Redskins confident in RG3

RICHMOND, Va. -- Last season didn't go as planned for Robert Griffin III, and he's stumbled a time or two -- even a practice or two -- this summer.

The Washington Redskins, however, still trust he can take them where they want to go.

They see the growing pains in his game. They also see enough progress.

"He has the keys to the franchise in his hands," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. "He'll take us a long way. He has to make the right decisions and we're counting on him to do that."

Griffin has made mistakes at times this summer, whether it be not reading his progressions fast enough or not getting rid of the ball. Other times, he'll flash the talent they want to see; perhaps extending a play and heaving a pass 60 yards downfield to a sprinting DeSean Jackson.

As a rookie, Griffin made big plays in the passing game, but his legs were a huge part of the offense in the zone read and in extending plays. Last year, his game did not develop much in part because of the lack of an offseason. This is the first summer he's spent working mostly in the pocket.

"There's been a lot of good," Gruden said. "There's been some bad as most quarterbacks go through in camp. Overall, he's making progress at a good rate. We have to make sure it carries over into games. Hopefully by Houston [the season opener], he'll be ready to roll.

"When you watch tape every day and he throws the ball 45 times and 35 are pretty good, there are good decisions and there are a couple we have to correct."

That requires patience, but he also plays a position where being patient is difficult. Sunday, Gruden chastised Griffin for holding the ball too long in a two-minute drill. Monday, offensive coordinator Sean McVay applauded Griffin for throwing the ball away in the two-minute drill, killing the clock and preventing a sack.

"With every young player you have to have some patience," Gruden said. "But you also have to understand there's a lot more responsibility on his shoulders ... so having patience with them is a little less than the normal position, but overall he's handling it well.

"You have to take the good with the bad and stay away from the negative plays and catastrophic decisions and make sure you throw it away when you're supposed to throw it away."

Griffin admits it's tough being patient with himself. He had immediate success as a rookie, one year after his Heisman Trophy season at Baylor. And he knows the organization, from owner Dan Snyder on down, expects a lot from him.

"That's something I'll always have to deal with," Griffin said. "It's not patience. It's about knowing greater things are coming. I'm excited about what the future holds."

Two years ago, there was little doubt what the future held for Griffin. That is, until he hurt his knee. But after last year, doubts about his game surfaced. The Redskins haven't wavered in their support. Nor has Griffin lost any confidence while learning to be a pocket passer.

"No one works harder than I do in that film room or in any of those things at any position," Griffin said. "That's not a knock on anyone else. I'll tell you what: Trent [Williams] works his tail off, Alfred [Morris] works his tail off. Pierre [Garcon], DeSean. We're all working hard to go in the same direction.

"There might be things I do differently than other guys, but it's always been a thing that made me who I am, made me the quarterback that I am. I'm not going to lose that for anybody, not be someone I'm not.

"My job is to be a leader for this team to help us win Super Bowls. That's our goal, and we're going to get it done."