RICHMOND (WAVY) – The white lines have been painted, the concession stands are prepped, and the Washington Redskins are ready to start another season of training camp in the state capital. With plenty of July humidity in the Richmond air, the team spent Wednesday running pre-camp conditioning tests, while Jay Gruden is set to start year number two at the helm.
“We’re trying to improve as a football team, number one. That’s all we’re trying to do,” said Gruden, who’s team finished 4-12, and last in the NFC East a season ago.
“Year one wasn’t good enough. Our standards are a lot higher than what we showed last year. Obviously, we’re all disappointed at the finish, but last year is over,” said Gruden addressing the media following the team’s conditioning.
For many- both inside and outside the organization- a new season means new optimism. For others, it means more questions of what to expect, namely from the team’s now fourth-year starting quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“There’s always comments about the quarterback, both good and bad, no matter where you are,” said Gruden.
Last season was another injury-riddled campaign for Griffin, who suffered an ankle injury in just the second game. He was then was benched when he failed to show much improvement and the playoffs were out of the picture.
Speaking of a renewed sense of optimism, Gruden acknowledged and praised Griffin’s ability to be “mentally tough,” and to learn from the mistakes of last year.
“We’re excited about him here, the work that he’s put in to get his body right, the work he’s put in to get his mind right, and now it’s just a matter of us going out and continuing to coach our offense and watching them get better,” he said.
“It’s a fun deal to watch. It really is fun to watch a player like that improve himself every day.”
Hopefully the Redskin faithful will agree when day one gets under way Thursday morning.
Be sure to keep up with Sports Director Bruce Rader (@BruceRaderSport on Twitter) and Nathan Epstein (@Nathan_Epstein) for updates all throughout training camp.