Last Sunday, for the first time all season, Robert Griffin III showed glimpses of his old self. The Redskinsstill lost to the Cowboys, and RG3 struggled at times, but when he decided to run, the burst and explosiveness that had been lacking over the first month of the season returned. That alone is reason for optimism.
Griffin, who rushed nine times for 77 yards, said Wednesday that in order for the Redskins to get back to winning, he needs to run the ball more. Of course, this conversation consumed much of the offseason because for all of RG3's dynamism, there will always be concerns about injuries given his style of play. It didn't help that Griffin's offseason was spent rehabbing a knee injury suffered in Washington's playoff loss to Seattle.
“I felt that's what I have to do,” Griffin said of his aggressive approach against the Cowboys (via the Washington Post). “That's what I've always had to do. You've got to use every ability that you have. Broke the pocket a couple of times, broke the pocket and hit some guys downfield as the defense was closing in on me, and then there were times when you just take off and go, and a healthy mix of that and a healthy mix of just executing the plays that are called.”
After the game, RG3 said he was “just really focusing on being the playmaker that I know I can be and not letting anybody else tell me how to play this game.”
Asked for clarification at Wednesday's press conference, the quarterback explained: “It just means, you can't lose faith in who you are," he said. "You can't lose confidence in what you've done to get you to the level where you're at. Kyle [Shanahan] will say on a number of plays, ‘You never forget what got you to where you are,' and that's all I'm saying. It wasn't a shot at anything else, or at the coaches or anybody. It was just saying, ‘I've got to be the guy that I know that I am.'"
Griffin sounded unconcerned about the possibility that running more exposes him to injury.
"Everyone wants me to slide and get out of bounds, and really, I can't listen to that," he said. "It's not that you ignore it. I understand that people are concerned. But at the end of the day you have to go out there and play with your instincts. … I just let my instincts take over, rather than run out of bounds so everyone doesn't get mad at coach or something like that, or at me, or whatever they want to say. It was just more instinctive and just playing football.”
Coach Mike Shanahan added: “He's got to be himself. Robert is Robert. We don't ask quarterbacks to do anything in particular. We have a game plan going in. Whatever that game plan may be, we are hoping they execute it.”