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RG3: Everything Is A-OK With Coach

Richmond, Va. — Robert Griffin III says there’s “no conflict” between him and coach Mike Shanahan.

The Washington Redskins quarterback made an unscheduled appearance in the media room Tuesday at training camp to address the reaction to the comments he made about Shanahan’s practice plan.

Griffin on Monday said he didn’t like Shanahan’s restrictive plan and didn’t completely understand it. He now says that his words have been “twisted and turned.” He said: “Coach has a plan, and I’m abiding by that plan.”

Griffin has been limited to 7-on-7 drills as he returns from reconstructive knee surgery, although he is supposed to take his first 11-on-11 snaps today.

Griffin finished with a smile and said: “I’m excited about tomorrow.” He didn’t take questions.

’72 Dolphins Invited
To White House

Washington — The Miami Dolphins team that achieved the only perfect season in NFL history will be honored by the White House next Tuesday, more than 40 years after its accomplishment.

President Obama will welcome the 1972 Dolphins for the first White House ceremony honoring the only team to go 17-0. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Don Shula plans to accompany players from the team to the event.

The team also included quarterback Bob Griese, receiver Paul Warfield, fullback Larry Csonka, center Jim Langer, guard Larry Little and linebacker Nick Buoniconti, all members of the Hall of Fame.

The ’72 Dolphins didn’t make it to the White House in the months after their Super Bowl victory because President Nixon — a big sports fan — was immersed in the Watergate scandal.

Giants Safety Has Sprain

East Rutherford, n.j. — Despite spraining his right ankle “pretty good,” New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle expects to be ready for the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants didn’t have a timetable for Rolle’s return, but coach Tom Coughlin was more optimistic about having his leading tackler the past two seasons back.

Wearing a protective boot on his foot, Rolle made it clear that he does not like being hurt and that he will do everything in his power to play quickly.

Rolle was hurt when his feet became tangled with tight end Bear Pascoe during a sideline pass on a 7-on-7 drill on Monday. The 30-year-said the injury happened before he jumped for the pass, with his ankle rolling both to the inside and outside.

Track & Field

Merritt Wins Men’s 400

Moscow — LaShawn Merritt of the United States reclaimed the world title in the men’s 400 meters Tuesday, pulling away from the pack early and winning by more than half a second.

Merritt crossed in 43.74 seconds, the fastest time of the year. Merritt also won the world title in 2009.

American teammate Tony McQuay earned the silver in 44.40, and Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic took the bronze in 44.52.

Kirani James of Grenada, the defending world champion and last year’s Olympic gold medalist, finished seventh.

Golf

PGA Dismisses Reports
Of European Acquisition

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. — PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem says two British newspaper reports of a bid to take over the European Tour are inaccurate.

The Telegraph and The Daily Mail reported Tuesday that the PGA Tour made an “audacious” bid to acquire the European Tour.

Finchem said three years ago that men’s professional golf might one day have a world tour, though he did not say how that would take shape or when. He says the International Federation of PGA Tours has worked together to create the World Golf Championships and to help get golf back into the Olympics.

He says the tours continue to explore “collaborative efforts.”

Keith Waters, the chief operating officer of the European Tour, told the BBC that the notion of the U.S. tour acquiring the European Tour is incorrect.

Tennis

Sharapova Loses in Return

Mason, Ohio — Maria Sharapova’s return to WTA tournament play after more than a month away was short-lived following an upset loss to 17th-ranked American Sloane Stephens 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the second round of the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday.

In a match that lasted 2 hours, 22 minutes, Stephens overcame double faults on two match points to pick up her first victory over Sharapova in four meetings.

Sharapova, the 2011 W&S champion and a 2010 finalist, showed no traces of the hip injury that had kept her sidelined since a second-round loss at Wimbledon.

In earlier action, second-ranked Victoria Azarenka held off an upset bid by qualifier Vania King to pull out a 6-1, 7-6 (6) win and advance to the third round. Azarenka rallied from a 3-0 hole in the second set to force the tiebreaker against the 140th-ranked American.