Before splitting for the bye week, Robert Griffin III gave a bunch of one-on-one interviews with local and national outlets on Monday. In doing so, he again established that he is the single best public voice in the organization, mixing honesty with optimism, aggression with humility, producing a message that’s at once inspiring to fans without firing up opponents.
You can read his comments to The Post here, but I wanted to highlight his comments to ESPN 980, where he was explicit about continuing to fight for a 2012 playoff berth.
“I think going into [the bye] with a loss is not a good thing, by any means, but we’ll know who the true players for this team are when we come back,” Griffin said. “Because guys know they have to have a different mindset. We’ve only got one game at a time, literally, because it’s must-win territory right now.
“And I think we can still make the playoffs. Maybe people think I’m naïve for thinking that, but I think we have the right guys to win. It’s just about them coming back with the right mindset.”
The quarterback returned to the playoffs talk later, when asked about Mike Shanahan’s Sunday press conference.
“I saw that people were taking it out of context, in my opinion,” Griffin said. “The way I look at it, it’s a personal challenge to the players. They know that everybody’s job is on the line, even this early in the season. Because it takes that kind of sense of urgency to get a team from 3-6 to 10-6 or whatever it is, 9-7 or 8-8. We feel like we can still make the playoffs, and I think that we can….”
“I’m not a patient guy,” he later said. “I want to be successful today; not two-to-three years from now, not later in the season. But it’s like my dad told me, patience is a virtue, and God puts you through situations like this to see how you’re going to respond. And the one thing I’ve always vowed to never do is ever give up or ever change the way I approach the game. So I’ll continue to be aggressive, I’ll continue to give it all I have, put it out there on the line, and be smart at the same time.”
“I don’t feel like we’re a 3-6 caliber team right now,” he also told ESPN 980′s Chris Russell. “I know all the media will say that your record is what you are, so I understand where they’re coming from with that. But I don’t ever point to excuses or injuries or anything of that matter to say why we’re 3-6. We’re 3-6 because we didn’t go out and execute to win those other six games. So that’s the bottom line.”
Russell asked Griffin to assess his personal performance through nine NFL games. The quarterback politely declined.
“You know, it’s something I’ve never done, so I won’t start doing it now, assessing my individual play,” he said. “The way I look at it, I made a promise to come back a better quarterback, and what that means is winning games. Because individual performances don’t really matter if your team’s not winning. I want to win games, I know the guys around me want to win games, and that’s how I’m gonna be better.”