On Tuesday, Nov. 5th, 2013, Redskins QB Robert Griffin III addressed the media after afternoon practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, VA.
On the key to carrying forward his level of play from last week:
"I think it takes everybody. The offensive line did a great job of keeping me upright the entire game and giving me passing lanes. The receivers were where they needed to be and they made the big time catches. [Wide receiver] Pierre [Garçon] bailed me out a couple times on a couple throws. There were other times I had to be on the money and they made the plays. I just think it takes everybody and it's just getting in that flow of the game and we got into that. We ran the ball, set up the run to help us with the pass, and then on third downs, that's where you have to stay on the field and everybody was on top of it."
On if he felt like he was "in a zone" during the game against San Diego:
"During the game, you kind of just feel a certain way about the game. But looking back on it, yeah, I think we were in the zone with a lot of that stuff. That's why we were 71 percent on third down, which is not easy to do."
On if he communicates with the medical staff and coaches throughout the season on how his injury is progressing and what he is able to do like Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did during his recovery:
"No, I really don't have those conversations with our staff. It's like you said – Adrian plays a different position. My college coach kind of said the same thing. He felt like after a few games, you get back into the swing of things. Coming off an injury, it's never easy, but you always believe you can go out and just be fine right away. I think Adrian felt the same way. I talked to him multiple times and the latter part of his year last year was an amazing run and people don't even worry about the beginning of the season based on how it ended and it ended with an MVP for him and I'm not even focused on those kind of things. For us, it's just about winning and it starts on Thursday. We've got to get another win."
On the key to sustaining drives last week:
"I think it was third downs. You would think going – what was it, 12-of-17 on third down? – you would have a lot of short third down conversions and we didn't really. We had some third-and-8s, third-and-10s and guys just executed. You throw a five-yard route and the guy gets you three more yards to get a first down and that's what it's going to take – just everybody being on top of what they have to do and when they have that opportunity to make the play, they make it."
On why the offense has been more effective on third downs:
"Like I said, everybody being where they're supposed to be, running your route like you're the number one guy. Don't really look into the quarterback's progression. Don't look at the coverage and say, 'Well, versus this coverage, I'm not going to be alive on this play.' Just going about it every single way – if you've got to check wide, run your check wide at full speed. If you've got to come back on the backside and we never throw the comeback on the backside, this game we might throw it, so get to where you're supposed to be. I just think everybody having that desire to go out and do their job individually has helped us."
On the impact of new offensive wrinkles such as the triple option and the three-tight-end sets:
"I think it can be a little confusing for a defense, you know, with their responsibilities. It's not traditional, so when you get away from some of the traditional things, it can mess up the guys' keys and you might have a guy or a play that works and you get a big gash and that's all you need. All you need is a few, a couple big plays every game to kind of help you establish yourself and get in a rhythm as an offense, so that's where it kind of helps us. You like to throw a wrinkle out there every now and then and it was a good wrinkle for us."
On the mood of the team coming off a win directly into a short week:
"It's a huge mental week and we had this experience last year going into our Thanksgiving game. There's not much contact. You don't get to go out there and run every single play, get multiple reps at it. You kind of have to be on top of your studying, be on top of your film work, being in the short week. But the other team has the same situation and no one's going to feel sorry for you. You've got to go out there and step up on Thursday and go win the game."
On his relationship with wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
"We both want to win. Whenever you have two guys – your quarterback and your top receiver – that want to win football games, they're going to be competitive. I think that's a great formula for success. Pierre's going to be Pierre; I'll be myself. On that field together, we've shown that we can do some really good things. And it's not just 'P.' It's the rest of those guys and it takes all of us and I can't say that enough. But he definitely stepped up big for us and made some great catches and then the plays that were there to be made, he made them. That's all you ask for out of your No. 1 receiver – go out there and make plays for us and help this team win. He wants to help this team win and that's what you have to see out of all that."
On if he could sense that Garçon was poised to have a big game against San Diego:
"Yeah, I feel like we try to get him the ball as much as we can in every game to have him have those big days, those big games. I think he caught seven for 172 and that's a huge game for any receiver, especially for him in our offense. We set it up with the running game with [running back] Alfred [Morris] and those guys and DY [fullback Darrel Young] scoring those touchdowns. So you can pull guys up and then you've got to be able to throw it over the top and he helped us in that area. So it was a huge game for him, a huge game for us as an offense."
On how a productive running game helps the offense:
"I think it helps a lot. In other games, we've had opportunities to kind of get into that second level throwing, second and third level, and it just hasn't worked out. But everything was clicking for us this past week and that's what you need. You need to have that balance to where you can run for 200 and throw for 200. Those are the kind of games that you look for. It doesn't happen very often, but anytime you can have that kind of balance and get your receivers involved, not only in the dropback and third down, but also in the play action, that's big."
On if the preparation during a short week is more mental or physical:
"I think the physical part is just your body recovering so you've got to get all the bumps and bruises out, the aches – whether it's through cold tubbing, foam rolling or stretching, getting some extra sleep, which is hard to do in a short week. I think that's the physical part. Then mentally it's just taking what you usually get in five days and compressing it into two and getting ready for that game."
On his reaction to the situation in Miami:
"I can't touch that one. Bottom line is we're not in Miami. They have to deal with that. Their team is having to deal with that and we've got to deal with what we have to do up here."
On if a similar situation could happen in Washington:
"Like I said, I'm not touching that one, guys."
On if this season is starting to feel like the end of last season:
"I just think the thing that's most similar aside from the record is – which we don't want to be 3-6 – I think that it's just the offense starting to gel. As a team our defense is playing really well for us, getting turnovers, getting us the ball in good situations on the field. So we're winning those areas and I think we are coming together more as a team which we thought throughout the whole offseason and through the preseason that we were setting ourselves up for a great season ahead and it just didn't work out that way the first couple of weeks of the season. I think that the team is just starting to feel a lot better about its self. Defense is playing well, offense is getting in a rhythm, and we've won a couple of tough games. I think that's where guys can kind of feel like, 'Hey, we can go on a run here and put ourselves in a good situation.'"
On he feels pressure because of the team's record:
"I don't know if there's pressure. Every time we step on that field regardless of your record you've got to perform at a high level, and I think because of our record we know that we have to perform right now. There is no tomorrow for us. I think that's the approach we took last year and it benefited us and we've got to do the same thing this year. You don't want to put yourself in that situation, but for us it's a must."
On if it takes time to settle into a game after a short week of preparation:
"No. I just think the biggest part is, like we talked about, just getting your body back ready to go. It's a short week. It's a really short week, and this is what we have to do. This is what we do in the NFL now, so you have to play those short week games and I think everybody is feeling OK and then tomorrow they'll feel better and on Thursday we'll peak."
On if his opinion on diving for a first down vs. San Diego changed after watching the film:*
"Yeah, I mean I watched it and it's like he said, it's not something that you ideally want to do. It's just a heat of the moment thing and I've tried this year to eliminate a lot of those kind of plays and it just happened. So I took the first down. We needed that in that moment. Hindsight is 20/20 so maybe don't jump next time, but in that moment when it's a tie game, that's what I had to do."