RG III: Goal Week 1 but career comes first
Robert Griffin III says he cried after his knee surgery and changed his cellphone passcode to the date of the Washington Redskins season opener as he began his rehabilitation process.
ASHBURN, Va. -- Robert Griffin III said Thursday that his goal remains to play Week 1, but he's not going to rush back at the risk of his career.
"That's always been the goal, but once again I'm not gonna risk my career to play in one game. Yes, I'm all in for Week 1 but I'm all in for my career as well," the Washington Redskins quarterback said.
Griffin held his first in-depth news conference Thursday since his reconstructive knee surgery in January. He also took part in an offseason practice session in which he wore a large black brace and ran drills with other teammates recovering from injuries.
He said he hopes to be cleared for training camp. Coach Mike Shanahan said that remains the team's hope as well.
The Redskins keep saying he's "ahead of schedule," but it's too early to gauge how much he'll be able to practice when training camp begins in late July.
"I really don't know what `ahead of schedule' means, except for the doctors, they keep saying he's ahead of schedule," Shanahan said. "We want to be patient with it."
Griffin, who said his knee "feels great," said he'd be comfortable playing Week 1 without playing in the preseason if the Redskins choose to hold him out until the regular season begins.
Griffin said he's "hashed things out" with Shanahan, who was widely criticized for leaving Griffin in the game after the quarterback was injured during the playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
"We hashed everything out, we talked and we're moving forward from it. We talked about it, we're on the same page and we're ready to go win," he said.
Shanahan said the conversation was part of an overall review of the season.
"You talk about things that you could have done differently," the coach said. "Things that went poorly during the season, things that went well."
Griffin said he hopes to play smarter in 2013 so he can stay on the field for the Redskins.
"I can't change my mindset but I can be smarter about what I do out there," he said. "I've got a year of experience, which some might not think is a lot. But a year of experience in the NFL is big for anyone. I know what I have to do and what I don't have to do. It's about limiting those hits, making sure I'm staying out there for my teammates."
Still, he said he fears that the Redskins and the team's fans might become "hypersensitive" to any injury he might suffer going forward.
"My biggest fear is that I roll an ankle and they pull me out of the game," he said, adding that "that's something that I have to deal with for now on."
Griffin said he cried after his knee surgery, which was performed by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., and changed his cellphone passcode to the date of the Redskins' season opener as he began his rehabilitation process.
"It was tough. Yeah, I cried, Real men cry, it doesn't matter," he said.
Still, his determination to return from the injury was almost instantaneous.
"As soon as I woke up out of surgery, I put the date of the first game in my phone and it was the passcode of my phone for a month while I was down there in Pensacola," he said.
He said the next steps in his rehab involve "explosive sprinting" and "cutting, which he hopes to be cleared to do in two-week intervals.
Griffin also used his news conference to again thank fans who bought gifts listed on his online wedding registry at Bed Bath & Beyond.
"I just want to say thank you to the fans. I didn't ask you guys to do that," he said. "The media made that public, and you guys decided to give me gifts out of the generosity of your hope and I truly appreciate that."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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