Robert Griffin III Lays Groundwork for Success
Charles E. Sutton | 6/8/2012, 10:25 a.m.
During the Redskins' rookie minicamp on May 28, Robert Griffin III had the chance to prove to Coach Mike Shanahan and the rest of the coaching staff why he deserved to be the team's first overall pick.
The team had its first organized team activity of the offseason. But in this case, the Heisman Trophy winner had a different group to please - his veteran teammates.
"With rookie minicamp, you're more there to show Coach that, 'Hey the team drafted me, I'm as advertised,'" Griffin said. "But with the vets, it's kind of, 'I can help this team win, show them why Coach has so much confidence in you.'"
Shanahan expressed his confidence in Griffin's talents when he announced in early May that the 22-year-old would be the starring quarterback. But along with that distinction came the challenge of figuring out how the Redskins offense works and learning how to lead a team composed of veteran players.
"We got him here to be that guy. He's our guy," wide receiver Santana Moss said. "Right now, he's doing all the things he needs to do to show us that, 'Hey, day-by-day, that I learn and grasp some more, that I'm going to be all that I can be for you guys.'"
The activity started with a series of timed drills for the various position groups before moving into two sets of 11-on-11 matchups. Though Griffin is new to the team, in Monday's workout he looked anything but.
For nine-year veteran, Chris Cooley, Griffin's high comfort level is a product of a work ethic that doesn't seem to subside.
"We've been back just working as a team. He stays for an hour and throws to guys," Cooley said. "His ability to be great for us and to be great early will be to understand what we're doing offensively, and will be able to build a trust with the guys he's around now. I think he has all the skills to do that."
Griffin said he's been entrusted with a big job, so he reviews the playbook every night so that he can be best prepared. But he also admits that being successful is as much about doing as it is about studying. And Griffin is a quick study, when you stop to consider he is just beginning to see things from his playbook finally materialize on the field.
In the May 28 workout, Griffin's agility helped him connect with his wide receivers on the rollout, and he looked to be already in sync with many of them. After each drill, Griffin received congratulatory gestures from his teammates, many with whom he's already building a strong bond.
The Redskins veterans have not forgotten that Griffin is a newcomer. Thus, there is the threat of a little inoffensive rookie hazing.
"Nobody has done anything," Griffin said. "But I'm definitely keeping an eye out for anything anyone tries to do."