Bruce Allen says the way the Redskins handled RGIII last year ‘was almost a little disrespectful to the game of football’


(Alex Brandon/AP)

Bruce Allen, the Washington Redskins’ president and general manager, joined host Al Coleman on ESPN 950 in Richmond on Monday and was asked whether he thought quarterback Robert Griffin III was mentally more prepared this preseason compared to last, when he was limited in practice and concerned about how his surgically repaired right knee would respond.

“What you saw last year was almost a little disrespectful to the game of football,” Allen said. “It’s impossible to ask a player to perform well during the regular season if you haven’t practiced. Last year at this time, he’s still rehabbing his knee, he’s not allowed to practice, he’s not allowed to work in team drills at all because he’s still rehabilitating himself. We put him, really, on the spot by trying to do that. And this year he’s had a full offseason, his knee is 100 percent — knock on wood — and he’s had all of that, and that’s how you get ready to play a football season. Maybe in basketball you can go out and just play in games, but in football, when you’re trying to synchronize 11 players on every play, you need to practice.”

Allen knocked on wood last year, too, when he announced that Griffin would return for Week 1 despite not playing in a preseason game.

On Monday, Coleman asked Allen if, in hindsight, he thinks Griffin should’ve been held out for the first four or five games of the season.

“Well, it’s part of his development,” Allen said. “It was only his second year in the league and he got to see some new defenses, and he saw some things he shouldn’t do and saw some things he should do. So, the experience probably will help him for the long run, but to hope that we were going to have much more success than we did, is really, as I say, to the game — the beauty of the game, the integrity of the game, you need to practice in order to play well. And you need to practice well in order to play well.”

Coleman also asked Allen about a recent column by the Post’s Jason Reid, who suggested that, unlike the Redskins under Mike Shanahan, the new regime is all-in on Griffin.

“Well, I think when you trade three first-round draft choices, the franchise is all in on Robert Griffin III,” Allen said. “When we made the trade, we didn’t know who the Colts were going to take and we liked both of the quarterbacks who were going to be available. There’s no doubt in our mind that Robert’s going to be an excellent quarterback in this league. He is going to have to learn this new offense that Jay Gruden has brought in, and that’ll take some time, but he’s got all the talent, and his work ethic — there’s nobody who has a better work ethic than Robert.”

(Thanks to @JimTrimm333. First transcribed by Michael Phillips.)

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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