Redskins coach Jay Gruden says he’s confident that Robert Griffin III won’t allow a “humbling” and drama-filled 2013 season to become a mental roadblock.
“It could be for some guys, if they’re not mentally tough,” Gruden told reporters Friday at the NFL’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis. “But what I like about Robert, I feel like he’s a mentally tough kid and he’s going to let last year be a learning experience for him. And he’s going to do everything in his power—you can already sense it—to not let it happen again.”
The key to preventing a repeat, Gruden said, is taking ownership of what happened and putting in the rearview.
“He’s going to have a bright future as long as he doesn’t allow things that happened in the past affect him in a too negative or too positive way,” Gruden added. “Just stay even-keeled and continue to get better because there’s no question about the talent he has at the quarterback position.”
In the six weeks Gruden has been on the job, he says he’s watched every game and practice snap from last season, dating back to training camp. But he still hasn’t had any in-depth conversations about football with Griffin for a couple of reasons. First, it would be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. And second, he’s still putting together the playbook with offensive coordinator Sean McVay and offensive line coach Chris Foerster.
“He’s eager to get back into shape,” Gruden said, referring to Griffin. “He’s eager to work. He’s got great work ethic already; I can see that. He’s excited to get the new playbook [but] we can’t give it out yet. We’re still in the process of making that. Once the OTAs start, we’ll be able to introduce it to him.”
Gruden added: “The one thing about him, he’s a very fiery competitor. You can see that. He’s a good, solid leader and he’s excited to get to work. He obviously has a lot of talent that we have to try to continue to mold and get him comfortable in the offense.”