Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan came away from his team’s 2012 rookie minicamp so impressed with quarterback Robert Griffin III that he named the rookie the team’s starter.
“He’s the starter. Period,” Shanahan said Sunday after watching Griffin in five practices over the last three days.
Griffin, whom the Redskins selected with the second overall pick of the draft after giving up first-round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as well as this year’s second-round pick, proved himself a fast learner during his crash course introduction to Washington’s system.
“Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up another two No. 1’s and No. 2 and you move up four spots, you’ve got a gam eplan in mind,” Shanahan said. “We’re going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with, and we’ll watch him grow, and we’ll do what we feel like he does the best.”
Voluntarily laying out the ‘game plan’ for how the Redskins will handle Griffin, Shanahan said, “We’re going to put him with the first team when we come back [for OTAs May 21st]. … We’ll have our first team on one field, working against our second defense, and we’ll have our second team on the other field, working against our first defense. … I thought it very important to start with Robert with our first unit. He’s able to do it and pick up the system as quick as he has, which is always good, to go out there and be able to call plays and feel good with what you’re doing, and I’ve seen that over the last five practices.”
Previously, Shanahan had said that Griffin would be elevated to starter when he was ready to assume the role, even if that moment didn’t come until after the season began.
“Even if you are supposed to be the starting quarterback, you’re still bottom of the barrel and you’ve got to prove yourself,” Griffin said Sunday. “I can’t come in flamboyantly. And I don’t plan to. Come in and earn the guys’ respect. Even if they say you’ve already got it, you still have to go out and earn it.”
Shanahan said that Griffin made a strong early impression on him when he hit the field for his first practice on Friday. From there, the quarterback continued to soak up the information showered upon him, and executed well on the field.
“He’s great. You can see what an incredible athlete he is,” Shanahan said. “I was impressed with the first day. He didn’t have one bust on a formation or a play call, and I’ve never had that in all the minicamps I’ve been involved with.”
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