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Shanahan: Clean Your Slate On Griffin III

Posted Aug 7, 2012

Head coach Mike Shanahan reminded the media on Monday that while celebrated, QB Robert Griffin III is still a rookie and needs time to develop.

When the Redskins' starting offense takes the field on Thursday night, it will be the first with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III under center.

Between his college résumé, his dynamic personality, and the pricetag to move up and select him, he carries the expectations of a franchise quarterback.

But for Thursday, head coach Mike Shanahan just wants to see where Griffin III is in his development as a professional quarterback.

"Just prepare yourself," he told Griffin III.  "Know the plays that are being called and go out there and just concentrate, play-by-play. 

"Let the plays happen--don't try to make it happen."

Since Griffin III's selection as the No. 2 overall pick, fans and media members have sought to compare him to other dynamic quarterbacks and players that Shanahan worked with in the past.

While Shanahan has addressed such comparisons, he cautions against burdening the rookie with expectations--or limiting what he could achieve.

"Everybody wants to compare, and I understand that," Shanahan explained.  "But it's very early to talk about that."

Rather, Shanahan is using the preseason to see what Griffin III excels in, and tailor the offense to his strengths.

"What you do during camp is try to find what people do best, and try to adapt your offense," he said.  "It's a learning experience that first and second year.

"You get a chance to look through practices and obviously the preseason games, to see what he's most comfortable with, and that's usually the direction to go."

Shanahan reported that the starting offense is expected to take 12-20 snaps, and quarterback Rex Grossman will lead the second-string offense.

If all goes according to plan, the Redskins will play a productive game, with limited mistakes, and get back on the team plane with a healthy win.

"Number one, we [want to be] healthy," he said.  "You always try to win football games, but more importantly, you're trying to evaluate everybody, so you can come up with the best 53, 61 players.

"I want everyone to play a perfect game--that's what you're shooting for.  You're always trying to make progress and get a chance to see everybody play."

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