On Thursday, May 23, 2013, Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III addressed the media following an OTA practice at Redskins Park.
On how his knee feels:
"My knee feels great. I can do all the stuff on the field without any hesitations and that's the best part. It is all about the confidence and if I work hard enough to get the confidence back, I can get back out on the field. "
On working on the side during OTAs:
"In the weeks leading up to OTAs, I was feeling good so I went to Coach and asked him for the space to train since we have an all-world unclear team with me, Fred Davis, Jordan Reed, Pierre Garçon and Chris Thompson. I wanted us to have that area to the side so we wouldn't be standing around the whole practice. Practice can get a little boring when you aren't taking those mental reps, but as long as you can get at least a little bit of work in, we don't feel like we are completely separated from the team."
On the next step in his rehab process:
"There are two phases left in my rehab, explosive sprinting and cutting. Those are the only two things left with my knee being about four-and-a-half months out of surgery. I am a little bit ahead but the team is doing a good job allowing me to do the things I can do at the moment."
On how hard it is to hold himself back in the rehab process:
"After my first knee surgery, it was really hard to hold back during the rehab process but I didn't have the LCL so I could so some more things. Now that I have been through it already and I can see the bigger picture ahead, it is hard to hold myself back but I know why I am doing the rehab. As long as I know what I am doing the rehab for, the struggle to hold back does not matter."
On the timetable for what he has left in his rehab:
"The timetable for the explosive sprinting is over the next couple weeks and the cutting a couple weeks after the sprinting. I am not worried about those phases. One of my goals is to be on the field for training camp. At this point I am just worried about what I can control. As far as the season goes, I want to be back by Week 1. As soon as I woke up out of surgery I put the date of the first game as the pass code to my phone. Playing in Week 1 has always been the goal, but I am not going to risk my career to play in one game. I am definitely all in for Week 1 but also all in for my career too."
On testing out sprinting and cutting in practice:
"I have gotten used to not being allowed to do those things thus far. I can't wear a jersey, throw with the quarterbacks or take snaps with anyone. Every day I get restricted just a little bit more. As far as the sprinting and cutting, I do some throwing and handoffs, which has some sprinting and cutting involved in them. I keep myself limited so I do not put myself or the team in jeopardy. My sprinting and cutting is more organized at the moment, but when the doctors clear me to begin those movements, I will."
On holding training camp in Richmond, Va.:
"I think Richmond is going to be a good time for the team to get away from everything and be together as a team. This forces us to learn more about each other because you will have no family around. Your focus will be learning the playbook, playing some ping pong and doing non-athletic things. I think it is good for the team and good for the fans too. The fans will be able to see us in a different part of Virginia."
On adjustments to his game:
"Everyone gets fired up about changing the way that I play. My view is I can't change my mindset but I can be smarter about what I do on the field. I have a year of experience in the NFL. Some may think that's not a lot but a year of experience in the NFL is a big deal. I know what I have to do and what I don't have to do out on the field. It is all about limiting the hits and being able to stay on the field for my teammates. If it is third-and-7 and I am three yards away from the first down, then I need to slide or get out of bounds. After what happened to me and the team at the end of the year, I understand that I have to be on the field and more careful while I'm out there. I can still keep the same mindset about wanting to run every play but just knowing to be careful."
On the future of the offense:
"Coach Shanahan and his staff know what they are doing. We have had talks about the offense. Whether it is me running or Alfred [Morris] running, we will be ready to go. We have to go out there and be united as a team and united as a staff to be successful."
On how the season went last year:
"I was happy with the wins. I was happy how we faced the adversity of being 3-6 and coming back to make the playoffs and winning the division. All of those things were the building blocks and now it is all about continuing to grow the relationship as a team."
On handling the injury at the moment it happened:
"The injury and how the injury was handled overshadowed the success we had on the season. The injury left a bad taste in the mouth of everyone between us players, the fans, and the coaching staff. At the end of the day, we won the division and played extremely well down the stretch but had an unfortunate loss in the playoffs. We tasted the playoffs but we want to get back there and go deeper into the playoffs this year. My injury seemed to erase everyone's memory of what happened throughout the year and that was tough for me. People were picking apart every little thing about the team and I could not even walk. I could not go to the bathroom on my own or any of those things. It was tough."
