While addressing the media after the first day of training camp, Washington Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan described Robert Griffin III’s work ethic as “contagious”.
“ It’s really the way he handles himself. He handles himself extremely well. He’s got a lot of charisma, very smart, works extremely hard and is going to do everything he can to make himself the best player. That’s contagious to a football team. When a person has that type of attitude and works that hard coming in. He [RG3] wants to be one of the guys. He wants to get to know his teammates. He wants to be the leader of the football team and he’s handled himself accordingly,” he said.
This year’s camp, unlike the previous two, starts without issues of lockouts and drama, and Shanahan welcomed it. “You can’t do anything about the controversies. The one big controversy was Albert, and that was a controversy the year before,” Shanahan said.
And when he says Albert, he means Albert Haynesworth. Let me help you re-live the headache:
Two years ago, Haynesworth failed his conditioning test and had to sit out the first practice of the Washington Redskins training camp. However, before that, he boycotted the team’s minicamps and offseason workouts because he didn’t like the change to the 3-4 defense. Later in the season he was suspended, and the saga came to an end—and we welcomed it. In a statement, Shanahan said, “Despite the club’s numerous attempts to persuade Albert Haynesworth to abide by the terms of his contract, he has repeatedly refused to co-operate with our coaching staff in a variety of ways over an extended period of time…Among other things, he has consistently indicated to our defensive coaches that he refuses to play in our base defense or on first-down or second-down nickel situations. He has also refused to follow the instructions of our coaches both during weekly practices and during actual games as well.”
I was happy to see him leave, and I’m sure you were too.
A year later was the lockout.
That was then, this is now, and things have changed.
Shanahan pointed out several key factors in this year’s training camp that included youth and depth. He highlighted the quarterback and running back areas were looking good, but had no clear cut starter just yet for a running back. While everyone leans towards Tim Hightower as a starter, I still feel that Roy Helu and Evan Royster should get the nod. “You really don’t know until you get into a game situation with the running backs. We’ve got a lot of guys that have the ability to play and play well,” Shanahan said.
Helu carried most the load and rushed for more than 600 yards last season. He also had more than 300 yards receiving. Royster rushed for more than 300 yards in six games, and caught 10 for 76 yards, respectively. But even in the five games Tim Hightower played he also rushed for more than 300 yards. Tough choices? I’d rather go with the healthiest of the three. You decide.
Beyond the QB and running back positions, Shanahan said the entire team is looking good. He said for every quarterback, no matter whom it is, he must have a supporting cast. “That’s where I think we improved,” he said.
In other news, Shanahan also reported that right tackle Jammal Brown had been placed on the physically unable to perform list due to his recurring hip injury.
Ricky Allen is a Washington Redskins Blogger with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @UltimateRedskin.