By Tarik El-Bashir
On options and handoffs during Sunday’s victory in Tampa, Robert Griffin III made it a point to raise his hands as soon as he no longer was in possession of the football.
He did it so the officials – and especially the Buccaneers – knew that he could not be hit. Legally, at least.
“I thought [the referees] were on point, especially the head ref,” Griffin said Wednesday. “Actually, one time I carried out my fake and didn’t put my hands up. [Referee Alberto Riveron] came and found me and said, ‘Hey, make sure you put your hands up.’”
“I said, ‘Alright, you got it, I gotcha, you’re watching, that’s good,”’ Griffin said. “I thought it was great. They protected me as a quarterback out there a lot more, which is how it’s supposed to be.”
Indeed, Griffin absorbed fewer punishing blows than he did the against the Bengals. Some of that was the fact that he carried the ball seven times, down from 12 attempts the previous week. He also received better protection from his offensive line; he was hit while passing four times by the Bucs, down from 13 times by Cincinnati.
But some of the decline in the number of blows Griffin absorbed were the result of the quarterback raising his hands during fakes – just like he tactfully said he would in the week leading up to Sunday's game.
“He’s going to learn every game, and that’s one of those things he learned in that game – if a defensive end is coming at you, about 280-pounds and runs a 4.5 [second] 40 [yard dash], take your hands and show you don’t have the ball,” Griffin said. “Because if you don’t, he’s going to take a shot at you.”