By JOSEPH WHITE
RICHMOND, Va. — On Day 10 of training camp, Robert Griffin III was lobbying to do more.
His coach’s response: Cool your heels.
“We do have a plan for him. He may not always like that plan, but that’s my job sometimes — not to be liked,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “My job is to do the best thing for him, and that’s what I’ll do.”
Griffin went 13 for 16 with one interception — on a ball tipped by the receiver — on Monday during 7-on-7 drills at Washington Redskins training camp. He hasn’t been allowed to take part in 11-on-11s and won’t get the chance until at least next week, after Thursday’s first preseason game against the Tennessee Titans.
Griffin won’t play in that game — he’s unlikely to play at all in the preseason — but he’s itching to ratchet up his practice routine as he works his way back from reconstructive knee surgery.
“I’m ready to move on,” Griffin said. “I mean, you can only do so much in 7-on-7. The completion percentage is there. I feel like the rhythm is there with the guys. … Coach will tell you something else, but obviously I’m ready to move on.”
Griffin hasn’t hit every throw, but he’s getting more zip on the ball as the days progress and is getting more of a regular push-off with his right leg. He looked especially sharp on a 20-yard completion through a tight window to Dezmon Briscoe.
The pace of his rehab has been remarkable considering that his surgery was less than eight months ago. He said he was actually ahead of this pace — as far as his practice regimen was concerned — when he had a similar injury while in college at Baylor, and that the extra attention his injury has received this time around is the cause for the caution.
“There is a lot of scrutiny, so Coach also has to account for that,” Griffin said. “In college, you are trying to make it to this level, and in the pros, you are trying to make sure you stay here for a long time. You can say whatever you want about what he is doing. I can feel any kind of way about it, but at the end of the day, we all have to be on the same page and that is what I am trying to do, just do everything the coaches ask me to do, show them that my rhythm and timing is there, show them that I can play.
“And at the end of the day they have to come through for me and play me Week 1 if I do everything they ask me to do.”
On that point, coach and quarterback agree: Sept. 9 vs. Philadelphia is the target.
“We’ll do this day-by-day and give him a little bit more freedom with each week that goes by,” Shanahan said. “And hopefully if there is no setback he’ll be ready for the first game.”
It’s not uncommon for a player returning from major knee ligament surgery to need the occasional day off during training camp, yet Griffin hasn’t missed a practice. Teammates Brandon Meriweather and Chris Thompson have had several rest days, even though both had their ACLs repaired before Griffin.
Shanahan doesn’t mind if he’s trying Griffin’s patience.
“You always want them a little bit antsy,” Shanahan said. “But your job is to get them ready. I don’t want to put him in there too quick, for the obvious reasons, but I like what I’ve seen.”