Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III’s offseason work is finished. After a day of meetings on Thursday, the team will break for six weeks until reconvening in Richmond on July 30 for the start of training camp.
Entering a critical season, his fourth in the NFL, Griffin enters camp as the starting quarterback. He is healthy. And he had a strong finish to the offseason workouts, with a performance at practice on Tuesday that quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh called “easily” his best of the spring.
What that means for training camp is unclear. Griffin has taken about 60 percent of the repetitions with the rest split between backups Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins.
Players aren’t in pads and contact isn’t allowed. But he has put in months of work in the hopes that 2015 will be a breakthrough season comparable to his. If it isn’t, Griffin’s time with the Redskins could be over as soon as next March.
“Some people call it the grind,” Griffin said. “I call it the find, since you find what you have.”
But now the offseason phases are complete. The Redskins had their off field workouts under team supervision, three weeks of organized activities and then this week’s minicamp, which was shortened to two days of on-field work, instead of a scheduled three.
Washington coach Jay Gruden made that announcement after Wednesday’s practice. Thursday will feature off-field meetings before players head out for vacation.
Griffin wasn’t quite as sharp at Wednesday’s practice as he had been the day before. But there were still moments. He did hit tight end Logan Paulsen with a pretty pass for a touchdown on a fade in the back of the end zone during one red zone drill. That ball was perfectly thrown.
Gruden said to expect a long battle during training camp for the right to be Griffin’s backup. Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins split about 40 percent of the reps behind Griffin during offseason work. But for now, the starting job is Griffin’s alone and his performance at the end of OTAs and minicamp was encouraging, if not a guarantee of anything once players don pads in Richmond in early August.
“Every day he is doing something a little bit better, and that’s all we can ask, man. We’re just taking baby steps right now,” Gruden said on Tuesday. “We’re all getting better together. You can see that I’m starting to have confidence in the pocket and going through his progressions. That’s got to be a consistent theme with him, and not always is that possible with the pocket the way it is, but for the most part, he’s coming along at a good rate right now. He’s doing a great job of exhausting all of his progressions, playing the quarterback position with good fundamentals and getting better, that’s all we can do.”