On Wednesday, Nov. 13th, 2013, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III addressed the media after afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On how he feels compared to the first Eagles game and how the Eagles will have to prepare for him differently:
"I just feel like everything is clicking for us a little bit better. We are putting up a lot of yards, we are putting up points, but at the end of the day it comes down to winning the football games and that's what we have to do. So I think everybody sees it on the tape, and it's not just me, it's the whole offense. We're much improved in every phase of the game right now for us, so hopefully they do see that and they come ready to play because we're going to get everybody's best shot, we know that."
On the differences between 3-6 records this season and last season:
"We're in a similar situation as last year. We just have to go out there and take it one game at a time, one play at a time and let the chips fall where they may – focus on the little things, let the big things fall into place. That's all you can control. The only thing we can control right now is getting to 4-6 and that's what we have got to do."
On how concerned he is with the number of hits he's taking and how he bounces back from it:
"We don't want that to happen, I know I don't want that to happen, the coaches don't want that to happen, the players around me don't want that to happen and we just have got to do a better job of that making sure that doesn't happen. Take it upon myself to get down earlier. I got two good shots there in the game that I can avoid, take it on my part to make sure that doesn't happen and other things within the pocket – just got to improve there and make sure we keep our quarterback upright. It takes all of us. So yeah, I've been hit a bunch the past two games and everyone knows it but we just have to move on and make each game a new game and not really worry about what happened before and improve."
On if taking hits is reassurance that everything is fine with his knee:
"I don't know if that has anything to do with my knee. I've always been able to take a shot. You have got to build yourself up in the offseason to get ready for those kinds of hits. Big boys play at this level and they're going to hit you as often as they can and it's our job to make sure we can limit those hits."
On if he sees this as a "revenge game" after the loss in Week 1:
"You don't have revenge games, at least I don't – I can't speak for everybody. I don't look at it that way. It's nothing to prove from Week 1. It's, 'We need this game. Our team needs this game.' It's not just about me or any personal vendetta you might have. You let God fight those battles and the only battle I have got to fight right now is helping this team get to 4-6 and that's all that's on my mind."
On if being quarterback on a struggling team is more of a burden than he anticipated:
"You take life as it comes. Life's going to throw you curveballs sometimes. You just have got to figure out which ones to try and hit. Right now, it's not a burden. It's a burden if you make it a burden. You've got to believe. It only takes one person to believe so you can have success. I always believe in this team. I always believe in these players and so on and so on. That's what it is for me. It's not a burden. I understand what comes with being the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. I understand what comes with being a quarterback in the NFL. And yeah, it might be a little harder here because of certain aspects of what goes on around this team. I understand that. I've got tough skin… My parents brought me up the right way – military background, discipline and all that stuff – and I'm happy to call them my parents and they've done a great job there for me. I have all that inside of me and that's all it takes. You've got to have it inside of you to make it in this world and that's what I have got to do."
On the struggle between passing the ball and being a playmaker with his feet:
"I just think if you look at the box scores from the first couple of games and some of the stuff that was said in the offseason, I think it's really misleading. We came into the season doing the same stuff, planning to do the same stuff that we did last year. We got behind real early in those first two games and had to throw the ball a lot more so it's not like we came into those games wanting to dropback pass. We wanted to go out there and give the ball to [running back] Alfred [Morris], run our zone read stuff, do the stuff off of it that we like to do and it just didn't happen that way when you're down by 21 points right off the bat. It's not going to work. So I think all that stuff is a little misleading and when it comes to just being a quarterback I have to go out there and roll with Coach – what those coaches call and run it to the best of my ability. The team has to run it to the best of their ability and that's what we have got to do – that's what I always try to do. Whatever Coach asks me to do, that's what I have to do and I've got to take it from there."
On how helpful it was that Head Coach Mike Shanahan and Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan were willing to adapt to his skillset:
"They've done a good job incorporating some of the stuff that I did in college into the offense and putting their own spin on it, making it their own. We've done a great job with those things but also they've just done a good job of taking their own system and being able to run it in different ways. Everyone knew coming out that I was more of a shotgun guy than an under-center guy and I've made the transition to under-center but we still do a lot of stuff out of the gun, out of the Pistol. I think that's where the creativity on their part comes in. They're able to put in their system and do it with a quarterback in a different way."
On if he believes players or systems win games:
"Players make plays, coaches coach. That's what it is."
On what changes on the road in the second half that has caused some struggles on offense:
"Not anything in particular. I think it's just situational football. We were on fire on third downs in the first half against Minnesota and in the second half we weren't on fire. Just like I said, it's just situations. You get a third-and-16 and you get a sack. You get a third-and-short, you've got man coverage, guy is molesting your receiver out there and you don't get the call, so it's just situational football things like that that happen and it's just stuff we have to eliminate. There's no other way to put it. We have got to go out there and finish games and everybody wants to know what the secret recipe is and it's just about us going out there and playing."
