Griffin talks a good game

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,Redskins,Kevin Dunleavy

Redskins new QB dishes on his celbrity, new job, and more

Robert Griffin III made a dazzling first impression with the Washington media on Saturday at FedEx Field. Here is some of what he said.

On the attention he’s received --

“I went to a signing in Chantilly and saw seven different variations of my name on a shirt, so I kind of understand the anticipation, the excitement. You just gotta realize it’s about more than just one person. Quarterback always gets all the attention. He also gets all the criticism. So it’s not necessarily how you can take the praise and the attention. It’s how you can deal with the type of criticism you’re bound to get. I know this is a business. I have to be a professional. I plan on doing my job at a high level.”

On the last few days --

“It’s definitely been crazy. Some call it a whirlwind – a lot of cameras, a lot of people that want to talk to me and ask me questions. Thank you for that. You just gotta take it and go with the flow. A lot of people can look at this as the bad side. But it’s all a part of the gig. You don’t dream of these type situations as a kid. You think you play professional sports and be doen. There’s a lot more that goes into it. You have to wrap your mind around it or be able to. I think I’m trying to do a good job of that.”

On being in the spotlight --

“It can be difficult. The one thing people have said it’s only gonna get worse. But if it gets worse, that means I’m doing my job. When you’re successful people are gonna want a part of you. They’re gonna want to talk to you and see what’s going through your mind, so I plan on being successful. I hope the Redskins, the teammates that I now have, will join me in that battle. Hopefully the spotlight and all the cameras, all the flashes will get worse for everybody. That means we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, and that’s win football games.”  

On the past struggles of the Redskins --

“I don’t know the history like the back of my hand. I’ve definitely seen the struggles the team has gone through, especially when it comes to quarterbacks. They drafted me to try to be that solution to that problem. I plan to being the solution.”

On high expectations and being viewed as a savior --

“I think a lot of times the media can take what the fans and expectations are and maybe misplace it a little bit. The fans aren’t excited just because I’m coming into town. They’re excited about the things that are in place with the Washington Redskins. That’s what I’ve tried to tell people. You have a great defense. They’ve added weapons on offense. They brought me in to be the quarterback so that’s what all the excitement’s about. It’s not just about me being here. It’s about the team that’s already here with the addition of myself.”

On whether he expects to be the starter on opening day --

“I try not to expect anything in life or assume anything. So I will work toward being the starting quarterback on day one.”

On his early indoctrination as a Redskin --

“I’m legal now that I’ve got a playbook. I’ll be studying it. Going out looking towards mastering it before the season even though I know that’s probably not possible, try to get the best hold of it I can to be able to go out and perform. I didn’t hear anything much different, other than, ‘It’s official.’ I’m a Washington Redskin. They’re excited about that, happy to have me as part of the organization. They’re relying on me. That’s what Dan Snyder told me. I like to be relied on because I feel like I can help in any way possible.”  

On meeting President Obama

“It’s hard to compare everything from the Heisman, to the draft, to meeting President Obama. But he’s as advertised, really cool, down-to-earth person. We’re gonna try to set up a basketball game after the season. He told me he wouldn’t play against me, but he’d definitely play on my team. We’ll do that. Every experience is its own, so you gotta try to live each moment to its fullest.”

On running the ball --

I know it’s something that everyone’s emphasized that they can really use me in. The coaches told me they’re gonna give me a lot of input on what we do on offense. Not that I’ll come on day one and say, ‘Hey we’re doing this.’ But I like something, they’ll continue to coach it. If I don’t then they’ll take it out because the job is for us to be as successful as well as we can. I’m familiar with the keep game. I do like the keep game. And we’re gonna use the keep game.”  

On being a leader --

“Leadership is something that’s thrown upon you as a quarterback. But you can be a quarterback and not be the leader of a team. I want to come in and show the team that I’m ready work, lead by example rather than come out and being the most vocal guy ever. You do have to take control of the team, let them know that you’re their leader. But, at the same time, being a rookie, you can’t come in and just say it, you gotta show it.”

On being compared to Michael Vick –

“That’s an honor first of all. Talking to coach Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan, his son, today, they say that I’m a throwing quarterback who just happens to be really fast. So that’s why I think that’s a great comparison. Guys that my dad made me watch growing up, even if I didn’t get to see them play when I was born -- Roger Staubach, I know that’s a bad name around here, Fran Tarkenton, Kenny Stabler, Randall Cunningham, Steve Young. Guys that move the pocket a little bit, but also took care of what they’re supposed to do inside of the pocket. You don’t want to be one dimensional. I definitely focused on that in college and hopefully can continue to do that in the pros.”

On his athletic hero --

“Growing up, I was a ‘Like Mike’ kid. So I wanted to be like Mike. I wanted to be Michael Jordan. Basketball was my love. My dad got me involved in basketball at an extremely early age. That’s why a lot of times when you see me throw the ball and my tongue is out, because that’s what Mike did. I really did buy into that. I wanted to be successful. I took that from the field, from the court, from the track, and tried to apply it in the classroom and just be like Mike everywhere. Michael Jordan had a huge influence on me, but no one was bigger than my parents and of course God.”

On former Redskins Super Bowl quarterbacks Doug Williams and Joe Theismann --

“Would love to meet those guys in person, hear what they have to say about being the quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Obviously it’s a unique situation. It’s unlike any other team in the NFL to be the quarterback here so they can give me some pointers and hopefully we can win some Super Bowls.”

On saying no –

“It’s tough to disappoint people. Most times people surround themselves with yes men. I’ve surrounded myself with a couple no men … Time in life is precious. Sometimes people in life don’t realize that. You can’t get it back. Time is money, but we’re not gonna mention money.”

On the Redskins selection of QB Kirk Cousins in round four --

“We were in the same group in the combine, so I got to know him a little bit. He’s a good guy. I look forward to going out and growing with him … He got drafted a little bit later than he would have liked but I’m glad to have him on the team.”   

On his effect on his teammates --

“I just hope that they know I’m here to work. It’s not about show. You can never walk up to a 30 year-old man when you’re 22 and tell him what to do. You have to earn your respect … Especially in the NFL, the difference between winning and losing is so small, it’s all about mind-set and how you approach to the game. I approach the game with a mind-set that if you trust your preparation, that no one can beat you.” 

Kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

Kdunleavy@twitter.com

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