Griffin said. "It's happened in the past with Michael Vick or someone like that who has run to the sidelines, stopped and then gotten 20 more yards because the guy runs out of bounds trying not to hit the quarterback."
On Sunday night in Week 6, Griffin drew two personal fouls from the Dallas Cowboys' Barry Church, one when he was heading out of bounds. Though Griffin was heading toward the sideline, he said he was not trying to draw a penalty from Church.
The second-year quarterback let up as he was heading out of bounds on one play, and Church told Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com he believed he shouldn't have received a penalty because Griffin was "high-stepping":
That guy's high-stepping. He's about to show me up. He's high-stepping over there to the sideline -- nah. And the second one, I'm getting blocked! How am I roughing him if I'm getting blocked? Whatever, man.”
While Griffin would not admit to trying to lull Church into a penalty, he did admit to slowing up to draw a penalty for Rashean Mathis of the Detroit Lions in Week 3:
He's a smart player; he didn't hit me. I kind of stopped well inside in bounds to try to get him to hit me and he didn't. He said, 'I'm not taking that penalty, Griff.' I said, 'I got you, man.'
With Barry, it was more I was out of bounds. I didn't slow down at all. ... He hit me and it does suck, but some guys are going to take those penalties. It's hard to walk that line, and you've always got to try to protect yourself. ... The sideline is your friend and you can get out of bounds, but a lot of defensive players, they just really don't care. Sometimes they're going to still get that hit on you.
After last season's season ending ACL injury sidelined him throughout the offseason, the RGIII has said recently to Ryan Wilson of CBSSports.com that he plans on running more often to help his team.
Last year, Griffin rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns, making him a dynamic dual threat behind center. But his knee injury has been a huge focal point about his future playing style and his team's usage of him.
Griffin hasn't built a reputation as a dirty player, and while this recent news doesn't make him dirty by any stretch of the imagination, it does put into question the point of the rule. While it may be a rule put into place to protect the quarterback, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for defensive players to not get penalized for hits that should be considered acceptable.