Robert Griffin III has had to block out distractions and doubters before. And after struggling through Saturday’s preseason loss in Baltimore, the Redskins’ quarterback knows he’s going to have to do again.
“We just take it and move forward,” Griffin said Monday at Redskins Park. “We can’t worry about what outsiders think or what they say. We have to keep moving forward here. We know what we have to do to be successful and that’s what we’re going to do.”
Saturday’s preseason game in Baltimore wasn’t even over and the Internet was already abuzz about Griffin’s punchless performance and whether the Redskins ought to hand the reigns to backup Kirk Cousins. Griffin wasn’t asked specifically about Joe Theismann’s comments, but there’s little doubt that he was addressing them.
“You can’t worry about what doubters or what anybody on the outside says,” he said. “Everybody in this locker room is all we got and it’s all we need. So what anybody says outside of [the locker room] doesn’t matter to us, doesn’t affect us, doesn’t affect us, doesn’t affect our approach to the game, doesn’t affect us out on the practice field or the game field.”
Griffin added: “We’re the ones who have to go play. So you just block all that stuff out and move forward.”
The Redskins’ starting offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in 10 possessions spread over three preseason games. In Saturday’s 23-17 loss to the Ravens, Griffin was 5 of 8 passing for 20 yards. He also fumbled a snap and was sacked three times behind an offensive line that had a rough night against a stout Ravens’ pass rush. Griffin’s passer rating was 27.1.
Asked if he felt he was struggling, Griffin said, “Nah, I mean, I think as an offense we put together a bad game. And they go as I go, so I have to play better. But I thought we did a good job the first two preseason games. We’ll move forward ...ready to play offense at a high level.”
Coach Jay Gruden hasn’t said whether the Redskins’ first stringers will play Thursday in Tampa, although it’s rare for starters to suit up in the preseason finale. If they don’t play, that gives Griffin and his teammates about two weeks of practice to get into rhythm with one another and get comfortable with Gruden’s system. Which, at this point, seems to be taking a little longer than originally expected.
“We’re going to be as patient as we possibly can, but at the same time we want to be great,” Griffin said. “That comes with a lot of responsibility—us going out practice ready to go. We’re going to do that. But at the same time, we know it’s not going to just start clicking right away. …As long as we’re working toward that, we’ll get there and be able to put up some big numbers and do some great things.”