Less than 24 hours before his first practice of training camp, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said Wednesday he is excited but more relaxed than he was when he went through his first mini-camp or organized team activity practice session..
Griffin, who went through meetings and some conditioning work with his teammates on the eve of their first walk-through and practice, described the feel of training camp as more business-like. Griffin added that after a busy summer of commercial photo shoots and award show appearances, he is glad to focus entirely on football.
“It’s just all business now,” Griffin said at a news conference late Wednesday afternoon. “We’re getting down to the season time and I think everybody came back in great shape. . . everybody’s ready to go out and compete and I am too.”
“I think I was more anxious, maybe a little nervous for minicamps and OTAs [in May and June], but now that I’ve been through the offense, had a trial at it and got a taste of how fast the game is and what I need to do as a quarterback to help this team win, I feel a lot more comfortable. It’s actually more relaxing, and there’s nothing else going on outside of football anymore. We’re in training camp now, so we’re pretty much on lock-down, but for a guy like me, that’s a good thing.”
Griffin got together with his receivers to throw the ball off and on during the lull between OTAs and training camp. He said he has developed great camaraderie with his teammates, and that he has been able to learn from and about them by interacting with them.
“Throwing with the guys over the break and doing those types of things gets you more familiar with them. You can really see who’s truly dedicated and who you have to continue to stay on to make sure they can show the team they are dedicated. But aside from that, working with those guys is a great thing.”
Other highlights from Griffin’s news conference:
- Griffin took the podium wearing a burgundy long-sleeve shirt with the phrase, “No pressure, no diamonds” written in gold.
- Asked what type of goals he is setting for himself, Griffin said, “Success for us is winning football games. How many, I have no idea. But more than one, more than two, more than three. … I don’t set individual goals, so everything I do is based on the team: if we’re winning.”
- Griffin said his teammates have shared in the excitement of his Adidas and Gatorade commercials and that, “they rubbed them the right way.” But, he added that aside from some good-natured joking, he is just one of the guys. “It’s great and easy to balance that now because the team doesn’t look at me that way. They don’t look at me as a celebrity. Yeah, I’m their quarterback and am going to lead them to victory, but there are no autographs in the locker room – for the most part. I’m not RGIII to them, I’m just Robert.
- Last week, Griffin signed his rookie contract, which is worth just more than $21 million, and received a signing bonus of roughly $14 million. He said although it felt good, he hasn’t let himself get overly excited about the money, or let it change him.
“My parents raised me pretty well, and I have a lot of faith in God, so I try not to let anything affect me too much, but it was definitely exciting to sign. Not for the money, but it’s just the final sign that I’ve made it to the NFL. . . . So I was very proud of that moment.”
- Griffin did say that he no longer has his Chrysler Pacifica because his father - who didn’t want him to buy a fancy car - sold it, and that he is now driving an Audi a8 and a Nissan Armada, but pointed out that he got both of those cars as part of endorsement deals.
“It’s definitely great to have two free cars,” he said.
- Griffin insisted that although he is the team’s franchise quarterback, he isn’t the face of the franchise. “There really is no true face of the franchise, because if we just had faces, we’d all be dead. You’ve gotta have a heart, some legs, some skin. That’s those guys in there. I’m just the mask. Those guys are the body of the real team,” he said with a smile.
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