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Mike Shanahan believes option can work in NFL

Robert Griffin III ran with fearlessness through five games before a concussion knocked him out of Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

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The Washington Redskins quarterback has made the ground game a significant part of his repertoire, but can he continue to slam into defenders without wearing down?

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told NFL Network and NFL.com's Albert Breer he expects RG3 to dial it down upon his return. Such is the way of the running quarterback, according to Shanahan. Once you take that first mind-bending hit, you learn.

"What we have to teach him is you don't have to run, sometimes it's better if the other guy does," Shanahan said." And if they take away both, it's 'When do you slide?' When he was in college, he was so fast, that chances are if he gets in the open field, he's gone. Here, sometimes, it needs to be 10 to 12 yards, and then slide, and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just learning to slide."

Shanahan told Breer that John Elway went through the same growing pains: "Everybody does until they get drilled."

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There's been a fair amount of noise suggesting RG3 has been thrown to the wolves in Washington's triple-option package. Griffin took a series of monster hits when the offense was unleashed against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, but the Redskins have since toned his exposure down. RG3 wasn't even hurt on a running play. The injury came on a drop-back pass on which he decided to take off.

Besides, Shanahan -- crazy like a fox -- loves a challenge. He told Breer he spent years at Oklahoma listening to chatter about how the 3-4 defense would never work in the NFL. With that debate snuffed out, he's not about to listen to critics of the option.

As you were, RG3.

Albert Breer's "Inside The NFL Notebook" appears weekly on NFL.com throughout the season. Check out this week's edition here.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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