On his father's comments this week:
"I talked to my dad after I saw what he said. I do not have a leash on my parents. They're my parents, guys. And I love my dad. I talked to him after I heard what he said and I told him thank you because that's what he is supposed to say as my father. He does not want to see me running around out there on the field. He wants to see me throwing the ball. He was the one that trained me, so he knows what I can do and coach knows what I can do. It is not that I disagree or agree with what he said, but I proud of the fact that he stood up and said something. As far as what he said about the team being united, it is true. It is proven in the NFL over the years that if the quarterback and coach are on the same page then you will win a lot of games."
On if he needed to repair relationships with the coaches:
"It was an unfortunate situation at the end of last year. I do not think there is anything that needs to be repaired. We just need to move forward and let the bad taste come out of everyone's mouths. We need to move forward. The only thing I needed to repair from last year was my knee and that is repaired. I am ready to go."
On if he feels like there is any repair that needs to be done in his relationship with the coaching staff:
"No, I mean there was an unfortunate situation there at the end of the season. I don't think there is anything that needs to be repaired. Obviously, we all need to just move forward and continue to let that bad taste that was in everybody's mouth get out and move forward to the next year. The only thing that needed repair from last year was my knee and that is repaired and I'm ready to go."
On Twitter and his tweet about his wedding gift registry:
"It's really been crazy. You can't really do anything or say anything without it being blown out of proportion. I know what tweet you are talking about so when it comes to the political correctness tweet, I don't want to sit here and talk about it all day because we literally could. There is so many different aspects of that, that were in that phrase that we could dive into and the only thing I will say about that is I think there is a difference between political correctness, common sense, and being offensive. That's the only thing I will say about that. And then the wedding registry, I just want to say thank you to the fans. Thank you guys. I didn't ask you guys to do that. The media made that public and you guys decided to give out of the generosity of your heart so I do truly appreciate that. Anything else that came after that, criticism, stuff like that, I just have to move on and not worry about it."
On what players have given him advice about coming back from an injury like his:
"I have talked to Adrian Peterson, that's the obvious one and he says what everyone else says. I've already been through the injury once and I'm not all-knowing about the injury, so I listen to guys and Adrian said what everyone else says. I'm not Adrian; Adrian is not me. Everybody's body heals a little differently. Rex [Grossman] also tore an ACL in his career and he's talked to me about the uncertainties he had with the injury. My view is always, even from the first one, you come back as if you were never hurt because that is the only way you can play. You don't play the game afraid to get hurt, you play the game like you are supposed to be invincible while at the time being smart and sliding and all of that other stuff."
On moving forward in the offense, if he has to run less and throw more going forward:
"Going forward I think it's whatever the defenses want us to do. I think defenses, with any quarterback in the league, want to be physical with the quarterback. It doesn't matter who you are. Myself, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, [Colin] Kaepernick, Russell [Wilson], [Andrew] Luck, any of us, they want to be physical with the quarterback. I think when it comes to quarterbacks who run, the zone read option, I think it's brought up a lot more but anytime you saw in the playoffs or down the stretch, teams were saying, 'Hey we need to get to Peyton Manning. Hey, we need to get to Tom Brady,' and that's the same thing they are saying about me and other quarterbacks around the league who are running the zone read. I don't know what it will be, what the mix will be, how many rushing attempts I'll have or how many passing attempts I'll have, I just know we want to win games and that's what we are going to do."
