Drafted second overall by Washington in April and named starting quarterback on May 6, Griffin said he has yet to have a perfect practice. But he added that he is doing everything possible to earn the trust of his coaches and teammates.
“I definitely see a tremendous improvement, just with the team chemistry,” Griffin said. “We’ve got a couple new pieces — including myself, Pierre (Garcon), Josh (Morgan) — and we all needed to show the guys that were already Redskins that the new Redskins can help them win, and that’s helped everybody go out here and compete every day.”
Speaking on his knowledge of the playbook, Griffin said, “I think at this point, we’ve put in about all of the offense in these six practices, and that’s a lot as a quarterback, but I feel a lot more comfortable today, whereas, I didn’t know anything before I got here. I’d say I know 60 to 70 percent pretty well, but you can’t operate knowing 60, 70 percent. You’ve got to operate at 150 percent of your offense, because not only do you have to know it, but you have to know what to do in certain situations. That’s still to come.”
Griffin demonstrated both a strong arm and great speed and mobility Thursday. But he did underthrow and overthrow a few passes and had one near interception. Shanahan said such errors are to be expected early on.
”That’s always going to take some time,” Shanahan said. “It’s the National Football League. This is not college anymore, and you’re not defending the option all the time, so there’s going to be some growing experiences there that all quarterbacks have in the National Football League regardless of who it’s been. But he can do some things that will put a lot of pressure on defenses.”
Before the Redskins selected Griffin, former Washington quarterback Donovan McNabb said the Baylor graduate would struggle with Shanahan as his coach because he didn’t think Shanahan would be willing to tailor the offense to the rookie’s abilities. but Shanahan said earlier this month that he and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan would work to ease Griffin’s transition to the NFL by tweaking their system to accommodate Griffin’s strengths.
Griffin said that while he works most closely with his offensive coordinator, he makes sure he meets with the head coach for five to 10 minutes at the start of each day. He said he hasn’t encountered any of the problems McNabb predicted.
“Growing up, I was a Bronco fan,” Griffin said. “So you see Coach Shanahan, and that’s the coach of your favorite team. . . . From the outside in, you’re just a fan. Now that I’m on the inside and get to experience what he is, what some former quarterbacks have said about him, to me isn’t true. He seems like a great guy really looking forward to working with me and putting me in the best situation to succeed and help this team win.”
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