Fans watching in the stands and on TV knew it. The media covering the Redskins knew it. TV analysts and other national media types knew it.
Finally, Robert Griffin III admitted it.
The Redskins’ quarterback needed some time to get ready to play eight months after having reconstructive surgery on his right knee on January 9. He has been reluctant to use that as any sort of excuse for his play, which has not been up to the standards he set as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Griffin did not come out and say that he needed time to knock off the rust but it doesn’t take much reading between the lines of some of his comments yesterday to see that while he may have been all in for Week 1, he wasn’t necessarily all ready for Week 1.
Here are some quotes from his Wednesday news conference:
—(asked if the bye week helped his knee) “The more time you have after it (the surgery), the better it’ll be.”
—“The only way to come back from an injury like that is to play and that’s what we had to do. I feel good about what we were able to do from a groundwork standpoint, building up each game, but now it’s time for us to make that breakthrough, and we have to do it.”
—(asked if he expected to hit the ground running or struggle early on) “A little bit of both. You come out and the way we played – the way I played that first game – that was not up to my standards or up to our standards as a team in general. That was disappointing. When it comes to timing here, timing there, sometimes you might be a little bit off coming back from an injury like I had, and you have to work through those growing pains, but we didn’t think it was going to be what it ended up being those first couple of games, so that’s no excuse at all.
Let’s be clear here, these are not things that are new to Griffin and the Redskins. But what’s new here is Griffin publicly talking about the quality of play and the reason for it.