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Jay Gruden says RG3 'needs to worry about himself'

Robert Griffin III was the target of several critical comments made by Washington's head coach on Monday.

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Washington head coach Jay Gruden didn't pull any punches at his Monday press conference when it came to his starting quarterback. Gruden called out Robert Griffin III for his poor play in the team's 27-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The coach also made a point to address Griffin's 'it takes 11 men' comments following the game.

"Robert needs to worry about himself. I'll worry about everybody else," Gruden said. "He elaborated too much."

That remark was aimed directly at what Griffin said in his post-game press conference, calling out his teammates as well as himself for their poor play this week. It didn't help matters when Griffin included a reference to great quarterbacks needing contributions from their teammates.

"If you want to look at the good teams in this league and the great quarterbacks, the Peytons and the Aaron Rodgers, those guys don't play well if their guys don't play well," Griffin said.

Griffin's remarks were followed by an Instagram post from Washington receiver DeSean Jackson that said: "You can't do epic shit with basic people." Naturally, it set off a wave of headlines and columns, adding to the team's woes. Gruden spent the morning trying to smooth over the situation.

"I addressed a couple of messages today that got turned around a little bit," said Gruden. "I don't know exactly what DeSean meant but I think he was a little bit frustrated with what came out about Robert ... Robert, whatever he said after the post game got twisted around a little bit and I addressed it today in the meeting room."

He added a comment about what gets said in front of the cameras and on social media, trying to keep the team's problems from becoming even more of a headline generator.

"It's our job in house as coaches and players to make sure we say the right things and not let your words get twisted by the media or anybody and not give anybody an opportunity to do that," he said. "Otherwise ... there will be Twitter wars and social media events and it will get out of control. We've got to put a stop to it now."

Griffin himself took to Twitter to defend his statements Monday afternoon, following Gruden's press conference and warnings about "Twitter wars."

RG3 twitter bullshit

Gruden's criticism of his quarterback also extended to his play on the field. Griffin was 23-for-32 with 207 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was also sacked six times, and his coach pointed to the quarterback's play as part of the reason for that.

He cited "fundamental flaws" with Griffin's play, including his footwork, how he read the defense, his dropbacks and stepping into pressure.

In his first two games back from an ankle injury, Griffin has struggled with ball placement and turnovers. He's thrown three interceptions over that span against only two touchdowns. Those picks played a significant role in Washington losing both games, to the Vikings in Week 9 and the Buccaneers this week.

"Some times you don't need to be great. You don't need elite on every play," Gruden said.

Just two weeks ago, more reports surfaced about turmoil in Washington's locker room. A claim that Griffin had "alienated" himself from his teammates turned out to be centered on some dubious circumstances, but chatter about dysfunction around the Washington team isn't new and doesn't seem to be going away, despite Gruden's increasingly frank press conferences.


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