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Redskins GM: What Robert Griffin III was asked to do last year was ‘disrespectful’ to football

Robert-Griffin-III-Michael-Vick-comparisonsRobert Griffin III had a disappointing sophomore season with the Washington Redskins for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he probably wasn’t healthy. Griffin didn’t play at all in the preseason while rehabbing from ACL surgery and his mobility was limited throughout most of the year. Looking back on 2013, Redskins president and general manager Bruce Allen almost sounds embarrassed.

During an interview with Al Coleman on ESPN 950 in Richmond Monday, Allen said RG3 faced an “impossible” task last season.

“What you saw last year was almost a little disrespectful to the game of football,” Allen said, via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “It’s impossible to ask a player to perform well during the regular season if you haven’t practiced. Last year at this time, he’s still rehabbing his knee, he’s not allowed to practice, he’s not allowed to work in team drills at all because he’s still rehabilitating himself. We put him, really, on the spot by trying to do that.”

Griffin was not shy in voicing his displeasure over being held out of preseason play last year. He took part in very little live action before starting in Week 1, which in retrospect was a recipe for disaster.

While Allen admitted that playing in as many games as possible will probably help RG3 from an experience standpoint, he was quick to point out that the situation should be much more ideal heading into 2014.

“And this year he’s had a full offseason, his knee is 100 percent — knock on wood — and he’s had all of that, and that’s how you get ready to play a football season,” Allen said. “Maybe in basketball you can go out and just play in games, but in football, when you’re trying to synchronize 11 players on every play, you need to practice.”

Allen’s comments almost made it seem like the Redskins are blaming Mike Shanahan for the disaster that was the 2013 season. RG3 has already taken a couple of shots at the Shanahans since their departure, so it’s obvious everyone is relieved Jay Gruden is running the show. We’ll see if that lasts.

H/T DC Sports Bog

Peyton Manning dancing to ‘Rocky Top’ will never not be awesome (Video)

Peyton Manning danced to “Rocky Top” to start Denver Broncos practice Monday, and thankfully 9 News Denver got it on tape for us.

No. 83 dancing in the foreground of the video was of course Wes Welker, who never misses out on a chance to have a little fun. And the other guy getting down was Britton Colquitt, another Tennessee alum.

This video shows Colquitt doing a jig:

If that dancing looks familiar, it’s because it should. This was Peyton getting down on “Saturday Night Live” in 2008:

Safe to say his go-to move on the dance floor is the salt shaker?

Peyton Manning dancing

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant now on groomsmen level of friendship

Tony Romo Dez Bryant

Everyone knows that Tony Romo and Jason Witten are best buds, but has Dez Bryant now made a spot in Romo’s tight circle of friends? It appears so.

While doing an interview with NFL Network from training camp Sunday in Oxnard, Romo was asked about his relationship with Dez. Romo glowed about their relationship and even said they’re so tight Dez would have a place in his wedding were he getting married.

“Oh man if I was getting married this year, he’d be in my wedding,” Romo said via the Dallas Morning News. “He’s like a little brother to me. I’ve been able to kind of, as he came in, been able to kind of see him start off and mold himself into the player that he’s become. I try to help him. Every once in awhile when he gets going and stuff, he knows when I say something stern to him, it’s important. He knows his position, but he also has clout, he has a lot of credibility in that locker room so he’s able to do some things that he wasn’t able to do three or four years ago and that’s reward for being a guy who brings it and plays well.”

Romo is already married to his very fine wife Candice, so this was just a hypothetical intended to show how close they’ve become.

That comment about Dez having credibility in the locker room is also significant; Dez’s leadership has been questioned many times. From walking off the field with time left in the game to seemingly having a meltdown on the sidelines, Bryant hasn’t seemed to be a model citizen. Maybe these are signs that he is maturing. And this is also strong proof that the chemistry on the Cowboys isn’t as bad as it often seems.

H/T Rotoworld

Jerry Jones shares how close Cowboys were to drafting Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Cowboys jersey

The Dallas Cowboys passing on Johnny Manziel was one of the biggest disappointments of the NFL Draft.

Dallas was sitting there at No. 16 with Manziel still on the board. Everyone knew that the team liked him and that they were strongly considering him. Everyone knows that Jerry Jones loves publicity and making the splashy/risky pick. It would only have been too perfect for Manziel to go to America’s Team.

But the Cowboys didn’t bite and instead selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin.

Jones shared in an interview with NFL Network how close he was to making the pick.

“I want you to know almost as I was handing in the card it was that close to putting the Manziel card in,” Jones told Rich Eisen and Michael Irvin.

Jones then explained that he wanted to do what he did when he bought the team — gamble.

“Nobody thought it would work. The Cowboys were busted. Broke. Make a more of an unconventional decision here and basically take the risk.”

Jones resisted his instinct to make the risky pick. He says he had to consider Tony Romo’s feelings when making the pick and that he felt Romo could handle the distraction of having Manziel around.

“Well first of all I feel so strongly about Tony Romo. But Tony Romo could have handled being on the same team with Johnny Manziel. Both quarterbacks. He could have handled that,” Jones said when talking about how Romo would have dealt with the Manziel distraction.