On what makes wide receiver Pierre Garçon effective:
"He's a running back playing receiver. Everybody saw him truck that safety against Minnesota so he does some freakish things. He's got a really – I say it's a good attitude, but he's a tempered guy out there on the field and he plays that way at receiver which you don't see very often. If you get the ball in his hands, he can do some damage with it."
On if Garçon's physicality allows him to be used in different ways because he can break tackles:
"Yeah, he can. He can get you a first down on third-and-long, third-and-14 and you throw him and underneath route and he gets the first down. Just those type of things he's really good at doing and we've got other guys on our team that can do that as well so they can't just zero in on 'P,' but he's done a great job of those things."
On his skills as a pocket passer and whether or not he can be an elite pocket passer:
"I mean, any quarterback out there knows you have to be able to operate from the pocket and that's something I feel like I can do, but you can always get better. That's the great thing about football. Even ask the greats, you know, you can ask [Broncos quarterback] Peyton [Manning] you can ask [Patriots quarterback] Tom Brady, all those guys, you ask them, 'Hey, where can you get better?' and they'll tell you where they can get better because you're never perfect. You're always striving to be perfect and you're striving for perfection but nobody was perfect so that's the great thing about it and I feel like I can be that, and will be that."
On if he has changed his style over the course of the season:
"I think it's everything. We're getting in games early, we're starting faster, so we're able to run a lot more of our stuff that we have in our offense and I think that everything together is just working better. We're doing better on third downs and the pocket passing. We're doing better on first and second down, getting more yards to make our third downs more manageable. So I think that was me being frustrated. We were down early in some games and it takes that threat away from you. So being in the games, having our defense stop them early, getting us the ball back has helped us. So I just feel like, in that aspect, we're clicking better on offense. It's not necessarily just because I'm running, even though to the outside eye it may seem that way."
On outside pressure and what factors make playing for the Redskins more complicated than other teams:
"Just the big city, bright lights, big media market – those are the things. Our fan base is great. They demand success. They got a taste of it last year and they're going to want more of that and we've got to provide it and we will. I think we will. So I think that those are some of the factors that go into it. It's not a small town. It's not a small city team that doesn't have a big media room like this. It's part of it and I understand that. Even coming from a small town in high school and a medium-sized town in Waco in Texas, you come, you step up to another level, you're in the big city, bright lights and you've got to perform and that's what we're going to do."
On if he wonders about how the hits he takes will affect his career and future:
"I don't think about it. I think a lot of people do. It comes down to you've got to take it week to week and not really worry about the years down the road. When it comes to those kind of hits, obviously you play the game in a way that you're competitive. You have the future in mind, but you're still competitive on that day. The bottom line is I just can't be taking those amount of hits in any of those games or any games in my career. You don't want to be hit that much and a lot of the great quarterbacks don't get hit that much. It's me, it's a lot of things that go into that, and you've got to get better."
On if he looks at every alternative option before scrambling:
"A couple of times I scramble out and you scan the field and no one's open and you have to go. Other times you string it out to the sideline. A lot of times you say, versus man coverage, a lot of times you can run for a little bit more. Versus zone you've got to kick back and try to find somebody that's open. I feel like I've done a better job of that. But I can think of two runs in the Minnesota game – one on the goal line, everyone remembers that one, and one in the two-minute drive that I could have avoided. The other hits I did avoid because I'm OK at doing that – getting down and getting out of the way. But I've got to do a better job of that and it comes, it'll come, and we've just got to protect."
On the tone and state of the team:
"I think it's just 'one at a time.' It's a cliché. It's a huge cliché. But everyone wants to talk about a 7-0 run, you know, win the division. We just know we have to take care of Sunday. That's it. That's all we have. That's all a lot of guys have, and we have a lot of things at stake when it comes to those kind of games and I think guys understand that. Last year we played with that same amount of pressure on us and we performed. I don't think it's going to crush anybody. They say pressure breaks pipes and I don't think it will."
On if he is wired competitively to repeat the play he made at the goal line against Minnesota:*
"I can't speak now, today, as if I was on the field in Philly. I know what you're saying. It's tough, man. You're a competitor, I'm a competitor… If I'm put in that situation again, I think if I'm in an identical situation, I think yeah, maybe I will slide. I think all those situations are different. I think if I had not slipped, I probably would've got in. But once I did slip, it was probably best for me to just get down and avoid that hit."