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Robert Griffin III appears ready to roll, but won't play in preseason

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Robert Griffin III says he won't play in the preseason unless it's a
Robert Griffin III says he won't play in the preseason unless it's a "necessity." (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)

RICHMOND, Va. -- Though the shine isn't as new on Robert Griffin III as it is on the fancy Redskins training camp facilities in Richmond, all eyes were on the Washington quarterback as he spoke to the media for the first time in a month.

The biggest concern? What Griffin would do in the 2013 NFL preseason, with rumors floating that the recently-married RG3 would miss the entire preseason as he continued to rehab a knee injury he suffered at the end of the playoffs. And Griffin confirmed as much, noting that "patience is key" for he and the Redskins moving forward.

"The current plan is patience is the key," Griffin said Wednesday. "I did all I could in the offseason. I passed all my tests with Dr. Andrews and with the doctors with the Redskins. They want to make sure that we're not going to do anything too soon we don't have to do. If the preseason comes around and I'm ready to go, maybe in the third preseason game, as far as my understanding goes, preseason's not a worry at all.

"There's no need really for that -- patience is the key."

Griffin did acknowledge that if, for some bizarre reason, it became a "necessity" for him to play in the preseason, he could do that.

"Unless it's a necessity I don't think I'll play in the preseason," Griffin said.

But the anticipation is Griffin will sit for the majority, if not likely all, of the preseason. And the second-year quarterback didn't seem to beat up about it or too worried about getting in the reps before the season begins.

"I don't think the preseason matters that much when it comes to that," Griffin said. "I think if you talk to a lot of the vets they don't like the preseason. I think that's a well known fact. I think you get the timing and the reps in practice. Right now everyone's on the same page and we want to keep growing as a team and me and mike Shanahan's relationship paramount to this team."

The one thing preseason might help with? Getting out "the jitters" and getting ready for the beginning of the regular season. Griffin pointed out that being able to play in a full preseason in 2012 helped, but noted that not being a rookie should even things out pretty well. Besides, he doesn't have time to get nervous with the Eagles and the glare of prime time kicking things off in 2013.

"This year I won't get the opportunity to get the jitters out," Griffin said. "But there's no jitters on Monday Night Football."

So if he's ready to go for training camp but he's not playing in the preseason? Where does that mean he stands in terms of actual health, percentage-wise?

"I don't know what number (percent) I am," Griffin said when asked if he was 100 percent. "I feel healthy. I don't know if anyone plays at 100 percent."

Despite the emergence of Kirk Cousins as a more than capable backup, the Redskins need Griffin to get that number as high as possible if they want to replicate 2012's success. Griffin, a self-proclaimed "overachiever," is the franchise and one of the most exciting players in the game today.

Without him, Washington's a capable divisional contender but expecting them to be one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL again -- the Redskins ranked fifth in Football Outsiders weighted offensive rankings and sixth in offensive DVOA -- is a pipedream.

That's why his training camp repetitions -- Griffin says he'll have the "opportunity to throw to everyone" and will take as many reps as he can while having Mike Shanahan "ease" him in -- are so critical.

Griffin also promises to be "sharp" whenever football finally rolls around.

"I've taken as many reps as I possibly can and I'll be ready to go and I'll be sharp," Griffin said. "I won't let myself not be ready to go."

It's easy to be skeptical given the odd nature of the preseason plan designed for Griffin, but considering how far he's come in such a short time, rehabilitiation-wise, it would be foolish to doubt that he'll be ready to go when the season kicks off in a few weeks.

 
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