If we were having a race to see which analyst could shower Robert Griffin III with the most over-the-top praise within the first 24 hours of his NFL debut, Steve Mariucci won in like 10 seconds, then toweled off and drank a diet lemonade and laughed while mere mortals like Drew Brees were still tying their shoe laces.
Here’s a selection of what various NFL types were saying about RGIII on Sunday and Monday.
Steve Mariucci, on the NFL Network: “This is the most athletic quarterback this league has ever seen.”
Drew Brees, via CSN Washington: “I thought he was extremely impressive. Obviously I wasn’t real locked in on what he was doing — I was focusing on what we were gonna do next time out. But it looked like he was making a lot of plays with his arm and with his feet. And they sustained a lot of drives. They kept our defense out there a long time. They were consistently scoring points. They were doing everything that you’d want to do offensively. So looked like he played well; unfortunately we weren’t able to match what they were doing.”
Tom Brady, to Mike Silver: “He’s incredible.”
Trent Dilfer, on ESPN Radio: “He was excellent. He really, really was good. It was the first time, as long as I’ve been in this league, the first time I’ve ever seen an NFL staff adapt to a rookie quarterback’s college offense so much. It’s almost as if they said, ok, what were your 10 favorite things you did at Baylor? We’re gonna do ‘em here at the Redskins....They repeated the same play about seven, eight times. It was great. I think it’s smart. I think more staffs should do it.”
Drudge: “Is RGIII the New Tebow?”
Michael Irvin, on the NFL Network: “When you watched him, you watched the control that he has of a football team. This early as young as he is, controlling that football team, they were listening to [and] they were following him.”
Brian Billick, on ESPN Radio:” He was so poised, so under control. Clearly Washington, of all the rookie quarterbacks, Washington is probably the best team, and we’ve all recognized that....I can’t be more impressed with RGIII and Washington than I am now, the fact that they went on the road, in New Orleans, in the dome, and won the way they did.”
Adrian Peterson, on Twitter:
“Big shout out to
@RGIII for a great first game of what will be a long successful career.
Donovan McNabb, on the NFL Network: “Well you know what, I look at the way they started the game out. I thought they did a great job for him of throwing these wide receiver screens to gain his confidence, get his poise, get everything going on the offensive standpoint. They ran the ball well. So they did a great job of getting him involved....He began to ease into the game and he lit things up.”
(You’ll recall that McNabb said the Shanahans were not a good fit for Griffin, “because a lot of times, ego gets too involved when it comes to being in Washington.”)
Ron Jaworski, on ESPN Radio: “It was a simple game plan, and he executed it just magnificently.”
Rich Gannon, on 106.7 The Fan: “Really an impressive start, and I’ve got to tell you, it caught me off guard. I just thought he was stepping into kind of a hornets nest down there in New Orleans, with that defense and all that they’ve been through this offseason, Drew Brees. I just thought he really handled himself well. I think poise, to me, is the big word that jumps out...I thought that he was outstanding.”
Mike Ditka, on ESPN Radio: “Robert Griffin’s special. What he did yesterday was poise under pressure. I mean, he showed tremendous poise. He’s a great athlete. I don’t think people realize what a great athlete he is, how well he runs with the ball, his accuracy as a thrower is as good as I’ve seen for a young man....I’m saying, right now, Robert Griffin is pretty special.”