Cumberland Times-News

Local Sports

October 23, 2012

Redskins’ RG3 reflects on early accomplishments

ASHBURN, Va. — Robert Griffin III sat on a sofa, working the controls of a new video game, the always-present dog tags and fiance’s high school ring dangling from his neck. His speech is flush with self-confidence. He is fully aware of what he’s done and what he means to the Washington Redskins, just seven games into his career.

He has quickly become one of most dynamic players in the NFL.

“I didn’t come in joking,” Griffin said in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. “I came in working hard. You don’t come in showing them all your personality all at one time, because then you can become extremely annoying. So you want to come in and show them, ‘Hey, I’m a hardworking guy. Coach brought me here for a reason, to help us win.’ And you build that reputation through the preseason games, through practice.

“I’ve done it through the first seven games,” he continued, “and now I don’t think there’s a player on this team that has any doubt that I’m a leader of a football team, and that every time we step on the football field we have a chance to win, not only because I’m their quarterback, but because they’re out there with me.

“It’s something you build over time. Kind of like if you’re dating a girl: You don’t show her everything on the first date.”

Then he flashed that million-dollar RG3 smile.

Take his words in black and white, and one could mistake him for a braggart. His tone, however, is analytical, as if the 22-year-old rookie is giving a dispassionate review of his inaugural NFL season even as he is living it.

Griffin has wowed the NFL and brought the Redskins back to life. He leads the NFL in completion percentage and is third in passer rating. He’s run for 468 yards — on pace for more than 1,000 — and his six rushing touchdown rank second in the league.

Those are just numbers. Just watch one fourth-quarter drive against the New York Giants — the scramble to get room to complete a fourth-and-10 pass, the 23-yard run, the perfect throw to Santana Moss for a 30-yard touchdown that temporarily gave the Redskins the lead — and it’s easy to conclude that Griffin will make Washington competitive for many years to come.

That’s not good enough for the rookie. He wants to win this year. With the Redskins at 3-4 headed into Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he feels he has a shot at making it happen.

“There are guys on this team that don’t have three, four years to wait for me to develop, and continue to use the excuse that I’m a young quarterback,” he said. “London Fletcher doesn’t have that many years. (DeAngelo) Hall is a guy that, based on history, doesn’t have a ton of years left in his career, so I wanted them to know that I was going to come in and try to be ready as soon as possible, and I think I’ve done that. And by no means am I there, and I continue to get better, but I don’t hold myself to a rookie-type of mindset.

“If I throw a pick, it’s not because I’m a rookie. It’s because I made a mistake. That’s how I look at it.”

If that sounds like a lot of self-belief for someone new to the pros, Griffin has a response: “If you don’t believe, who else is going to believe?”

Griffin is fully aware that fans, teammates and family are concerned about his health, especially after he suffered a concussion in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons earlier this month. He promised everyone afterward that he would take better care of himself. Even though his rushing totals have increased in the two games since, he feels he is running for smarter yards.

“I’ve done the best job of protecting myself in both of those games,” he said. “Getting out of bounds, getting down when I have to, and not taking big hits. So if I run for first downs, or run for 90 yards or 80 yards and I’m able to get out of bounds, then it doesn’t matter.”

The Redskins lost to the Giants, 27-23, despite Griffin’s late drive, but it’s one of those defeats that perhaps could serve as a psychological springboard.

“There’s no moral victories, but we walked out of the game feeling that we won the game, because we did dominate the game. We should have won the game,” Griffin said. “We’re upset that we lost, but we don’t hang our heads saying, ‘Man, we went out there and got our butt whipped.’”

Griffin took some time away from football Tuesday to indulge a couple of passions. He was trying out the soon-to-be-released Assassin’s Creed III video game, and the game’s publisher is featuring him in a painting that’s being auctioned off to benefit Rock the Vote.

“I grew up in the military,” he said. “I’ve lived that life. I know that our soldiers are out there fighting for our right to vote and they’re out there fighting for other countries’ rights to vote. ... Guys have been dying for it, and we have to go out and exercise it.”

Griffin is registered in his home state of Texas. He has met President Barack Obama and has challenged the commander in chief to a basketball game, but he declined to state his own political beliefs, saying that race, religion and politics are “three things you don’t talk about.”

He will talk video games, which he says work better as an offseason hobby.

“It’s easier to watch a movie than it is to play a video game during the season, just because you can fall asleep on the movie,” Griffin said. “Usually when you play a video game and you get into it, you want to keep playing. That kind of can hurt you during the football season.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Miners win 57 in a row

    Mountain Ridge made it 57 wins in a row, scoring multiple runs in four of the five innings Thursday afternoon in defeating Keyser, 14-4, in an Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference game at Mountain Ridge.

    April 17, 2014

  • Allegany hammers Hawks

    The bats have begun to click for the Allegany College of Maryland Trojans as a two-run first-inning home run by Tanner Klein got the ball, and the runs, rolling as the Trojans pounded out 14 hits in defeating Hagerstown Community College, 10-7, in a Maryland JUCO game Thursday at The Rock.

    April 17, 2014

  • Duncan helps ACM split two with Cecil

    Parris Duncan doubled home two runs in the top of the fourth to help Allegany College to a 2-1 victory over Cecil College in the first game of a doubleheader split Thursday afternoon.

    April 17, 2014

  • Unbeaten Alco beats Hyndman

    Undefeated Allegany took a five-inning 14-4 win at Hope for Hyndman Charter School Thursday, scoring five runs in the second inning and eight in the third.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ken Ayers hits ace

    Ken Ayers hit a hole-in-one Thursday on the No. 3 hole at Mill Creek Country Club during an MGA scramble.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sports Calendar - 04/18/2014

    April 17, 2014

  • Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft Duke freshman Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

    Jabari Parker is hoping to become Duke’s latest one-and-done star to become the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West? Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?

    To get another shot at LeBron James, the San Antonio Spurs may have to go through Dirk Nowitzki, then Dwight Howard and James Harden, and finally Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kuchar builds on Masters momentum Kuchar builds on Masters momentum

    There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alco beats Northern Alco beats Northern

    CRESAPTOWN — Ashleigh Eisentrout knocked in four runs to lead Allegany to an 11-2 win over Northern in Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference action Wednesday at Carl Belt Field, marking the 200th victory in the Camper head coaching career of Rick Twigg.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Facebook
Sports related video