Griffin’s Redskins teammates never doubted he’d play opener

September 4, 2013

Robert Griffin III was officially named the starter for the season opener Monday by Coach Mike Shanahan.

Several Washington Redskins players said Wednesday they never had any doubts that quarterback Robert Griffin III would be in the team’s lineup for Monday night’s season opener.

Coach Mike Shanahan did not officially name Griffin the starter for the opener until Monday, a week before the game. But Griffin’s teammates said they’d been convinced long before that Griffin would return from his knee surgery in January in time to face the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I don’t think we were thinking about it,” defensive tackle Barry Cofield said. “I think we were pretty confident. We knew how much work he put in over the offseason. It would have been a shock to us if he wasn’t out there Week 1, just because of the hours that he put in in the training room and how hard he worked and the type of athlete he is.

“There’s no mistake to me that a guy like Adrian Peterson, who’s a freak of nature, would heal faster than the average guy and a guy like a Robert Griffin would heal faster than the average man. I mean, they’re faster and they’re stronger than the average man. So why wouldn’t they heal faster? So it’s not a shock and it’s great to have him back. It’s great that he has that burden off of him. Hopefully he won’t be on all the news cycle and every six minutes you won’t see Robert, Robert, Robert. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind that and we’d like to see some other guys up there, too. It’s a great thing and we’re all excited for him.”

Cornerback DeAngelo Hall expressed similar sentiments.

“I don’t think it was a big question mark for us,” Hall said. “I think we all kind of knew the person he was and he wants to be out there. So besides cutting his leg off or injuring anything, I guess, long term, he was gonna be out there with us no matter what it was. It’s nice. It’s nice to have, I guess, that pressure off of him or Coach as far as answering a ton of questions about the situation. But it is what it is. He’s the headline here. So he’s gonna get a lot of questions. We’re gonna get a lot of questions about him. But we’re here to play football.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

What’s ahead:

● Posts on Alfred Morris, Barry Cofield and more.

● The NFL season kicks off with Baltimore in Denver on Thursday night.

More about the Redskins and NFL:

Eagles’ Kelly, while at Oregon, briefly recruited Griffin

Rob Jackson permitted to be at Redskins Park while suspended

Garcon looking forward what he hopes is a healthy season

Eagles’s offensive tempo doesn’t worry Hall | Five areas to monitor

D.C. Sports Bog: Larry Michael: No ‘blankheads’ on this team | More Bog

The Early Lead: Ravens’ Jones out with undisclosed illness | More NFL

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mike Jones · September 4, 2013