Comeback Player of the Year candidates are already on notice. Robert Griffin III is the early front-runner to take the award for the 2014 season after he was benched by the Washington Redskins for nebulous reasons in December.
Griffin already has begun working with some of his receivers away from team's facility.
Former Redskins quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur -- now in the same position on Notre Dame's staff -- told ESPN.com's John Keim that Griffin will "be able to recognize and play the position faster" with a full offseason to work on his quarterback craft without rehabbing.
"Everybody will see a big jump in his game," LaFleur said, "and he'll look more like he did in Year 1 than in Year 2."
Griffin is expected to lose his bulky knee brace, which cost him his trademark open-field burst in a lost season.
Even after he declared his surgically repaired knee fully healthy to start the season, Griffin showed rust in his delivery, timidity in the face of pressure, tentativeness as a runner and a general lack of confidence as he was still regaining strength in his quadriceps and hamstring.
Losing the brace and gaining a full offseason of tutelage under new coach Jay Gruden has LaFleur confident that Griffin will recapture the same form he displayed as one of the greatest rookies in NFL history.