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Shanahan: RG III needs to avoid contact

PHOENIX (AP) - Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan says Robert Griffin III is ``ahead of schedule'' in his return from knee surgery.

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Shanahan, speaking at the NFL owners meeting on Wednesday, said that when Griffin comes back, he must learn how to protect himself in the face of the fierce defenses in the NFL.

Once Griffin does come back, Shanahan says the young quarterback needs to learn to slide and throw the ball away to avoid the big hits that lead to injuries.

Shanahan says that ``if hard work has anything to do with it,'' Griffin will be ready for the coming season.

The standout rookie underwent surgery to repair knee ligaments after he was hurt in his team's playoff loss to Seattle.

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