Skins feel they can climb out of early hole
The Redskins’ 0-3 record is weighing on everyone in the locker room.
No one, though, bears more of the burden for the team’s unexpectedly slow start than Robert Griffin III.
“It’s adversity and it is one of the more trying things you have to go through,” Griffin said Wednesday at Redskins Park. “But you have to know where your faith is, and I have a lot of faith in this football team, a lot of faith in my teammates, coaches, faith in God and he’s going to bring us through this. All we have to do is our part.”
“As long as we show up every day with the right attitude,” Griffin continued. “I mean, no one is going to feel sorry for us in the NFL. No one is going to come pat us on the back and say, ‘Hey, here is a win.’ We have to go out and take it. We want to start winning, and it starts this week against Oakland, so we go into this bye week with a good feeling and come out of it ready to go on a tear."
Few could have expected the Redskins would be winless as they prepared to head to Oakland in Week 4. And although the drought isn’t any single player’s fault, Griffin has received a disproportionate amount of the blame because he’s the face of a popular franchise and, in part, because of the microscope his every move is under. From the ‘All in for Week 1’ ad campaign to the hour-long documentary on his rehab, the hype that was heaped upon him this offseason built up fans' expectations to an almost unreasonable level for a player returning from ACL reconstruction surgery.
Asked if he might have handled the offseason any differently in retrospect, Griffin said he wouldn’t have changed a thing.
“The fact of the matter is it comes with the territory of being a quarterback in the NFL,” Griffin said. “With [the media], when we don’t have success, there is going to be criticism. You’ve got to be able to stand tall, look the criticism in the face, look that adversity in the face, and let it know you’re not going anywhere. That’s what this team has to do and that’s what we’re going to do.”
He added: “I think if you have success; look at a guy like Peyton Manning, who is a great quarterback, a guy that you look up to, he’s done a lot of great things in this league. He has a documentary and he’s going off this year and no criticizes that. It goes with the territory. If you struggle a little bit coming out of the gates, everyone is going to look at that and criticize it and you just have to be able to face that.”
In three games, Griffin has completed 63.3-percent of his passes (fifth best) for 975 yards. And although he rushed a season high six times for 37 yards in last Sunday’s loss to the Lions, his season total of 62 yards on the ground are a fraction of the 198 he had at this time as a rookie.
Griffin has also tossed four interceptions and lost a fumble. He committed only seven turnovers in 15 games last season.
In times of turmoil, Griffin has often turned to his father, Robert Jr. This season has been no different.
“You just have got to keep playing,” Griffin said of his dad’s advice to him. “Have fun. Don’t look at anything, and that’s what you have got to do. Whether it’s good or bad, you have got to make sure you block all of that stuff out. Don’t read what people are saying and move on. That’s the advice that he’s given me and just keep pushing forward. Fight on, because that’s the only thing that we know how to do—we know how to keep fighting.”