NEW YORK -- Robert Griffin III knows the point at which he’ll come off the draft board Thursday night, and he knows which city he’ll call home for years to come. But the Baylor quarterback said Wednesday morning that he still is trying his best to soak up the draft experience even if it has been different than it is most years.
The Indianapolis Colts have long been expected to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, and the Washington Redskins would then use the No. 2 pick on Griffin. The Colts ended what little suspense there was Tuesday, when they announced that they have informed Luck he indeed is their man.
That sets up Redskins to take Griffin, who shortly after taking part in an NFL Play 60 event here in New York City, said he is relieved to know what the future holds, but does have a twinge of regret that there won’t be any suspense for him Thursday night.
“It’s less stressful, because I already know where I’m going, and know where I’m going to call home,” Griffin said. “I’d rather know where I’m going than have to be very stressed about where I have to go. But it does kind of rob me of that true draftee experience. But I’ve never done anything normal in my life.”
Griffin has had an exciting week so far, however. On Tuesday he made an appearance at a Subway shop, where he made sandwiches for fans and viewed a bust of himself made from barbecued chicken, chili peppers and onions. On Wednesday morning, he and other draftees went on the Today Show, and more festivities await Thursday.
“I’m trying to savor this moment; drain everything I can out of it, and not worry about what comes afterwards,” Griffin added. “This is more about my mom and my dad and my friends and everybody that’s cheering, and it’s a celebration of what I was able to do, and what they helped me do in my past. I’m going to savor it, and then I’m going to fly to D.C. and get to work.”
Griffin has met many times with Coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. He has gotten a surface introduction to the offense he will run as a Redskin, and he said it excites him.
“They know how to grow quarterbacks,” Griffin said of the Shanahans. “It’ll be a give-and-take relationship. We’ll both have input, but by no means am I going to go in there and try to just do things my way. I’m going to listen. … I’ve been able to pick up the scheme, basically, what they’re trying to do. Once you can pick up on what a coach is trying to do, you can learn the offense and the plays a lot easier. I don’t know the whole playbook, and don’t know half the playbook. But I do know what they’re trying to get after. I know they like to use lots of formations and move guys around, so I’m excited to get in and see where I fit in and see how I can make it better.”
Griffin also has gotten a glimpse of what to expect from the Redskins’ fan base. This spring he has visited the D.C. area several times – once for a prayer breakfast, where he met President Barack Obama, once for a visit with the Redskins, and again while making an appearance at a card show in Northern Virginia.
Griffin remarked that he was surprised to already see fans wearing No. 10 Redskins jerseys with his name on the back, and that he also saw several different styles of Redskins T-shirts with his face on it.
He tried to downplay the display of the ravenous support and said it’s about more than just him.
“I don’t look at it as a nervous thing. … I think they’re more excited about the team I’m joining because they were Redskins fans before I got to D.C. and they’ll be Redskins fans after I leave D.C.,” Griffin said with a smile. “So, they’re excited about the defense, excited about the new weapons on offense, and the guys that are already there, and then the fact that I get to go there and be the quarterback. It’s pressure, yeah, but pressure doesn’t bust pipes in this area.”