Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan on Sunday declared rookie Robert Griffin III his starting quarterback after five rookie minicamp practices, and Griffin’s new veteran teammates applauded the move Monday.
The Redskins gave up three first-round draft picks and a second-rounder to draft Griffin, so the news didn’t come as much of a suprise. But Redskins players are glad Shanahan made the announcement.
“We can move on, know what we have at stake and put the pieces together,’’ linebacker Brian Orakpo said. “...Coach Shanahan sees and he’s a very smart coach. He just laid it out on the table so we can move on.’’
Said one of Griffin’s new targets, Anthony Armstrong:
‘’The guy’s the second overall pick. That’s pretty much etched in stone. I do think it’s his spot to lose. But you’ve got to play the guy. He’s going to give us a spark. . . . I think it’s best for us as a team to throw him in there.’’
Griffin said Sunday that he still has to earn his veteran teammates’ respect despite his status. Asked how the quarterback can do that, Armstrong said Griffin just has to play.
‘’Really, just come in here with your mouth closed and just do it on the field. That’s the way you earn respect,’’ Armstrong said. ‘’I learned that myself, being on the practice squad. Then you make plays in practice and everyone says, ‘OK, this guy can play.’ And everybody opens up to you and you’re one of the guys.’’