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Mike Shanahan: RG3 must get rid of ball to avoid hits

One takeaway from Robert Griffin III's performance Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals was the high level of abuse he took from the opposing defense.

The Washington Redskins rookie quarterback ran a version the triple option through much of the second half in the team's 38-31 loss. Griffin was comfortable at the wheel, but Cincinnati's defense tagged him with a series of brutal shots. It raised questions about how long RG3could survive in the subpackage.

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Coach Mike Shanahan addressed the topic Wednesday, telling reporters that he instructed his young passer to be demonstrative in getting rid of the football to curtail the abuse. Shanahan said anywhere from seven to eight hits from Sunday could have been avoided. This lines up with what Rosenthal observed after watching tape of Sunday's game.

"He needs to learn to run out of bounds and slide, but that's a good problem to have," Shanahan said. "Most guys do that ... (it's) hard to fix."

Griffin ran the ball 12 times and was hit by Cincinnati's defense another 13. Shanahan acknowledged that running a grab bag of fakes, keepers and bootlegs set up Griffin for abuse. We saw RG3 leveled on a play that involved deception, pitching the ball to one of his backs just before a Bengals behemoth drilled him to the turf. Washington's line is obviously adjusting to the new offense, but Griffin's daring style of play is a contributor.

Few NFL quarterbacks could even dream of playing his style of ball, but Griffin needs to make some minor adjustments to avoid taking a clobbering over the next 13 games.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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