Following his first start in NFL preseason action, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III thanked all of the right people: his coaches, his offensive line, and his receivers.
And then he thanked the Redskins defense for holding him accountable during training camp, and creating the environment necessary to develop.
"Practice is a lot harder than the games," Griffin III said. "Our defense was definitely on top of a lot of stuff we were doing during practice."
During training camp and beyond, the defense has the liberty of knowing the play call in advance, taking away the element of surprise. If the offense wants to succeed Monday through Friday, they better execute to perfection.
Griffin III noted that this makes gameday a lot easier on the offense.
"You come out to the game and you can see all the reads a lot clearer just because you're not going against that defense every single day," he said. "The holes were a lot bigger. I felt like I was able to read things a lot cleaner and get the ball out of my hands."
Griffin III came alive on the third drive of the day, leading the offense 80 yards on eight plays.
The offense faced only one third down on the drive, and called a timeout to make sure the offense was one the same page.
"We just wanted to make sure we had the right call with a lot of options," Griffin III said. "The call that we did have was kind of a rushed call, and Coach [Mike Shanahan] didn't feel that great about what we were in at that point.
"We just called a timeout. It's preseason, you want to make sure you get everything right."
The decision ultimately paid off, as Griffin III hit receiver Pierre Garçon for a 20-yard touchdown catch and run on the ensuing play.
"Pierre is definitely dynamic with the ball in his hands after the catch, and we just wanted to take advantage of that," Griffin III explained after the game. "They were playing off [the line] with the corners, which for that screen passes is the perfect look."
As Giants quarterback Eli Manning found out last year, screen passes against the Redskins' defense can be hazardous, for batted balls and interceptions.
Griffin III has already learned that lesson in practice.
"The most important thing for me was to make sure I got the ball over the defensive end so he didn't knock it down," he said. "The rest was history. The offensive line got in front of [Garçon], he had a bunch of good blocks and he took it to the end zone."