RICHMOND Va. Robert Griffin III appeared for the opening practice of Washington Redskins training camp without the clunky knee brace that hampered him during the 2013 season.
The third-year quarterback, though, did not get off to the start he was anticipating as the offense struggled through the rain during the first practice.
We weren't as efficient as we wanted to be today all the way around, including myself, Griffin said. You start camp, there's a lot of excitement football's back. And then you have a practice like today where the weather plays a huge factor, you have to block that out. I think today's practice we got together as a football team just having to go through the rough practice.
Of course, that doesn't quell the optimism that Griffin has about a new year and the new coaching staff led by first-year head coach Jay Gruden.
I think everybody feels different in the organization, Griffin said. We just have an opportunity to come in with a lot more energy. There's a togetherness in that locker room and in the building.
That appears to be a dig at former head coach Mike Shanahan, who shut down Griffin for the final three games of last season amid a deteriorating relationship.
A full offseason of preparation did not prevent Griffin from feeling the rust at the first practice. He released a handful of wobbly throws and let others sail past open receivers.
It's just a huge feel-out process getting to know a new coach, getting to know a new offense and getting to know some of the new weapons we have, he said.
Griffin did release a picture-perfect ball to new target DeSean Jackson, but it slipped through the former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver's hands. The Redskins faithful on hand still applauded the play, knowing that their team could have one of the NFL's most lethal quarterback-receiver tandems this season.
He knows that if I miss him one time, I'm going to get him the next, and if he misses something that he'll make that play for me, said Griffin of Jackson. The chemistry is there. He's a dynamic football player and we look forward to him making dynamic plays.
Gruden said that Griffin's key this offseason is reps, reps, reps. The quarterback will get plenty of those this training camp and has a checklist of things he wants to accomplish every practice.
It is a list Griffin knows he will never complete.
When you come out of practice, look at that checklist and if you accomplish everything, you still write a checklist for the next day, said RG3.
Just like their quarterback's, the team's training camp checklist continues to grow daily. Even if it wasn't exactly the way Washington wants to start, Griffin said there is nowhere to go but up.
Tomorrow's practice will be better than today's, and that's how it should be every single day, he said.