- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 6, 2013

Robert Griffin III plans to be under center with the Washington Redskins‘ first-team offense when training camp opens July 25, he said Thursday.

“Without a doubt,” the franchise quarterback responded when asked if that was a realistic target.

Why is he so confident he can hit that target?

“One, it’s a mindset. Two, it’s just how I’ve felt and how it’s progressed,” he said. “Over the last three weeks, I’ve had a lot of progress and I feel a lot better. If you think, well, training camp’s a month, month and a half away, two months, I feel really good about that. And the starter the season is even farther than that and I feel good about that, and that’s why I say without a doubt.”

The Redskins wrapped up three weeks of organized team activities Thursday at Redskins Park and will hold a minicamp next week before dispersing until camp opens in Richmond late next month. Griffin has been working with other Redskins coming back from injuries during OTAs but continues to make strides with his mobility after January knee surgery.

“This week was a big week, going four straight days on the field,” he said. “On previous weeks we’ve had a day off. So to go the four straight, throwing every day, planting, cutting, doing the routes with the receivers — all of the guys did a good job balancing the act for four straight days. I started throwing on the run a lot more, as you guys saw, doing a lot more plant throws out of the play action, the type of throws that we do in our offense. That’s the encouraging part. I’ve also bumped up the long-distance running, as you guys saw today, ran a little bit more.

“That’s all good, I’m feeling more comfortable doing everything, and the coaches are saying that I look a lot better when they do get to sneak a peek in there. They say I look a lot more comfortable throwing the ball, look relaxed, and it shows.”

With continued progress along those lines, Griffin doesn’t believe he’ll have any problem being up to speed by the start of camp, but he reiterated he won’t push it.

“I think it is the right target, if I’m healthy,” he said. “I’ve talked to coach, I’ve talked to the doctors, I’ve talked to Larry [Hess, the Redskins‘ head trainer] — I’ve talked to everybody that’s close to me. If I’m ready to go Week 1, then I play. If I’m not ready to go Week 1, then I can swallow my pride and not play. It’s that simple. That’s what I’ve talked to coach [about], I tell him I’ll be honest with him — if I feel like I’m ready to go and there’s no doubt in my mind that I can play, then I’ll be ready to go. But if there’s an ounce of doubt or a minor setback, then I won’t play.”

The man who presumably will make the ultimate call, coach Mike Shanahan, appreciates his quarterback’s enthusiasm but again preached caution about any timetable-setting.

“You always want somebody to have goals. That’s for sure,” Shanahan said. “You want him to come back as soon as he’s ready to go, but the doctors have got to OK him. From the beginning they talked about a recovery time being anywhere from seven months to nine months. I think Aug. 9 is seven months. And so we’ll just have to wait and see.”


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