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Bears defense gearing up to face Robert Griffin III

Rebounding from a serious knee injury he sustained in last season's playoffs, Robert Griffin III has not performed as well this year as he did during his remarkable rookie campaign.

But the Redskins quarterback is beginning to show some of the same form that earned him 2012 offensive rookie of the year honors—just in time to face the Bears Sunday in Washington.


Julius Peppers and Robert Griffin III share a laugh after a Bears-Redskins preseason game in 2012.

After rushing for 72 yards in the first four games of the season, Griffin ran for 77 yards in last Sunday night's 31-16 loss to the Cowboys in Dallas.

"I caught a little bit of him the other night and I thought he looked like the Griffin of old in terms of his ability to run and the confidence level he had," said Bears coach Marc Trestman. "I think he's very close to being back to where he was a year ago."

Last season Griffin led the Redskins to the NFC East title by completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards with 20 touchdowns, five interceptions and a 102.4 passer rating. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven TDs.

This year he has connected on 59.8 percent of his passes for 1,448 yards with six TDs, five interceptions and an 80.4 rating while rushing for 149 yards and no touchdowns.

"He's a phenomenal player; a very gifted athlete, a smart quarterback," said Bears defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. "He can do it all. He looks like he's full speed, so it's going to be a huge challenge for us."

Despite the injury, Griffin remains one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the NFL.

"He does a great job of running the football," Tucker said. "He does a great job in the passing game. He's dangerous when he gets outside the pocket, when he's on the move. He does a great job with the zone-read game. He has great command of the offense.

"The most important thing is he's probably their No. 1 competitor and one of the most competitive guys that you're going to see on tape. Regardless of what happens, he's always playing the next play. He's a tremendous player."

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