Redskins Roundup: Ramping it up!
QB Robert Griffin III expects to wear a knee brace all season. I expect that knee brace to change and get smaller and lighter over the course of the season, provided his knee remains healthy, of course.
The New York Times has more on what RG3 calls “Operation Patience“:
The goal, Griffin said, is to be on the field when the Redskins play their season opener on Sept. 9. So even if he feels perfectly healthy — “I have no pain; I have no swelling,” he said — he said he was willing to take things slow. Then again, he does not have much of a choice.“I say jokingly that I have to be compliant,” Griffin said, though it was not entirely clear that he was joking. He said he was looking forward to a full week of work, adding, “I think if I can show them after six straight days of practice that my knee is fine, they’ll be a lot more receptive to putting me out there.”
Griffin has been forced to take it easy in early practices, but that may soon be changing, he says. Rich Tandler reports:
We’re going to ramp it up a little bit,” said Griffin. “They’re going to give me a few more reps in walkthrough every day, and then after that it’s just about [Shanahan] putting me in to the team reps and him trusting me in there that I’ll be smart and them trusting that I can make the moves to avoid guys. I feel like I can, but once again I have to defer to Coach and let him make that decision.”By “team reps” Griffin means the full-speed 11 on 11 drills, the only thing he’s not doing now.When will he do the team drills?“I think there is a timeline. It’ll be about another week of what we’ve been doing and slowly but surely getting more reps in the first [walkthrough] practice and then after that week then it’s probably a little more ‘see what happens,’ because they’re going to eventually put me back in those team reps, give me more reps in practice.After that, Griffin said the timeline is “pretty vague”.Griffin thinks his knee is getting better. “I don’t really worry about my leg anymore. I just play football,” he said. “And that’s a sign that you’re getting ready.”
Yet, one of the biggest parts of the RG III phenomenon is that he seems unusually well suited to handle all of this. Being a franchise quarterback, being a guinea pig for the latest offensive trend, rehabbing his knee and smiling for the endless parade of cameras … none of those things, either by themselves or in combination, seem to rattle him.“I think he just has the best composure,” Redskins tight end Fred Davis said. “I think he just has confidence in himself. And I think when you have that, anything’s possible. He has something about him. He’s a special kid, and you can definitely tell. He’s different. It’s really unexplainable. A lot of guys don’t have it, but he has it.”The best way to describe it is that Griffin is supremely comfortable in his own skin. That’s a rare trait, period, but especially so among 23-year-olds and among people who live their lives in public. Griffin is both of those things, yet you wouldn’t know it by the easy and effective way he draws people to him — whether those people are fans, teammates, reporters, other celebrities, you name it.
– CB DeAngelo Hall sprained his ankle and had an MRI as a precaution. He did return to practice, though and he doesn’t seem to think it is serious;
– The good news is that CB Josh Wilson went thru his first 2013 training camp practice today and looks fine;
– G Adam Gettis didn’t practice yesterday and will probably miss another practice or two with a strained hamstring. Coach Mike Shanahan calls it a precautionary measure;
– SS Brandon Meriweather sat out drills yesterday just to rest his right knee as he continues his comeback from reconstructive surgery last year. As he told the Post, Meriweather’s goal this year is just to play a full season of football.
– ILB Keenan Robinson will soon have surgery on his torn left pectoral muscle. The surgery is supposed to determine if he will miss the season, but I’d caution Skins fans not to get their hopes up;
A healthy Roy Helu wants that third down back job. I hope he wins it because I love him in that role. That’s particularly true since Chris Thompson and Jawan Jamison, both rookie running backs, are struggling with blitz pick-up, which is common for rookie running backs. As Rich Campbell notes, Helu is doing better:
Running back Roy Helu Jr. slid deftly to his left and kept his shoulders square when linebacker Rob Jackson tried a hesitation move going around the edge. Blocks like that will help him secure the third-down back role.
Rich Campbell is enjoying watching Redskins QBs other than RG3 run the read-option:
My favorite element of camp has become quarterbacks Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman running the read option. What a sight to behold. The point of the zone read, as Mike and Kyle Shanahan have explained, is to create the threat of the quarterback running the ball, not necessarily run the quarterback all game. Cousins and Grossman have working legs, so technically they are threats to run—Cousins more than Rex.
Is WR Donte’ Stallworth already on the roster bubble?
In other wideout news, RG3 is impressed with young speed demon Aldrick Robinson, who has struggled to maintain any consistency in the NFL:
Robinson appears more confident and precise in his route-running this camp, and he attacks the ball with more aggression than previous years. He regularly is on the victorious end of his matchups in 1-on-1 drills against defensive backs.Griffin, who has followed Robinson’s game since their high school days in Texas, believes that Robinson is on his way to achieving that goal.“He is a guy I actually played high school ball against him. It is good to see those guys make it, guys that you know,” Griffin said. “I think he has stepped his game up to the next level. He is a guy that we definitely have to get on the field a lot more. Very dynamic, very fast. The one thing he has really improved is his consistency catching the ball, especially in traffic. I think he can attest to that and you can see it out there in practice. He has just looked phenomenal. He is probably the guy that has impressed me the most, but a lot of guys out here are doing a great job.”
Former Eagles and Redskins [and Vikings] QB Donovan McNabb formally retired [finally!] yesterday and amid all the Philly reminiscing, he reflected for a moment on his time in DC:
“I just felt like the scheme, the approach just wasn’t what I was used to,” he said Monday. “Things just don’t work out. You look at, say for instance, Peyton [Manning] going to Denver and how they brought his offense to Denver. The guys in Washington knew the West Coast offense. I felt like if we would’ve incorporated what we knew in that, and just added a few things, we would’ve been a lot better. It just didn’t work out.”
Wish I could say we miss you, Donovan, but we’ve gotten sort of attached to this other guy you may have heard of…