Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said Thursday his team is optimistic heading into the 2015 season, but knows how important it is to maintain a day-by-day attitude.*
Optimism is a theme for every NFL team as training camp begins, and the 2015 Washington Redskins are certainly no different.
After a plethora of offseason moves on the roster, within the coaching staff and in the front office, the Redskins certainly have reason to believe they are on the right track to recover from a combined seven wins the past two seasons.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III shares in this optimism. But on Thursday, the team's first day of training camp practices, he was quick to point out that improving day-by-day – and not focusing on lofty team goals – should remain the Redskins' sole purpose during the next two-and-a-half weeks at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
"No one is working for second place or third place. Everybody wants to get first," Griffin III told reporters after the Redskins' first walkthrough practice. "So, that's every team's optimal goal and that's what we're looking at. But, we know we have to take care of day one before we can get to there."
The Washington Redskins conducted their first day of training camp walkthrough practices Thursday, July 30th, 2015, at Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, VA
Griffin III said Wednesday's report day – in which the team had its first training camp meeting and its annual conditioning test – was "like the first day of school," as many players got a chance to catch up with each other after more than a month off from the end of minicamp.
After putting together a strong minicamp – the offense's second under head coach Jay Gruden – Griffin III said it's important for that momentum to carry over into training camp and the preseason.
"I think everybody has been extremely sharp," he said. "Coming into the second year of the offense it's a little easier knowing what to expect and what to go through. We're building, we're not just learning the offense now."
Handling adversityGriffin III the past few months faced another offseason full of scrutiny from media members and unnamed league sources, many of whom say they aren't confident in the Baylor product's ability to adjust to Gruden's offense.
Griffin III said it's important to always remember to "let the game come to you."
"You can't worry about what other people say – that's not who you play for," Griffin III said. "You play for your teammates, your coaches and your city. That's all I've been focused on. All I can do is do what I can do to be the best player for this team and help this team win, so that's my focus and nothing else."
Gruden, a former standout college and Arena Football League quarterback, knows "there's always comments about the quarterback position, both good and bad, no matter where you are." He says he's confident in Griffin III's ability to deflect those remarks.
"One of the most important criteria for a quarterback is to be mentally tough and I feel like Robert is and he is going to handle the adversity that's he's handled already both with injuries and with some of the play we've had, the production, 4-12 last year," Gruden continued. "He's going to get better. He's that type of guy. We're excited about him here, the work he's put in to get his body right, the work he's put in to get his mind right."
Griffin III said one other recent addition has put a new perspective on his life and his career – but this person doesn't wear shoulder pads or bark orders at players.
It's his infant daughter, Reese Ann, who was born in May.
"If anything a baby allows you to look at the world in a different way and not really stress about the little things as much," Griffin III said. "I was changing diapers and rocking babies to sleep all offseason – aside from training, of course – but it's fun. I enjoyed it and I look forward to seeing them again but right now it's time for Daddy to go to work."