Robert Griffin III: 'I'm ready to get back after it'
Robert Griffin III was voted the AP’s offensive rookie of the year Saturday night in New Orleans. But in equally important news, the Redskins’ quarterback walked down the red carpet at the NFL Honors award show and expressed optimism about his recovery from major knee surgery.
“It’s feeling good,” Griffin said in his first public comments since the surgery to repair the ACL and LCL in his right knee last month. “I went through the toughest part already. So now it’s about being smart. Not pushing it too much. That’s what the doctors are there for, to keep me from doing too much.”
Griffin received 29 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who cover the NFL. He beat out Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, who garnered 11 votes, and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who got 10. Ballots were cast at the end of the regular season.
Although it’s only been a matter of weeks since Dr. James Andrews repaired his knee, Griffin expressed confidence about being ready for the start of the 2013 season and said he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery.
“I was ahead when I did it in 2009,” Griffin said, referring to the ACL surgery performed on the same knee while he played at Baylor. “And I’m a little bit ahead right now as well, as you guys can see. I have to be smart about it and think long term, not short term.”
“The good thing is this is offseason and I can get healthy,” he added. “I have enough time.”
Griffin also said the process is a little easier the second time around – mentally, at least – because he knows what to expect.
“It helps me a lot because I know what peaks and valleys there are going to be, what milestones I need to hit and when I need to hit them and giving me the confidence to know that I can come back better than I was before,” he said.
Asked if he still walks with the assistance of crutches, Griffin said he does not.
“I’ve been walking for week and a half, two weeks,” he said, smiling.
Griffin, who led the Redskins to their first NFC East Division title in 13 years, is the franchise’s first offensive rookie of the year since running back Mike Thomas got the nod in 1975. The 22-year-old passed for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions, while rushing for 815 yards, a rookie record for quarterbacks.
“It’s important to Redskins Nation,” Griffin said moments before the vote was announced. “It’s important to our organization, just to show that the times have changed.”