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Robert Griffin III finally admitted that he wasn't 100 percent recovered at the season's beginning.
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) runs from Oakland defensive end Jack Crawford (91) in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 29.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
ASHBURN — Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III referred to the season’s first four weeks as “disappointing” on Wednesday, but said he feels they were a necessary part of his recovery process. He added that when the Redskins play Sunday, the bar will be raised.
“I feel good about what we were able to do from a groundwork standpoint, building up each game,” Griffin. “But now it’s time for us to make that breakthrough.”
There’s no better place for Griffin to do so than Dallas. Last year he threw for four touchdowns on Thanksgiving Day, seizing the national spotlight.
This time around he arrives not as a conquering superstar, but as a player who has struggled so far this season.
Washington coach Mike Shanahan challenged his players during the bye week to ask themselves what they can do better to help the team. Griffin said for himself, the answer was to “go out and be the playmaker they need me to be.”
First, though, he took some time away from the game after a tough start to the season.
During the bye week he went to Williamsburg with his wife. He canceled scheduled interviews, and chose to get away from football.
“I think this bye week, it was more important for me to just get away from everything, and kind of let everything die down, and let everybody get back to talking about football — not the knee brace, not anything else along those lines,” Griffin said. “I just wanted to get away, go spend some time with my wife, and relax. And it worked.”
Wednesday’s press conference marked the first time Griffin has said publicly that he was less than 100 percent in the opening weeks.
That seemed obvious to outside observers, but Griffin maintained that he expected to play up to his usual standards during those games. He said those performances were disappointing as he looked back at them.
“When it comes to timing, sometimes you might be a little bit off coming back from an injury like I had, and you have to work through those growing pains,” he said. “But we didn’t think it was going to be what it ended up being those first couple of games.”
A trip to Texas could be just what the doctor ordered.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett is among the many expecting a breakout performance, saying his team is preparing for a fully mobile Griffin.
“It seems like he’s running a little bit less than he did last year, but he’s still a very dangerous athlete, and he’s very comfortable out in space,” Garrett said. “So making sure you contain him and keep him in the pocket is critical.”
Griffin has made plenty of football memories in the state, at all levels of play. On Wednesday, he announced that he was donating to the Copperas Cove High School program, where he first got his start.
On Sunday night, he’ll try to jump start a season that hasn’t lived up to expectations so far. Griffin said the progress he made in the Raiders win will give his teammates confidence as they head to Dallas.
“I always know I can make those plays if the opportunity arises, and they did in the Oakland game,” he said. “Hopefully that will put everybody at east, and we can move forward with the year.”
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