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NFL Preseason Preview - Pittsburgh (0-1) at Washington (1-0)



By John McMullen, NFL Editor

(Sports Network) - Robert Griffin III is back on the practice field but the preseason will remain the domain of backup Kirk Cousins in the nation's capital.

That's the Days of Our Lives-type backdrop on the Beltway as the Redskins prepare to host the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason action at FedEx Field.

RG3 is attempting to return from major knee surgery performed just seven months ago after he tore the ACL and LCL in his right knee during Washington's NFC wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

He was moving well in his return to practice this week despite a brace on the knee but the positive signs haven't convinced Washington coach Mike Shanahan, who is taking a prudent, cautious approach with an eye on having his franchise player for Week 1 of the regular season, Sept. 9 against division rival Philadelphia.

Ever the competitor Griffin said he didn't understand Shanahan's plan or like it.

"I can't B.S. that answer," the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year said. "No. I don't like it, and there's some part of it that I do understand. I don't understand all of it."

Realizing he was creating a manufactured controversy, RG3 backed off his strong words shortly thereafter.

"I just want everybody to know if there's any questions about if there's a rift between me and Coach or if there's a conflict, there is no conflict," Griffin said. "Coaches coach. I'm the player. Coach has a plan and I'm abiding by that plan."

On the field the Redskins are coming off a thrilling last second preseason opening win in Nashville when Pat White scrambled for a 9-yard score and then found Emmanuel Ogbuehi for the go-ahead two-point conversion, as Washington rallied for a 22-21 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Cousins got the start under center and completed 6-of-7 passes for 52 yards and a score, while backup Rex Grossman finished 10-for-21 for 119 yards and a touchdown. White, Washington's third-string quarterback on the day, went 5- for-8 for 31 yards while rushing five times for 33 yards and a score.

The Steelers, meanwhile, are trying to bounce back from an 18-13 setback to the New York Giants in their first preseason game.

Ben Roethlisberger completed 4-of-8 passes for 36 yards for Pittsburgh, which missed the postseason for the first time since 2009 a year ago. LaRod Stephens-Howling picked up 40 yards on the ground on seven carries in defeat.

The Steelers' defense recorded four sacks, two fumble recoveries and limited the Giants to six third-down conversions on 16 attempts.

The Redskins rivalry with Pittsburgh dates all the way back to 1933 and the teams will meet in the preseason Monday for the second time in the last three seasons and for the third time since 2009. Pittsburgh is looking to break a two-game preseason losing skid against Washington, which is 14-5-1 all-time versus the Steelers in exhibition play.

08/17 10:30:40 ET


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