RGIII's knee takes center stage at Redskins OTAs

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim,RGIII,RG3

RGIII still determined to play season opener

ASHBURN -- Long after his surgery, after Robert Griffin III left Pensacola, Fla., to finish his rehabilitation in Virginia, the coach and player met. They hashed it out, Griffin said. They had a great conversation, Mike Shanahan said.

There were discussions about the offense. There were discussions about what happened against Seattle. But there were no apologies. Griffin underwent surgery in January to reconstruct his right ACL and to repair his medial collateral ligament and lateral collateral ligament.

"There was an unfortunate situation at the end of the season. I don't think there's anything that needs to be repaired [in the relationship]," said Griffin, speaking to the local media for the first time since his surgery following the playoff loss to Seattle. "The only thing I needed to repair from last year was my knee, and that's repaired and I'm ready to go."

The Redskins began their organized team activity sessions this week, but the focus remains squarely on Griffin and his knee.

Griffin said he remains determined to play in the Sept. 9 season opener, but not at any cost.

"Yeah I'm definitely all in for Week 1, but I'm all in for my career as well," he said.

The question is: Will he still continue to run as much as he did this past season? Griffin ran 120 times for 815 yards last season, his carries split among zone read option runs, quarterback draws and scrambles. He was hit most often in the pocket or taking off from the pocket (85 times) last season.

Neither Shanahan nor Griffin would commit to whether or not there would be any changes.

"I don't know what the mix will be, how many rushing attempts I'll have or passing attempts," Griffin said. "Coach and them, they know what they're doing. ... It's more, we have to go out there and be united as a team and united as a staff to be successful."

Griffin's father, Robert Griffin II, told the Washington Post that he wanted his son to run less and throw more.

"He knows what I can do, coach knows what I can do. So it's not that I agree or disagree with what he said, it's the fact that he stood up and said something," Griffin said. "The NFL over the years has proven it, when you have consistency at the head coaching position and at the quarterback position and everyone's on the same page, you win a lot more, and that's what we want."

Shanahan did not sound as if he was ready to drop the zone read option. The two times Griffin got hurt this past season came off scrambles from the pocket. In the last half of the season, Griffin was hit only 15 times combined out of the zone read.

"The zone read probably gave Robert more time in the pocket than anything else," Shanahan said.

As far as perhaps changing it, Shanahan said, "We really don't know what defenses will do to us. ...We'll try to protect Robert as much as we can. We'll let him do the things he does best, and hopefully it will be as productive."

Griffin said he "didn't have a problem" with how he was used last season. He knows he must tweak his game, though.

"I can't change my mindset," he said, "but I can be smarter about what I do out there."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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