Many athletes have failed to accomplish what Robert Griffin III will try to do next season.

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback told reporters Wednesday at his introductory press conference he believes he improved as a player in 2017, despite being out of football for the entire season. Conventional wisdom says long periods away don’t enhance athletes’ careers, but Griffin has set out to disprove the adage next season.

“It helped me become a smarter player,” Griffin said about his time off, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “I tried to use that experience to grow. I feel like I have grown from that and I look forward to being able to show it.”

The Ravens signed Griffin earlier this month to a one-year contract. He hopes to resurrect his career in Baltimore, where he’ll likely serve as longtime starter Joe Flacco’s backup.

Griffin once was the face of the Washington Redskins, who selected him second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft. He enjoyed a standout rookie season, but injuries and inconsistency derailed his career. Washington cut him after the 2015 season. The Cleveland Browns then signed him in 2016 but his stint with the team lasted just one season after he suffered another serious injury, and his form dropped starkly.

Griffin, 28, now is healthier than any he has been at any point in his NFL career.

“Being 100 percent honest, I probably haven’t felt this good since I came out of college,” Griffin said. “A year off of football can do that when trucks aren’t landing on you every play.”

Time will tell whether absence truly has sharpened Griffin’s skills or if his words are simply optimistic offseason musings.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images