Tuesday, July 23, 2013

RGIII says he is ready: The Redskins say not so fast.

Yesterday the Tweet heard around the sports world came from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. Here is what he said:

22hDoctors cleared me to practice. Coach is going to ease me in. Thank you for your support & See you in Richmond

Well, yes doctors did indeed clear Griffin for practice but do not automatically have him set to start week 1 on Monday Night Football against the Eagles. There is a big difference between being cleared to practice and being ready to start an NFL game.

Unlike last year when the team took heat from some members of the media and fans for the way they handled the whole injury situation. This year the entire organization will err on the side of caution when it comes to their star quarterback.  

Yesterday, after reading the RGIII Tweet I talked to a source inside the Redskins organization about their plans for Griffin, once the training camp starts later this week. My source would only speak on this issue as long as I would not use their name.

Here is what my source said about a number of topics concerning RGIII and the team. 

On RGIII playing during the preseason:I suspect that we will work with Robert and gauge where he is when it comes to being in football shape.Everyone here is aware of what Robert means to this team We know he has done an outstanding job of rehabilitating his knee and we are not about to do anything to put him at risk in camp.We will have medical and training personnel , as we always do, on hand in Richmond to monitor the progress of every injury we have on the team. So, we watch Robert and talk with him each and every day  He will be brought along slowly and watched from every angle.That is key as we do what is best for both the team as well as Robert.   

On starting game 1 against the Eagles: The Washington Redskins organization from ownership, to the GM Bruce Allen, and head coach Mike Shanahan, everyone want's Robert to be the quarterback for the next 10 years. This is not about getting him ready to play against the Eagles, it is about making sure he can play at a high level for the long run. That is not to say that he won't start week 1 against Philly. What it does mean, is that the Redskins organization is not going to send him out there to play unless he is as close to 100 percent as possible.  

On changing the way Griffin plays: I think that the coaching staff's goal is to refine the pistol offense that Kyle Shanahan put in place last year. Robert will still run and pass from that spread option offense which was so successful last season. When Robert got hurt last season none of those injuries came from when he was running the spread option offense. He was injured when he tried to extend plays by running on his own. I don't think that teaching Robert when it is best to slide, get out of bounds before getting hit, or throwing the ball into the stands and live to play another play will be a problem this year. 

On the 2013 Redskins: We are a younger deeper team than we were last year. Despite our lack ability to sign free agents, due to our cap issues, we have a better team now than we did last year.The return of starting linebacker Brian Orakpo, tight end Fred Davis and wide receiver Pierre Garcion, along with others, gives us much needed, quality depth at all the key positions. I feel that since the roster, for the most part is the same as last year things should be good in camp. We won't be spending a great deal of time teaching the basics. We can take the extra time to, add new plays on both sides of the ball and to refine our playbook. That can be of help to us in putting the focus on where we have the most need and addressing those needs. I would say that I am very optimistic about the 2013 season.              

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