Tuesday, June 11, 2013
RG III speaks, and other Redskins notes
By Dan Graziano
ASHBURN, Va. -- After the Washington Redskins wrap up their minicamp here Wednesday, rehabbing quarterback Robert Griffin III plans to spend another week at the facility before going off to get married and enjoy the "personal life" portion of his offseason. He said after Tuesday's practice that he considers himself a responsible enough person to keep his rehab from reconstructive knee surgery going during his honeymoon, and had a succinct answer when asked how prepared he was for a possible setback in his recovery.
"I'm not," he said. "You just don't think negatively. I think LeBron said, you don't play the game afraid to get hurt. So I don't worry about setbacks. I just worry about my progress moving forward."
There really wasn't any actual "news" on the RG III front Tuesday. He worked on the side in practice with the other injured guys, running, throwing, staying out of team drills. He continues to say he's confident he'll be ready for training camp when that begins in Richmond next month, though he also said he has a month's worth of cutting drills to get through before that can happen. He took one question about Tim Tebow and a couple about his role in the planning of his wedding.
"Sometimes, I actually have a choice," he said. "And sometimes, it doesn't really matter what I say."
But as for the knee, Griffin says it's all about continuing to go through the slow rehab and doing everything right along the way to make sure the ultimate goal of being healthy for the season -- and beyond -- is met.
"I think, on the mental side, I'm okay," he said. "It's just the physical side, teaching my body to re-learn all the movements. That's what we're still working on."
Some other things I saw, heard, asked and learned Tuesday at Redskins minicamp:
Quarterback Robert Griffin III says he's confident he'll be ready for training camp next month.
The Redskins' offensive players are fine with the idea of backup Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback while Griffin gets himself healthy. Left tackle Trent Williams chuckled when I asked him how it was going with Cousins taking first-team snaps.
"He's great. He's a stud," Williams said. "He's definitely got that strong pocket presence, that accuracy and he's a great leader, too. We don't worry at all if he's the starter. I just think it's funny -- everybody's looking for "that guy," and we've got two of them."
Griffin quoted Williams when asked about how Brian Orakpo was looking as he works to return from a pectoral muscle injury: "To quote my left tackle, 'Rak's out there pass-rushing like it's the NFC Championship Game." Indeed, Orakpo looks as though nothing ever happened, and he talks and acts like a guy who has missed a lot of time and can't wait until he's allowed to tackle someone again.
Speaking of guys who have been out a while, remember cornerback Chase Minnifield? He was the talk of last year's minicamp before a knee injury knocked him out for the season. He practiced in full Tuesday and says the biggest issue he's facing is getting used to going up against NFL wide receivers in practice. "I've just got to tone up on my technique," he said. "As far as my movement, my speed, my quickness ... that's all good. I feel like my play can stack up against anybody in this league." Minnifield picked off a Rex Grossman pass in team drills and looks like a guy who could help the secondary. The Redskins are just always going to have to worry about a recurrence of injury with him.
In discussing his depth chart heading into training camp, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said, "If you were a first-teamer last year, you'll start out as a first-teamer this year and then we'll see." This would seem to indicate that the starting right tackle job is Tyler Polumbus' to lose. Shanahan also said Brandon Meriweather, who projects as the starting strong safety, should be medically cleared in time for training camp, according to what the team's doctors are telling him.
Free-agent wide receiver Donte' Stallworth was at practice, and Shanahan said the team expected to sign him in the next couple of days.