Though he passed on Manziel, Jones believes the Heisman Trophy winner will be a great pro.

“Manziel’s special. I know him personally. I know he’s going to be a success in the National Football League. And it was a hard decision. It was probably one the rest of my career I will think about.”

Jones also says Manziel was the top player on the Cowboys’ draft board by three players.

After the Cowboys passed on him, Manziel texted the Browns and told them to draft him. They did and the city went nuts.

Manziel’s had an offseason of partying and has disappointed the Browns so far, and he appears likely to open the season as a second-stringer. We’ll see whether the Cowboys made the right pick. What we do know is that nothing would have been more exciting than Johnny Football.

Helmet smack to Shutdown Corner

Emmanuel Sanders: Peyton Manning is a better leader than Ben Roethlisberger

Emmanuel Sanders SteelersEmmanuel Sanders has plenty of respect for his former quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but it hasn’t taken him long to figure out that Peyton Manning is an even better leader.

Sanders caught 11 touchdowns in four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and left to sign with the Denver Broncos in March.

During an interview Friday with “The Drive” on 104.3 The Fan in Denver, Sanders compared and contrasted Peyton and Big Ben. He reluctantly pointed out the reality that Manning is a better leader.

“(From) a mental standpoint, I don’t care to really say this, but I feel Peyton is a far better leader,” Sanders said. “In terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him and things of that sort.

“This is the first time that I had a quarterback that stays every single day after practice, no matter what his accolades. From NFL MVP, Super Bowl rings. He keeps guys like me and (Cody) Lattimore after practice and we’re out there 15, 20 minutes. And he’s not one of those guys you gotta go chase down, he’s gonna be right at the same spot ready to work, every single day.

“And I just feel like that’s the difference from a mental standpoint of the both. But both of them are winners. And Ben, his playing style is a lot different. Ben, with the system that he’s in Pittsburgh, he takes advantage of it.”

We’ve heard this sort of thing about Peyton for years, so it’s really no surprise to hear that he is still driven and dedicated to being the best even at age 38. You think being an MVP comes by accident?

Still, Sanders wanted to make sure his comments didn’t come off as if he were disparaging Big Ben.

“I’ve got so much love for Big Ben, he’s helped me out tremendously in so many ways,” Sanders said. “On and off the field, he’s made me a better player. But at the same time, I’m not gonna lie, I’m happy to be a part of this organization. I’m happy to have Peyton Manning as my quarterback.”

The reviews about Sanders have been strong so far. Eric Decker signed with the Jets and Sanders will have a chance to step in and produce. Given all his extra work with Peyton, we’re banking on him having a big season for the Broncos. And if Roethlisberger takes offense to the comments, maybe he needs to change the way does business.

Helmet smack to Around the League

Drew Brees drug tested twice after saying he wants to play until he’s 45

Drew BreesThere have been enough entertaining stories about random drug testing in the NFL over the years for us to know it is not truly random. Drew Brees believes he became an example of that over the weekend.

When speaking to reporters from New Orleans Saints training camp on Friday, Brees said he feels as good as he ever has despite being 35. He also said he wants to play for another decade.

“If I tell myself I’m 25, then I’m 25,” Brees said. “That’s honest to God my mindset. I can play for another 10 years. That’s my goal.”

And then this happened:

Coincidence? We’ll never know. What we do know is that punters have been “randomly” drug tested after hitting incredibly long punts or sticking opponents with monster hits. I’m not buying this whole random thing.

Ray Rice’s wife reportedly pleaded with Roger Goodell for light punishment

Ray Rice girlfriend fiancee Janay Palmer

Ray Rice has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for his involvement in a domestic violence incident with his wife Janay Palmer at a casino over the winter. Given that the public was shown a video of Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator and police reportedly had footage of the Baltimore Ravens running back knocking her out, many felt a two-game suspension was far too light.

Palmer, who was Rice’s fiancee at the time of the incident, has been nothing supportive of Rice since his indictment. In fact, Peter King of The Monday Morning Quarterback reports that Palmer pleaded with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to go easy on Rice.

Rice’s wife, a source said, made a moving and apparently convincing case to Goodell during a June 16 hearing at Goodell’s office in Manhattan — attended by Rice, GM Ozzie Newsome, club president Dick Cass of Baltimore; and Goodell, Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch of the league — that the incident in the hotel elevator was a one-time event, and nothing physical had happened in their relationship before or since. She urged Goodell, the source said, to not ruin Rice’s image and career with his sanctions.

Plenty of people feel that Rice should have been suspended for at least four games, as evidenced by the change that was made to his Wikipedia page last week. Was Palmer the reason Rice got off with what seems like a slap on the wrist?

Jonathan Lehman of the New York Post confirmed that Palmer met with Goodell and company, noting that her “impassioned plea” was “instrumental in limiting the length of Rice’s league suspension.”

If there was no video of the incident, I could understand Goodell being influenced by Palmer’s apparently convincing speech. But there is footage of some of the assault, and it makes Rice look really, really bad. There’s no question he is fortunate to have escaped with a two-game ban.

H/T Black Sports Online