Nearly two weeks ago, the Cleveland Browns stunned some by adding a controversial quarterback to the roster.
Today, the newest Browns signalcaller spoke to the media.
Robert Griffin III addressed the press in Berea on Wednesday during the third day of offseason workouts. The former Redskins quarterback spoke about his excitement to be in Cleveland and the big chip on his shoulder, among other topics.
Here are the highlights of Griffin's time with the media. A full transcript is available here.
- One of the more interesting quotes of Griffin's presser came midway through as he talked about his signing with the Browns and the upcoming season:
"I am not trying to let any baggage hold me down from the past, but I do have a massive chip on my shoulder. I know this team has a massive chip on its shoulder."
Hopefully for the Browns, Griffin can use that chip on his shoulder to lead the Browns to some wins. Griffin has a lot to prove following back-to-back sub-par seasons in 2013 and 2014 and an off year in 2015.
- Griffin spoke glowingly about his new team, talking about his excitement to work with new head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton:
"It feels great. Just blessed to have an opportunity to grow, grow here with (Head Coach) Hue (Jackson), (assistant head coach-offense) Pep (Hamilton) and this team. It has been really fun the past couple days getting to know the new teammates. It is truly an honor to be in this league. I am just glad they gave me an opportunity."
- Griffin talked at length about how he has grown since he left entered the league in 2012 and subsequently left the Redskins after not playing in 2015. However, he refused to call himself humble:
"I have grown a lot since 2012 and just through the whole process of all of those years there in Washington. I am not oblivious to that fact. I know there are things that I could have done differently, but today, I can’t focus on that. I have to focus on what I am doing here with the Cleveland Browns. I keep saying that I am excited, but everybody in that locker room is excited about the opportunity before us and what we can do for this city."
"If you say you are humble, than you are not humble so I can’t say that. No, I just think that I am more experienced. I am still a kid. I am 26. We are all kids. We get to play a kid’s game."
- In the same vein, one media member asked if Griffin needs to be more team-conscious. Griffin seemed to take offense to the idea.
- "No, I think that has always been the way it is. Regardless of what story lines they want to write, it has always been ‘we.’ Even when coming out of college, it was always, it is not about me. It is about we. It is about us. I just think as a quarterback in this league, you are going to get all the attention. If you win, it is, ‘Man, that guy is awesome.’ If you lose, ‘This guy is terrible.’ As a quarterback in the National Football League, you have to understand that and realize that it is always those guys. When you lose, it is always you. That is the way you have to approach the game. Even if you approach it that way to yourself, you have to be able to come in front of the mic and talk to you guys and say the exact same things because one little slip up makes it a national story. I think that is what happened to me through my experience as a player in Washington, and I know that now. After a loss, you can’t be emotional and say things that are meant to be behind closed doors or that might be taken the wrong way because that it is just the way it is. I understand that now and I don’t hold that against anybody else. I just know what I have to do as a player and as a leader of this team and I am going to do that."
- Even after riding the pine last season, Griffin still feels confident in his abilities. As the 26 year old said, either you have confidence or you don't. His confidence in his ability to be the "point guard" of the offense has not vanished.
- One of the few benefits of a season off was the time to heal, Griffin said. The signalcaller says he feels healthy and ready to play, despite having knee problems earlier in his career.
- An encouraging sign from Wednesday's presser was Griffin's openness to the new offense. The Baylor product is ready to play in the system Jackson institutes, whatever the types of plays are called. Griffin's feelings on the matter are most easily seen in his response to a question about adding zone read to the offense:
"They ran zone-read with (Bengals QB) Andy (Dalton) in Cincinnati so I am sure it will be sprinkled in there somewhere, but that all depends on what we do best. If we are the best zone-read team all throughout camp, minicamps and training camp, then I guess that is what we will do. If we are not, then we won’t do it. I am not afraid to sit in the pocket and throw the ball. I am not afraid to run the zone-read. I am not afraid to do what is best for this team."
"Whatever Coach decides, this is what we are going to be, this is our identity, we are all going to buy into that, and I think all of the guys know that. It starts up front with Joe (Thomas), and I am excited to have him on the offensive line and lead that group. We are really excited. I can’t say it enough."
The press conference ended on an interesting note, as one reporter asked Griffin if he's under any extra pressure, given the Browns' previous history of mishandling quarterbacks. Griffin responded with a simple quote:
"No pressure, no diamonds."
Hopefully RG III can be as cool on the field as he is in press conferences.