Robert Griffin III promises good game Sunday, says he has ‘nothing’ to prove


Robert Griffin III high fives a team assistant before the preseason games against the Buccaneers. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III vows to shake off the struggles of the preseason and have a good game on Sunday when the Redskins open the season at Houston.

The third-year quarterback this preseason exhibited struggles in Jay Gruden’s offense as he failed to lead the offense to a touchdown in three appearances. He tossed two interceptions while getting sacked four times and sporting a 46.0 passer rating.

Griffin earlier this week downplayed the struggles of the preseason and said that the Redskins had used recent practices to correct the problems that plagued them. Griffin’s struggles stirred debate among the media and fans as to whether Washington had a quarterback controversy on its hands. Griffin late in the preseason had bristled at what he perceived to be doubters.

But he said as he enters the regular season, he has nothing to prove.

“Nothing,” He said. “I do this for my teammates. I do this for my family; for this organization. We don’t have anything to prove to anybody else out there. We just have to go out there and be the team we know we can be. I guess you can say we have a lot to prove to ourselves in this building, and it’s about all of us going out there and being successful. I’ve said this offseason many times, ‘They go as I go. If I play well, they play well. If I don’t play well, they don’t play well.’ I understand hat. They understand that, and I’m going to do my best, and I promise I’ll play well for them.”

Griffin and his offensive teammates say that little can be taken from the lack of success in the preseason because they didn’t game plan for any of those games. Now that they will spend the week breaking down video of the Texans, identifying their weaknesses and trying to find the best possible way to exploit them, things should change, they say.

Griffin says his task on Sunday is relatively simple.

“Just execute the game plan, man. We’ve come in the last couple of days, putting together a game plan,” he explained. “Coaches have been working hard on that and they expect us to go execute it. That’s our job. That’s my job to make sure we go out, put points on the board and be ready for anything they throw at us.”

Success on Sunday will help quiet some of the criticism and questions surrounding the quarterback, who has spoken about the growth he has made as he enters Year 3, but has yet to display evidence of the progress. Griffin is trying to recapture the electrifying form that he sported as a rookie, but he says that he feels more seasoned now, although he must continue to improve.

“I know what to expect on the field. At the same time, you want to continue to grow. The second you stop changing and adapting to the game is the second you’re not living anymore,” he said, relaying a lesson he had learned from Baylor coach Art Briles.

Coach Jay Gruden has said that Griffin can’t worry about outside voices, or criticisms. The coach has said that although the quarterback would love for nothing but positive vibes to encircle him, as the starting quarterback of an NFL team, that’s not possible.

Changing his tune from a couple of weeks ago when he responded to critics on Twitter, challenging them to keep doubting him, Griffin said he worries not what others think of him.

“I know where Jay is coming at when he says those kinds of things,” Griffin said. “But yeah, I’ve learned not everybody is going to like you. It’s just the nature of the business, it’s the nature of human beings, period. There are people in this room that don’t like me. You’ve just got to move on from that kind of stuff, and I think Jay being here has helped me grow. He’s helped me grow as a person, my family has helped me grow as a person, and that’s what you want to see every single day, every single year. You want to continue to grow, be a better husband, be a better father someday, and be a better football player. So, those things come with the territory, and trust me, I’m not worried about anybody liking me.”

Have a Redskins question? Send an e-mail to mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question,” and it might be answered on Tuesday in The Mailbag.

More from The Post:

Notes from open locker room | Amerson to face top WRs

Our Redskins and NFL preview section | Griffin cover story

NFL is taking hits, but not to its pocket book | ESPN’s Shefter never sleeps

Majority favors ‘Redskins’ name | Snyder: Truth is on our side | Cooley vs. Costas

More NFL: Home page | D.C. Sports Bog | The Early Lead | Fancy Stats | Fantasy

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @lizclarketweet | @JReidPost | @Insider

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.
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