- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III talked today, which means I'm going to do a post on him because I know you guys can't get enough RG III. He talked about the practice throwing he did while on his honeymoon in France earlier this month. He said he was going to wear his knee brace all year and that he isn't worried about it bothering him because he's had a chance to get used to it now. And yes, he said he's gradually increasing his workload as training camp goes along.
"We're going to ramp it up a little bit," Griffin said. "They're going to give me a few more reps in walkthrough every day, and then after that it's just about him [Coach Mike 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."
I spoke with Shanahan when I was in Richmond on Saturday, and he stands by his decision not to play Griffin in any preseason games because, as he says, "it doesn't make sense." The reason, Shanahan said, is that Griffin hasn't practiced at game speed in more than six months and therefore can't be ready to operate at game speed. So the Redskins' preference is to slowly build Griffin up to game speed in practice, where they can control the environment, rather than throw him into a preseason game against a team that's allowed (and motivated) to hit him.
The key is that coach and quarterback have to stay on the same page with all of this, especially after an offseason flare-up over the issue of his season-ending knee injury created some tension in that relationship. Shanahan said he and Griffin are talking regularly about the management of his recovery, and he shrugged off the March kerfuffle as the residue of the staggering amount of attention that gets paid to Griffin.
"I don't worry about that," Shanahan said. "Any time you're dealing with a situation like we are, the attention that these quarterbacks get, you know it's going to happen. It's going to be one thing or the other. But if that's my biggest problem, that's OK."
Shanahan's biggest priority now is managing Griffin's recovery to the point where he's in shape to play games and not re-injure the knee along the way. He knows that. Griffin knows it as well. Redskins fans should be encouraged that they seem to be working together well on that front.