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Bruce Allen: Redskins not changing name

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim,RG3

GM also reveals RGIII 'progressing well' so far

RICHMOND -- The Redskins will remain the Redskins, so says general manager Bruce Allen.

With the Redskins' name again under attack, Allen said the franchise won't consider a new nickname. Their stance hasn't changed over the years.

"There's nothing that we feel is offensive, and we're proud of our history," Allen said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Redskins' training camp here Thursday. "To suggest that players and coaches and fans are thinking any other way doesn't make sense. ... It's ludicrous to think that we're trying to upset anyone."

According to Allen, the president of the National Congress of American Indians, in conjunction with members of the Red Cloud Athletic Fund, requested in the early 1970s that the team change its logo from the "R" to the American Indian logo currently in use. The NCAI also happens to be a group currently fighting the nickname.

"Honors like that we don't need," Robert Holden, deputy director of the NCAI, said at a symposium in Washington last week.

"We're not a new franchise. We're 81 years old," Allen said. "I'm proud to be the general manager of the Washington Redskins. We represent an iconic sports franchise."

Allen also touched on a variety of other subjects, including Robert Griffin III's knee and the Redskins' playing surface.

He said Griffin is "progressing well," but he wasn't about to offer a prediction on when the injured star will return to the field. Griffin needed ACL reconstruction in his right knee. The lateral collateral ligament and the medial lateral ligament also were repaired. Doctors with knowledge of the operation said it could take six to eight months for Griffin to return, possibly putting him on pace to play in the season opener.

"He's on schedule or ahead of schedule, but it's because of the work ethic he's had," Allen said. "This will be an ongoing thing throughout the summer."

Griffin is going back and forth between Ashburn and Pensacola, Fla., for his rehab.

Allen said another injured starter, tight end Fred Davis, is still recovering from his Achilles tear. Allen said they will have a better idea of his status in the spring. Davis is an impending unrestricted free agent.

Allen also suggested the Redskins are still fighting the salary cap penalty issued last year that cost them $36 million in space in 2012 and 2013. The penalty stemmed from how they handled the uncapped year of 2010, restructuring contracts to create more cap space in future years. The Redskins and Cowboys, who also were penalized, had a grievance dismissed last spring, which many said ended the issue. Allen would not say whether that meant litigation, which some experts contend is the only route they can take.

"I think the penalty was wrong and it was unfair," Allen said. "There are plenty of things we can do. But now's not the time."

He also said the Redskins plan to improve the turf at FedEx Field, which came under fire privately by their own players and publicly by opposing teams, notably Seattle coach Pete Carroll. He called the surface "terrible" and said they deserved a better surface for a playoff game.

Allen said they missed a chance to resod the surface late in the season. He said they will set up a seeding plan once the NFL releases the schedule in April.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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