Garcon says Griffin is ‘a lot different’ as a player than last season [updated]

September 23, 2013

Robert Griffin III runs with the ball Sunday against the Lions. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon said Monday that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “obviously” not completely healthy and is “a lot different” as a player than he was last season as a rookie.

For a second straight week, Garcon spoke candidly about Griffin’s play as the quarterback returns from knee surgery in January.

“He’s not fully healthy, obviously,” Garcon said at Redskins Park. “He’s running a little bit more. But last year’s RGIII was a lot different from this year’s RG because of his knee. It’s not surprising. We’ve been talking about it the whole offseason. It’s the same question every day on Monday. We can find something else to talk about.”

Garcon’s latest comments about Griffin’s play came a day after the Redskins’ record dropped to 0-3 with Sunday’s loss to the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field.

Update (1:38 p.m.)

The Redskins used Griffin a bit more often as a runner against the Lions. He rushed for 37 yards on six carries Sunday. He also threw for 326 yards on 32-for-50 passing. But he threw an interception and lost a fumble without being hit as he dove head first to the turf on a scramble.

“I don’t think he’s 100 percent,” Garcon said. “But he’s definitely giving 100 percent effort to get 100 percent. I don’t think he’s 100 percent but he will eventually get there. It’s just playing with injuries. Everybody is hurt in the NFL. I had to play with an injury last year so I know what he’s going through. It’s not surprising. But it’s just something you’ve got to deal with when you’re in the league and during the season.”

Garcon reiterated what he’d said last week about Griffin clearly being hindered by wearing a knee brace. Garcon said last week that the effects of Griffin not playing in the preseason were showing early in the regular season. He said Monday that Griffin’s knee remains a primary topic of conversation because the Redskins are losing.

“When you’re winning, you never talk about anything bad,” Garcon said. “But when you’re losing, everything gets magnified. But coming off an ACL injury, which we all know is a tough thing to come back from, it all depends on how the season goes. If we were winning, we wouldn’t be talking about his knee. If we’re losing, we’re talking about it. So I’m used to it.”

The offense made modest improvements Sunday, according to Garcon.

“We’re getting better,” he said. “We’re making plays. We’re moving the ball down the field. We scored in the first half. …But we still have a lot to do. It’s not about running the ball from a quarterback standpoint, from RGIII running the ball. It’s about completing passes and everything, having the whole offense come together.”

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 on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

● Mike Shanahan speaks with reporters Monday at 3 p.m.

● Next week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders, plays later at Denver on Monday Night Football.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

D.C. Sports Bog: Jurgensen says RGIII doesn’t know how to slide | More Bog

Five observations from Redskins’ loss to the Lions | Snap counts

Boswell: RGIII is just a bit different from 2012

The Takeaway: A team that’s a long way from winning

Each Griffin highlight came with a footnote | Robinson’s TD-that-wasn’t

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

The Takeaway:

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Keith McMillan · September 23, 2013

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