Robert Griffin III ranked among those with the highest levels of excitement over the addition of three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson late Tuesday night. But the quarterback tempered his emotions Wednesday morning by pointing out that much work lies ahead for the Washington Redskins, who are trying to rebound from a 3-13 season.
The third-year quarterback expressed encouragement over the impressive collection of weapons that he now has to work with. But he cautioned that he and his teammates must do more than just show up.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Redskins fan and a part of this team because of the firepower that we have,” he said. “Everyone needs to understand that we haven’t won anything yet, and these next few months will be about building those bonds and chemistry so that we can.”
Griffin spent last week laying the groundwork for that bond and chemistry. He and many of his pass-catchers trained together in Arizona to get a head start on the offseason program, which starts next week.
He already figured to have an improved collection of weapons with Andre Roberts joining Pierre Garcon, who last season led the NFL in catches, and with second-year pros Jordan Reed, a tight end, and Chris Thompson, a running back, healthy after an injury-shortened seasons. Now the Redskins have further bolstered the receiving unit by adding Jackson. That in turn should also benefit not only Griffin, but Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris as well.
Now, over the coming weeks and months of the offseason, Griffin & Co. will continue to develop their chemistry as coach Jay Gruden and offensive coordinator Sean McVay figure out how to fit all the pieces together.
The Redskins signed Jackson despite the fact that he had a high level of controversy swirling overhead after the Eagles released him last week, following a career year and with significant money owed to him. Reports out of Philadelphia traced the release to Jackson having clashed with coach Chip Kelly, in addition to showing up late to meetings off and on last season. Jackson also dealt with allegations that linked him to gang activity, although the Los Angeles Police Department told the Philadelphia Daily News that he hasn’t been tied to any incidents.
Washington officials did their homework on Jackson and began their pursuit of him over the weekend. Meanwhile, Griffin and teammates lobbied for the team to sign Jackson.
Griffin, who has a relationship with Jackson, said Wednesday that he believes Jackson will receive a warm reception both from the locker room and the fan base.
“We are excited to have him join our team. Our team and this city will be there for him,” Griffin said. “I understand his drive and his competitiveness to win. Always doing it for his dad (an influential figure in Jackson’s life, and one who lost a battle with cancer in 2009), and now doing it for this city.”
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