Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Washington Redskins [Print without images]

Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Fletcher to RG III: Time to exhale

By John Keim

ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins placed Robert Griffin III's locker next to London Fletcher for a reason. They wanted him to learn. Now Fletcher, who said he’s 99 percent sure he’s retiring after the season, wants Griffin to take some advice.

Fletcher
Griffin
He wants Griffin to get away and take a deep breath after the season.

“The amount of expectations that he had coming in and the way he performed last year, he exceeded those expectations,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think he changed his approach. There are a lot of people that pull and tug at him. Really, this is a time for him to exhale. This is a time to reevaluate different things and say what do I need to get to be the player that he knows he can be, the player everyone knows he can be. Take some time to clear his head and decompress from everything that’s happened. He’s been on a whirlwind since his senior year at Baylor.”

Griffin has been through quite a bit this season, returning from knee surgery in training camp and playing in the season opener without benefit of a preseason. Griffin was inconsistent during the season and, lately, has had to deal with several anonymous stories discussing his family and knocking his character.

Griffin merely called the latest story false -- a Bleacher Report article that said, in part, that his father, Robert Griffin Jr., was lobbying owner Dan Snyder to hire Baylor coach Art Briles.

It’s taken a toll on Griffin, who said he agrees with Fletcher’s advice.

“I do take that advice from some people,” Griffin said. “It could push you over the edge and really frustrate you. I have to do what Fletch told me and exhale and let it all go. You have to let the people know you’re defending you and you can’t try to defend yourself or your family in these situations. It’s unfortunate that people don’t understand that, but people who know me and know my parents, know my family and know what goes on around here -- they have to defend me.”