Redskins' Gruden says mental game critical to Griffin's success

Redskins' Gruden says mental game critical to Griffin's success
July 24, 2014, 10:00 am
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RICHMOND—Robert Griffin III is very much a work in progress. So is every other quarterback in the league.

It takes hours and days and years of learning to master the position and even then quarterbacks like Tom Brady need to continue to prepare. 

“It’s something that has to be done with every quarterback in the NFL,” said Jay Gruden. [Griffin] is no exception. The ones that have played for 15 and 20 years, some of the great ones of all-time, they are working on their mental game every day. That’s just part of the position.”

“When you sign up to play quarterback in the NFL, it’s a grind mentally as well as physically. That’s never going to change from his third year to his 10th year to his 15th year. He’s got to challenge himself mentally every day in the offseason because things change and he has to be up to date with what is going on defensively.” 

It looked like Griffin might have mastered the mental game quickly as a rookie when he made dazzling plays that needed not only his athletic ability but also quick decisions. The results were in the numbers as he completed 66 percent of his passes and threw 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions. But last year we saw that he had a long way to go mentally as his interception total shot up to 12 and he took a number of sacks due to indecisiveness.

The key, as Gruden noted, is to keep grinding away at it.

“Mentally, we’ve got all our passing game, his footwork, his fundamentals. I could sit here for 35 or 40 minutes and talk about what he needs to work on and I’ll say the same thing about what Tom Brady needs to work on,” said Gruden. “You know what I mean? That’s just the position and every position on the field, in regards to training both mentally and physically, and that’s not going to change.”

Gruden said that Griffin is in excellent physical shape; the knee issues of 2013 are well in the rear view mirror. It’s now a matter of sharpening up what goes on above the neck.  

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