Quarterback Robert Griffin III is getting a full offseason workload this year after missing the Washington Redskins’ offseason practices last year while working his way back from knee surgery. Griffin said Wednesday that he has an appreciation of what that means.
“You always understand the value of the offseason,” Griffin said following organized team activities, or OTAs, at Redskins Park. “That’s when you build your foundation to get ready for the season. When you have a hand dealt to you where you don’t have an offseason, you don’t use it as an excuse. That was the message that was trying to be sent last year.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to have that offseason. I was getting healthy, getting ready for the season. You don’t whine about it. You don’t cry about it. I think maybe it was taken the wrong way and people thought I thought I didn’t need it. You always need it. But when you don’t have the opportunity to have it, you have to play that hand. And I did the best that I could with that hand.”
Former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan shut down Griffin for the final three games of last season, saying at the time that he wanted to avoid Griffin being hurt and missing another offseason. Griffin said at the time that he was disappointed with the decision and wanted to play but accepted Shanahan’s authority in the matter. Now he’s getting a full offseason under the team’s new head coach, Jay Gruden.
“Obviously just spending more time with your teammates out on the field doing drills,” Griffin said. “I was out there last year but I wasn’t able to do the seven-on-seven team-type things and make the adjustments at the line. So it’s very valuable. I’ve never denounced that.”
Griffin said he would like to avoid comparisons to last season, when he struggled to recapture his rookie-year magic and his relationship with Shanahan came under intense scrutiny.
“I don’t know,” he said. “Everybody wants me to compare this year to last year. We haven’t played any games yet. And even when we do play the games, I’m still not gonna compare them. It is what it is. That question will not be answered.”
Griffin remains closely watched. But the spotlight perhaps is not quite as bright at this point as it was a year ago.
“I just think it’s time for us,” he said. “We’ve got a new coach and we’ve got new additions, whether it’s DeSean Jackson, Ryan Clark, [Jason] Hatcher, all these guys that are here doing great things. And the story lines don’t all lead back to me, and that’s fine. That’s fine. It’s all about us. I’ve said it multiple times: It’s about we. We’re trying to win every day, win everything. That’s our mind-set in the offseason because we don’t have any games to win right now. All we can do is win in our preparation and that’s what we’re doing.”
Griffin said the adjustment to Gruden’s offensive system is going smoothly so far.
“I think having two years experience running an offense, a pro-level offense, West Coast-type, this is very similar,” he said. “So it’s not been as tough as you might think. But all the concepts translate over. They might be called something different. But the reads are similar. It’s just about the philosophy of the coach. Jay has a little bit different philosophy. We’ll find out what that is on Sundays.”
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