Four months after he was named Washington’s starting QB, Robert Griffin III just has to wait a couple more days till he plays a game that matters for the Redskins.
“I’m happy about it,” Griffin said. “Everyone’s working understanding that this game’s going to count. You try hard not to get too antsy. Coach (Mike Shanahan has told me), ‘Don’t try to go off to prove anything. Just go out and play and have fun. ‘That’s the approach I am taking, rather than, ‘OK. Now it’s time to show what I got.’”
Griffin’s 31 passes in preseason were simply the fewest of the 5 rookie starting quarterbacks, a group that includes Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden (49), Seattle’s Russell Wilson (63), Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck (66) and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill (78). Nevertheless Griffin’s 103.3 passer rating was also the highest. None of the others were within 10 points of the ruling Heisman Trophy winner.
“When you do play a QB that’s young … You feel like he’s your only option to win in the short term, but also in the long term,” said Shanahan, who never started a rookie QB in his previous 18 openers as a chief coach with the L.A Raiders, Denver Broncos and Washington. “You need him to get the experience, you know what (his) top level of play is and you hope that (he gets) there very quickly.”
Right guard Chris Chester expects that Griffin’s Olympic-class speed will ease his transition to the NFL.
“Robert’s mobility likely takes a little pressure off us up front,” Chester said. “He just has to play the way he’s able of and he will be fine.” Baseball odds
Although he’ll be trying to keep pace with Saints record-setting QB Drew Brees while debuting in the certainly extremely loud Superdome in his parents’ hometown, Griffin does not plan to get too hyped. He has made a point of staying even-keeled before games since he did not do as a sophomore at Baylor and followed with 3 successive disappointing performances.
“Everybody gets nervous … but I have to stay calm, make sure you walk in the huddle with confidence so that the men are assured with what you’re running,” Griffin expounded. “I know what I got. I know precisely what we have. What I tell the guys is, ‘Trust your preparation so that when you step on the field you know you can go out and do it.”
The coach expounded that Griffin “hasn’t disappointed us” since the Washington Redskins gave St. Louis 3 first-round draft selections and a 2nd-rounder for a right to move up 4 spots and draft him 2nd overall.
“He’s worked incredibly hard so you let him go and let him execute a game plan,” Shanahan asserted.
Which, irrespective of how gifted an athlete Griffin is, his colleagues believe he’ll do and should do on Sunday.
“He’s just got to be calm, go thru the general strategy, remember what he’s been coached to do and try not to do too much,” said cornerback Josh Wilson.