Pierre Garcon’s Return Helps Fuel Washington Redskins’ Rebound

December 6, 2012 – 5:45 am by Eric Schmoldt

There’s no question the man of the hour, and the season, in Washington is Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. The team started 3-6, but has won three straight games — all against division rivals — since then. But it’s also no coincidence that wide receiver Pierre Garcon has worked his way back onto the field during that time as well.

It took Garcon some time to recover and get back in his groove, but has been the team’s leading receiver the past two weeks, scoring touchdowns in each of the victories.

Pierre Garcon joined ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. with The Sports Reporters to discuss coming back from his injury, comparing Robert Griffin III to Peyton Manning, grasping the Redskins’ offense, Mike Shanahan’s controversial statement a few weeks ago when some thought he’d given up on the season and playing on a grass field after years on turf.

How are you feeling? Are you back to being 100 percent?:

“I’m getting better, got a lot of work to do trying to get back to 100 percent, but it’s getting better. … Trying to manage the pain and playing with pain, it’s kind of a part of football now. With the ending of the season coming up, I’m sure a lot of guys are playing with pain.”

It doesn’t look like it’s slowed you down, though:

“I don’t feel 100 percent, so I guess I’m not feeling as fast as I think I can be or think I am. But it could kind of be helping me, I guess.”

What kind of comparisons do you see between Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III?:

“Both of the guys do a lot of great things — they watch film, they study defenses, they communicate with their receivers, they’re always ahead of the game, trying to help the offense and the team. … They continue to work hard and continue to want more.”

Your guys’ offense seems to be hard for defenses to grasp. Was it hard for you to grasp?:

“No, the offense is not very complicated, but it could be if you’re left behind and not understanding the playcall. … It’s a lot easier, too, when you have great players like Robert and Alfred doing a great job and the offensive line doing a great job, as well.”

How did you take it when Mike Shanahan basically said, now we’re going to see who wants to be here for the next couple of years?:

“Playing in the NFL, it’s always a test. Every day in the NFL, it’s a test. You have to come and show your worth, show  your value, show your hard work for your team. … Every day you get judged; every day they’re trying to find a way to get rid of you. It didn’t really mean anything to me, but I know I try to play hard and do everything well. It was just telling us to bring our A-game every day.”

Was there any question on your part of whether he had given up on the season?:

“No, I’m sure, Coach has been around for a long time, you can never throw in the towel, especially when you’re six games into the season or five games into the season. … It’s a long season, and there’s going to be ups and downs.”

What took you so long to get back on the field while you were dealing with the injury?:

“Injuries are part of the game. If you get hurt, you’ve got to miss games. … It’s how you deal with it and how you bounce back from it. … I felt the injury, not the injury, but I felt it in the preseason and I just played through it like any other football player — any guy on the team — would do. You just play through it until it really, really stops you from playing.”

What’s it been like to play on a home field that appears to be pretty torn up when you’ve played most of your career on turf?:

“It is something to worry about. It’s tough, but we have long spikes. … The field, it is what you see. It’s pretty nasty out there, but it gives us an advantage when guys on teams come from playing to turf to playing on grass. I guess it slows them down a little more than it slows us down.”

Listen to Pierre Garcon on ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. here

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