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The Redskins quarterback took part in his first 11-on-11 drills of the preseason Wednesday.
Robert Griffin III delivers a pass during practice Tuesday in Richmond.
Redskins receiver Aldrick Robinson catches a pass during practice at the team’s training camp in Richmond.
Thursday, August 15, 2013
RICHMOND — Linebacker Ricky Elmore isn’t the most recognizable Washington Redskins player, but he was thrust into the spotlight during Wednesday’s workout.
Wearing a No. 93 Steelers jersey as he simulated Pittsburgh linebacker Jason Worilds, Elmore intercepted Robert Griffin III in the quarterback’s highly anticipated first 11-on-11 workout.
“Hero for a day,” Elmore said with a laugh. “Some places don’t want you to touch the first-string quarterback’s [passes], but I was like, you know, it’s there, I’m going to get it.”
Griffin improved as the session went on, finishing 7 of 10 for about 110 yards and an interception in perhaps the most widely disseminated stat line in the history of training camps.
Coach Mike Shanahan downplayed the development as just another step in Griffin’s development, but a crowd of 10,111 buzzed every time he stepped under center.
“He probably got himself psyched up inside or something, but he looked like himself,” receiver Santana Moss said. “The more he’ll be out here with us, the more he’ll be ready to go.”
The practice was noteworthy not just for Griffin’s return, but because it was the first “game week” practice of the season. Shanahan told reporters afterward that the workout was “exactly” what the Redskins would do on a Wednesday during the regular season.
A scout team offense and defense were assembled, and given yellow-and-black slip-over jerseys to represent different Steelers players.
“They take a lot of pride in it, showing a great look on defense or a great look on offense,” the coach said of his scout team. “The only way you’re going to have success on game day is if your scout team kind of sets the tempo.”
One area where they were expressly banned from setting the tempo was touching Griffin.
The quarterback would have been sacked once during his 16 snaps — by a defender simulating Steelers lineman Brett Keisel.
Griffin ran two plays out of the pistol formation — a run and a long pass to Jordan Reed. The tight end misplayed the ball at first, but made an over-the-shoulder catch while tumbling to the ground.
“He had touch, he threw hard,” Reed said of Griffin. “It was what I expected.”
On Tuesday, Shanahan hinted that Griffin would get about eight snaps, and he got nine during the first 11-on-11 session of practice.
However, Griffin came back for two more sessions of three plays each, and a bonus snap that was a play-action completion to Pierre Garcon for about 15 yards.
Yardages weren’t exact because no official stats were kept, and defenders did not tackle receivers to the ground, making it tough to know exactly where a play would have ended.
The coach said it’s another step toward the goal of having Griffin ready to play against the Philadelphia Eagles in the season opener.
“Right now he’s on track,” Shanahan said. “If there’s no setback, he’ll be ready.”
As for the rehab plan, and whether Griffin will take more snaps today, Shanahan didn’t tip his hand when asked after practice.
“I’m not going to go over what our game plan is. I’ll make you come to practice every day and count,” he said. “I thought we made some good progress [Wednesday] and hopefully we can keep on doing it.”
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