With the beginning of offseason workouts still two weeks away, Robert Griffin III is “excited” and “anxious” about getting started, Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday.
So much so, in fact, Gruden joked about needing to kick the third-year quarterback out of Redskins Park so he doesn’t overwork himself at a time when it’s okay to dial it back a bit.
“I just have to kick him out of the building … ‘Go home, Robert,’ Gruden said with a smile, speaking to reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting in Orlando. “He’s a great kid, just anxious, just eager. He’s just a young kid that’s ready to get his hands on the ball and some information. That’s exciting. That’s how you want your quarterback to be. You don’t want him at home sleeping, playing video games all day. He’s in there chomping at the bit, working out, trying to do everything he can to get his mind right and his body right.”
Because the Redskins hired a new head coach, they are permitted to begin hosting offseason workouts on April 7, which is two weeks earlier than teams with returning coaches. It’s also the day Gruden and Griffin are officially allowed, per the collective bargaining agreement, to begin having in-depth conversations about the new playbook, ways to improve technique, etc.
“He’s going to get a lot of reps,” Gruden said, referring to the offseason program. “He’s going to be able to really grade himself, his footwork, his fundamentals. And those are things that sometimes during the regular season you can’t really focus on because there are so many other things. There’s blitzes, fronts and run concepts and audibles, [so] you don’t [say], ‘Oh, your left foot was too far here.’ So really focusing on his fundamentals, hammer him mentally and see how far he can go.”
Gruden also said he likes the leadership Griffin has shown this offseason, specifically pointing to the passing camp Griffin organized this week in Arizona.
But the first year head coach also wants to make sure Griffin doesn’t overdo it.
“We’re excited about the leadership that’s he’s sort of taking a hold of,” Gruden said. “[But] he just needs to relax right now and enjoy the offseason. When it’s time, it’s time. We’ll get plenty of time with him to work on his fundamentals. Just don’t stress out over everything right now. He’s so anxious. He wants to do so well all the time, and he’s such a perfectionist, he just needs to settle down right now and enjoy the offseason, enjoy the players he’s with in Arizona working out and have some fun. And when the time is right, we’ll get on him and push him hard.”