ASHBURN, Va. – In an extended interview at Redskins Park on Friday, Robert Griffin III opened up about the “shutdown” at the end of last season.
Griffin said he has no regrets about the year, and is excited to get to work with the new weapons the Redskins have added.
“It seems like a freer environment,” Griffin said about the atmosphere inside Redskins Park during workouts. “Everyone seems to be in a better mood. The building just feels better.”
It’s no secret that the end of last year left a bad taste in everyone’s mouths. Mike Shanahan shutdown Griffin with three games remaining in order to make sure he was healthy for this upcoming season. Things just spiraled out of control from there, and the Redskins lost the final three games with Kirk Cousins at the helm.
“It’s tough with what happened. Coach made a decision to send me to the off-season early. As a leader on this team, that was very tough for me to accept. I know some people have referred to it as a benching and that’s not what it was. He just shut me down literally, it was like a Strasburg situation.”
We asked, any regrets from last year?
“There are no regrets because last year happened for a reason. As a team we are in a better place. Me as a person, personally, I’m in a better place as well.” As far as on the field, Griffin seemed to think it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.
“There were a couple games that we had no chance of winning, other than those games we were in every other game. We had opportunities and we just came up short.”
Looking ahead to this season, Griffin is very excited about the addition of DeSean Jackson and the weapons on offense.
“It’s going to be fun,” he said. “We do have a lot of weapons. We have to find the right roles for everybody to get everybody the touches they need and to help us win, that’s the most important thing. It’s about winning and I think that satisfies all.”
They will use this time in the off season to begin that process, he said.
“We are in the process of finding the roles for everyone and to make sure everyone understands we’re all in this together. Our leader Jay Gruden is definitely getting that point across to the team.”
Griffin also said that it’s safe to say that he won’t have to wear the knee brace this year, although a final decision has not been made yet.
On Saturday, Griffin will head to Richmond International Speedway and drive the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Race. This came about when Dale Earnhardt Jr, a huge Redskins fan, tweeted Griffin telling him it would be great to have him involved.
“One thing led to another and the power of social media took over. I’m excited about it because it’s my first NASCAR experience. Dale Jr. is a huge Redskins fan and Richmond is Redskins country.”
Don’t worry Redskins fans, he will not be driving fast and he will be in a full race suit.
“I might have to go in bubble wrap.”
Listen to more of George Wallace’s interview with RGIII: