As the Redskins gear up for the 2015 season, quarterback Robert Griffin III appears to have a calm approach, confident the team can get back to its winning ways.
While the Washington Redskins had been on the practice field over the last few weeks during Phase 2 of offseason workouts, Tuesday's start of OTAs marked the beginning of practices pitting the offense vs. the defense.
Check out images from the Washington Redskins' OTA practice on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
Sure, there were the several new faces on both sides of the ball, but the focus on Tuesday remained on the man under center, Robert Griffin III.
As he enters his fourth season in Washington, Griffin III said the Redskins are focused, ready to put the team back in the right direction.
OTAs serve as the perfect place to lay a foundation, as players get the chance to really acclimate with new teammates and coaches for the first time.
"It's fun to be around your guys and be around your teammates because every organization, at the beginning of the year, when they come in in April, is a group of 90 guys, it's not a team. You have to form into a team," Griffin III told reporters. "That's what we've been doing here and having the new guys has been awesome and I enjoy being around them, so for me it's awesome. I love coming out and playing football. That's what I'm paid to do and that's what I love to do."
From individual drills to 11-on-11 work, Griffin III said the team's goal over the next few months is simple.
"I think the word of the day from Coach Jay [Gruden] was, 'Get better,'" he said. "Every day, you've got to come out and get better. As football players, you get tired of throwing on air, but as some people have told me, you never want to get tired of doing things the right way. So you continue to do it and continue to do it, and then we get out here and we get to get in a competitive environment."
Griffin III said he used the months between his last start Week 17 against the Cowboys and today's start of OTAs to "work on everything."
"Like I said, it's good to have the same offense and the same coaches and work through building that relationship with those guys, so it's really about that and doing what they ask you to do, working on little things that you know you can do to get better, and being yourself," he said. "The one thing you can't do as a player is lose who you are, and I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen."
Griffin III, of course, burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2012, leading the Redskins to an NFC East title while recording one of the best first-year seasons in recent memory.
Over the last two seasons, though, Griffin III has struggled at times, and the Redskins have won just seven games during that span.
It's an adversity he's faced before. It's also one he knows can't be topped without the right attitude.
"When I got to Baylor in 2008-09, it was a very similar situation," Griffin III said. "The team had been losing a little bit, and everyone was thirsty for success. Sometimes it's not about what kind of guys you have on your team as far as the talent level, it's about the mindset you have. So, that culture change first happens upstairs and I was blessed enough to experience that and go through that with my teammates at Baylor and I want to go through that with my teammates here with the Redskins also."
He said that regardless of the obstacles placed in the team's path, mediocrity should never be accepted.
"I think we're getting there and I think the guys all have the right attitude, and I'm not just saying that," Griffin III said. "I'm a very optimistic person, everyone knows this, but I can truly feel that in that locker room."
In the middle of his press conference, Griffin III, who was wearing the team's new "Stronger Together" shirt, was asked if anyone particular stood out to him.
His answer: "Everybody."
"The one thing that Jay preached to us and what this shirt says is that we're stronger together, and we're all out there working hard to make sure that we all stand out because when you win, everything else falls into place," he said. "Everybody is doing a great job, and being Day 1, it's great to see guys out there healthy and moving around and see the new faces. I can't single out one individual guy because not one guy makes the whole thing work."