- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 29, 2014

As a former quarterback, new Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden knows there are two ways to approach working with someone like Robert Griffin III.

“Pat him on the back when he needs a pat on the back and coach him when he needs to be coached,” Gruden said. “He’s very receptive to both.”

The Redskins began their organized team activities earlier this week, allowing the team to come together for 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills for the first time this offseason.


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Not only is the period crucial for the Redskins, who are learning large parts of a new offense and defense with a revamped coaching staff, but it’s important for Griffin, who was limited to rehabilitating from right knee surgery during this time a year ago.

After a sophomore season that could be considered mediocre at best — and one that ended with the quarterback on the bench for the final three games — Griffin has set out on trying to adjust his approach, working forward from simple mechanics to a complex playbook.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), right, talks with Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, left, as the Washington Redskins hold their Organized Team Activities, Ashburn, Va., Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10), right, talks with Washington Redskins ... more >

“I mean, as everyone knows, last year, I was rehabbing, getting ready for the season, and right now, I get to go out there and be with the guys,” Griffin said. “That’s the most important part — just to be with your teammates, jell, build that chemistry, and that’s what I had a chance to do. I thoroughly enjoy it, and I hope they do too.”


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The month-long OTA period — three weeks, plus one spent off the field — will provide Griffin with a chance to get used to some of his new teammates. The Redskins‘ biggest free-agent acquisitions in recent months have been on offense, including the signing of wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts.

Jackson, who spent his first six seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before being released in May, said the most important part of the offseason workouts will be allowing he and Griffin to get used to each other’s abilities.

“I think our chemistry right now is a work in progress and things like that,” Jackson said. “The more we get out there and continue to just keep working and putting it in and staying after practice and just running routes and just getting a familiar timing down together I think sooner or later we’ll be in great shape.”

Several Redskins players wore shirts under their practice jerseys with the slogan “Win everything, win every day,” and Griffin played coy when asked who came up with it.

But he said that the motto echoes the team’s goal during the summer months, first in minicamp in mid-June before training camp starts in late July.

“We’ve got a new offense, new guys in the building, so it’s always a feel-out process, but I think it’s going really, really well,” Griffin said. “I feel great. Let’s get to work.”