Robert Griffin III put on a strong performance in his first practice with his veteran teammates Monday, impressing some of the most tenured players on the Washington Redskins’ roster.
Griffin, whom Washington drafted second overall in April, ran the first-team offense and displayed a good feel as he provided glimpses of how the Redskins plan to use him.
Griffin’s arm was strong and accurate as he made throws on the run. He seemed more comfortable rolling out and throwing the ball than he did in the pocket, but said he was pleased with his initial outing.
Griffin praised the offense and the scheme’s frequent misdirections, which set him up with nothing but open field ahead on bootlegs.
“The defense was all the way on the other side of the field,’’ he chuckled.
Griffin shined while running the offense during the Redskins rookie minicamp earlier this month. But Monday he admitted that he still felt some added pressure because veterans such as former Pro Bowl players Santana Moss and Chris Cooley were on the field.
“I completed a pass to each of them. I guess I’m in the NFL now,’’ Griffin said with a grin. He later added, “with the rookie minicamp, you’re more there to show Coach, ‘hey, you drafted me. I’m as good as advertised.’ And with the veterans, it’s more, ‘I can help this team win,’ and show them why the coach has so much confidence in you. So it’s a little more pressure, but . . . to put helmets on and come out here and play football, it’s pretty simple.’’
Team captain London Fletcher, whose locker is next to Griffin’s, said the rookie has come in and worked hard even though the starting job already has been handed to him.
“It’s obvious, the maturity and leadership and all the intangibles that he has, that you like to see in your quarterback,’’ Fletcher said. “I think the way they handled it, as far as naming him the starter right away, was the right approach. That way it’s not a question you have to deal with as the season goes forth.’’
Moss said Griffin already is developing a good connection with his wideouts, but cautioned that although the rookie has impressed so far, expectations for him this season should be tempered. But Moss does believe Griffin is special.
‘’You have expectations, but guys that play this game know expectations only go so far. You have to prove yourself,’’ Moss said. “It’s early and he has a long way to go, but just off what he’s shown so far, you can be excited that even if he’s not going o be ‘that guy’ this year, he’s going to be real soon.”