Camp is next time QB can work with coaches
ASHBURN -- The hard work remains, and that's what Kyle Shanahan knows. Robert Griffin III ended his offseason practices on a down note, intercepted in practice and off-target on other throws. But that merely followed a pattern: One day he flashes superior skills, and another he reminds everyone that he's a rookie.
But at least for the past month when Griffin had one of those days, he could watch film with the coaches, correcting his mistakes or sharpening other skills. Now for at least the next month, it's all on Griffin. With minicamp ending Wednesday (coach Mike Shanahan canceled the Thursday session), any improvement Griffin makes will come on his own.
And then when training camp starts, the fun times end. That's why offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has a checklist of things he would like Griffin to do in his time away. The coaches can't work with him during this period, though all the rookies will return July 16 for pre-training camp workouts.
"Mainly technique, just getting out there and doing it," Shanahan said in his first comments about Griffin this offseason. "I don't care if people are with him. I don't care if he's by himself. I don't care if he's throwing to his fiancee. It's just reps. If he works at it, which he no doubt works at it, you'll get it from a mental standpoint. You can't get enough of those reps. That's why rookie quarterbacks have usually tended to struggle."
And Shanahan used the word reps multiple times during a 19-minute news conference Wednesday when discussing Griffin. It's clear the Redskins are anxious to see him in games. It's clear they know how much work remains.
"We're throwing a lot at him," Shanahan said. "Some days are better than others. Sometimes it takes two steps forward, a step back, but it's the whole process of learning everything. Now it's about going in there and not having to think and just reacting."
That's why Griffin said he will continue to work during his time away from Redskins Park.
"You can never know it too well," Griffin said of the offense. "I'll just continue to work on everything, call Coach up once a day, a couple times a week and see what's happening."
And he'll get together with his wideouts at some point over the next five weeks. That's what the coaches like to hear. Yes, they would like him to enter camp with a fresh outlook after a grueling offseason because of pre-draft work. But they also know if Griffin wants to excel as a rookie, there's no real time off anymore.
"I wish I could meet with him every day," Shanahan said. "I wish I could meet with him instead of going on vacation. But I'm not allowed, so that's a little frustrating because you know how much you've got to do and you can't always do it. What makes you feel comfortable is when you've got a guy who even though you're not there, you know he's stressed about the same things I am. He's going to make sure he's working. It makes you feel a little bit better.
"It's going to be a work in progress all the time. But the guy is very talented, and he works at it. So as he does grow, and he'll always get better, the guy can do a lot of stuff and make plays while we're waiting for that to fully come."