On if there was ever a moment of doubt following his injury and if there have been any setbacks in his rehab:
"No setbacks during the rehab. There was no point in the injury process or surgery that I woke up and said, 'Oh no, I might not play again." That was never a thought that crossed my mind. You know the tough part about it honestly was I went in the surgery not knowing what was wrong. I knew I was going to have to get my LCL repaired but looking at the MRIs and everything we couldn't really tell if my ACL needed to be repaired. So you know I have been through this before so I know if you have a patella tendon graft on the same knee, you can't get it from the same knee. So I knew when I got put to sleep if I woke up and felt my left knee that I'd had surgery on my ACL. So I woke up, the nurse didn't notice I was up, and I felt my left leg and I went back to sleep because I didn't want to have to deal with it at that time. Yeah, it's tough for me to talk about it. It's one of the things I get emotional about because it's tough at that time. I woke back up and I told everybody who was there in that room with me and it was tough. I mean that's the easiest way to say it. Yeah, I cried, real men cry. It doesn't matter and I moved on. As soon as we finished our little cry festival, I put the date of the first week in my phone and that was my goal since then. You know the doctors have tried to keep me down and keep me from doing so many things and I appreciate that from them because that is what they are supposed to do. While at the same time I have to push through it because that is what you have to do with an injury like this."
On not knowing he was going to have his ACL repaired:
"The doctor told me after he looked at the MRI that he was not sure if the ACL was gone, which gave me, my family and the organization a little bit of hope that the injury would not as serious. Then they put me to sleep and I woke up and my dad was talking to me and he said the doctor said he looked at it for 15 minutes and he could not tell what he needed to do. He said if I were 40 years old and I was not going to play football anymore and just play pickup game of basketball here or there, I would not have needed the surgery on my ACL, but because of the player that I am and the type of game that I can play, he went ahead and did it for me because he felt it was needed."
On if his LCL was completely torn:
"The LCL was not completely torn."
On if he will be ready for the opener:
"If I had the say, yes. I control only what I can control. I can control my recovery. I can control how hard I work. I can control my mental reps out on the field. I can control what I can do in the film room. I cannot control what the coaches do."
On if he thinks he will have less say moving forward:
"No. I just feel like everyone is going to be very hypersensitive about anything that happens with me. My biggest fear is that I roll an ankle and they pull me out of the game, and that is being serious."
On "everyone" being hypersensitive:
"I am saying everyone. It is the position you put yourself in when you are a high caliber athlete, especially a quarterback. Fans are going to be more hypersensitive, as well as the media and the coaches, but that is something that I have to deal with now. But just like I told Coach [Shanahan] at the time, I was being honest with him then, and I'll be honest with him in the future."
On his relationship with Shanahan:
"Mike and I hashed everything out well after the season because I was in Pensacola, Fla. for a month. We hashed everything out, we talked, and we are moving forward from it. I told you guys that before and I will say it again. That's all I can say. We talked about it, we are on the same page and we are ready to go."
On if there were apologies during his conversation with Shanahan
"No, there were no apologies."
On if he would play in the season opener without playing in the preseason:
"I have thought about that, and yes, I would be comfortable with that. That is all I can say. I have no control over whether I play or not in the preseason. I would be comfortable running out of the tunnel at FedExField with the smoke and everything."
On if he has been creative to replace physical reps he is missing:
"Yes, I have and that is part of the process of me with those other guys. Being on the 15-yard line, going in and we go through the entire script. I do the same thing I did as a rookie with going through the script each play and writing down what I have to do, because as long as I know it, I know I can do it. There is where the year of playing and knowing the system a little bit better now helps you so that you can make sure you actually get the mental rep and that you know exactly what you are looking at every play that goes up. And then after practice, I will stick around and do some stuff with the guys. The OTA process will be a very frustrating one. As you saw, I feel healthy and I look healthy, but they are not going to put me out there. They are not going to let me go anything, but I have to just keeping grinding as much as I can to make sure I get there."
On mental reps:
"The mental rep is basically this, you know the play and you know the defense you are going against. You need to know where you are supposed to be looking, and what all your eligibles are. It is basically just paying attention. You know what you are supposed to look at and you are yelling it out before it happens. It helps you by looking at it from a different perspective, so that when you get out there on the field you understand that you only need to look at this one guy on this play or this one guy on this play, and you go about it that way."
On gift he received and if he would throw a party for the team at his house:
"I do not know if the neighborhood I live in would enjoy that many cars being out there, but I will definitely being having a housewarming get together, because that is what we do in the National Football League; we get together, no parties. It will be fun. Once everything is settled and the furniture and everything is in, I will have everyone over."