The Redskins reaction to the news that Robert Griffin III already was named the starter can be summed up in one word: Duh. Safe to say there isn’t anyone who thought it would be otherwise, though the lone mild surprise is that coach Mike Shanahan made the announcement now.
But to some the surprise is that it took a week.
“He was the starter as soon as he got drafted,” said linebacker Brian Orakpo, speaking before the Leukemia Golf Classic he was hosting at Trump National in Sterling, Va., Monday. “We all knew that.”
“He’s the second overall pick,” receiver Anthony Armstrong said. “That’s etched in stone. I will say it’ll be his spot to lose. You’ve got to put the guy in there. He’ll bring a spark to us.”
He already has players excited and talking about him.
“We knew we have a phenomenal quarterback and finally the offense has the leader we’re looking for,” Orakpo said. “I’m excited about the future of this team and what RG3 brings to the table.”
Others echoed that sentiment.
“Everyone on the team is very excited to get in the group of guys we got in free agency, RG3,” receiver Leonard Hankerson said. “It’s going to be an exciting year for us.”
They know it’s not easy to make an immediate impact, but what the players want to see as much as early results is the right approach.
“The one thing I can say that I learned from is to come in and be humble and he already seems like a humble guy from my experience and from what I hear of,” Orakpo said. “He works hard, extremely hard. He should fit in easy, especially in this locker room, with those traits.”
Armstrong entered the league with no fanfare and took a circuitous route to reach the NFL, with stops in minor football leagues. He has advice for any rookie.
“Just come in and keep your mouth closed and go out there and do it on the field,” he said. That’s the way you earn respect. I learned that myself. As a guy on the practice squad no one knew who you were, then you make plays in practice and they’re like, ‘OK, he can play.’ Then everyone opens up to you and you’re just one of the guys.”
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