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RG3 to 'ramp it up' next week

The SportsXchange

RICHMOND, Va. -- Robert Griffin III wants to be on the field for every snap in training camp, but the second-year quarterback is steadfast in his approach to lead with patience to meet his ultimate goal of longevity.

For another week of workouts, Griffin will mostly serve what is the usual role of the No. 2 quarterback while watching his backup, Kirk Cousins, run the starting offense.

Next week, things could change significantly as his workload increases steadily leading up to the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"After this week, the timeline is pretty vague," Griffin said Monday. "But there's definitely a plan for this week and maybe a plan for the beginning of next week. And after that, it's kind of just wait and see."

Griffin said he plans to wear a knee brace all season and then reconsider for 2014.

Expected to miss seven to nine months after having his right ACL and LCL repaired on Jan. 9, Griffin threw on the side throughout spring drills and was on the field more than two weeks ahead of schedule as the Redskins began their first training camp in Richmond on July 25. But then Griffin graduated high school and college a semester early apiece.

"We're going to ramp it up a little bit," said Griffin after taking part in a team walkthrough for the first time this summer.

"I'm using this last week to continue to take those mental reps and do that kind of thing. But after that, for me I look forward to being back out there next week, maybe not doing the whole practice but getting a few reps here and there. That's kind of what they've told me. It kind of just depends on how things go. I think if I can show them after six straight days of practice (this week) that my knee is fine, they'll be a lot more receptive to putting me out there."

For now, Griffin is taking part in walk-throughs, individual and 7-on-7 work but not team drills. And he's not expected to play in preseason meaning his return to action will come against the Eagles in September on Monday Night Football.

"Last year in the preseason, (my) first year in the league, I kind of got a lot of the jitters out," Griffin said. "You get to play against those guys. The preseason, like they say, aren't real games, but for those snaps for those guys that are playing, they are playing for real. This year, I don't get that opportunity to get any jitters out, but I think that having the one year of experience of playing, and there's no jitters on Monday Night Football. I don't think preseason actually matters that much when it comes to that. I think if you talk to a lot of the vets, they don't even like the preseason. Coach (Mike Shanahan) feels I can play without any preseason."

Shanahan, noting that he coached 10 years in college where there is no preseason, concurred with his quarterback.

"The first two weeks, with a Thursday night and a Monday night game, then a relative short week the following week, with a Monday night and a Saturday game and then a Thursday game, it just doesn't make any sense to play him in any preseason games," Shanahan said. "So we're going to try to get him in football shape. It's going to take some time. It surely won't happen for two to three weeks. It does take some time to get back in football shape."

Griffin is getting about half an hour of work during the individual and 7-on-7 portions of each practice, but Kirk Cousins takes the first-team reps during full-squad drills with Rex Grossman and Pat White sharing the rest.

"Patience is the key," Griffin said. "I'm just going to work myself back in to it. I've been an over-achiever my whole life. I did all I could in the offseason -- working out, rehabbing. I passed all of my tests, with Dr. (James) Andrews, with doctors from the Redskins and with (Shanahan, who cleared him on July 22) ... I want to make this decision as easy for everybody as possible. If they want me to be patient right now and ramp it up later, then I'm willing to do that and they know that I'm going to be, I wouldn't say compliant, but that I'm going to follow those rules, follow those guidelines, do as much as I can within that. And when it's time to go full-go, then I'll be ready to go. ... It just feels good to be back out there with the guys."

While Griffin isn't participating in team drills, he doesn't feel he has more to show physically to prove that he'll be ready to face the Eagles.

"In my mind there's nothing left to prove," Griffin said. "That's the way you have to approach the game when you're coming off of injury. If you pass the test and in your mind you feel like you're ready, then you're ready to go. For me, getting to 100 percent is getting back out there on the field, getting out there with the guys and making football-like movements because you can't mimic those. You can't mimic instincts. When a guy is pass rushing you, you can't really mimic what you're going to do. You can say you're going to step up and slide to the right."

The reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, who was hurt twice last year trying to gain extra yards, said he'll be a smarter quarterback in his second season.

"The goal is longevity in the league (and) you also want to win," Griffin said. "As a quarterback, I don't like to conform and say you can't win outside the pocket. I think you can win outside the pocket, you've just got to be smart about it. That's what I learned over the past six months about myself. It's about what we need to do to win. Maybe that's keeping me in the pocket a little bit more. Maybe that's throwing the ball away a little bit more."

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