No sense messing around with a talent like Robert Griffin III. Barely a week after the draft, the Washington Redskins are already announcing the Heisman Trophy winner their No. 1 quarterback. Basketball lines
Announcing that Griffin has the power to do things no-one else has done in the NFL, coach Mike Shanahan wrapped up a newbie minicamp by putting RGIII exactly on top of the depth chart.
Shanahan said Griffin will begin working with the 1st-teamers when the veterans reconvene for offseason exercise programs later in the month. Fourth-round picks Kirk Cousins and last year’s starter Rex Grossman will share snaps to sort the 2nd- and 3rd-string spots.
Shanahan said the Redskins failed to go thru all of the difficulty to get Griffin — trading 3 first-round picks and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 overall spot — only to have him play backup. The coach said he made the choice even before the 3-day minicamp.
“We’re going to adjust our program to what he feels good with,” Shanahan said, “and we’ll watch him grow and we’ll do what we wish to he will do and what he does the best. … One thing the NFL is not used to is a QB with his kind of speed and his sort of throwing capability, so I suspect we are able to do some things that folks haven’t done.”
With his statement, Shanahan managed something that’s hard to do — overshadow Griffin himself. Sunday was the 1st chance for reporters to see Griffin practice in a Redskins uniform, an event that attracted some 60 members of the media to a 90-minute session consisting often of undrafted, unsigned players attempting to earn a spot at training camp.
Griffin referenced the difficulties he may have as a rookie starting quarterback dealing with veterans.
“I can’t come in flamboyantly, and I don’t plan to,” he claimed. “Come in and earn the men ‘ respect. Regardless of if they say you’ve already got it, you’ve still got to head out to earn it.”
The selection of Cousins raised eyebrows round the league — no team had taken 2 quarterbacks in the first 4 rounds since 1989 — but Griffin said he was given advanced notice from Shanahan the Redskins were having a look at making such a move to give the team solid, young depth at the position. Griffin and Cousins roomed together at the team hotel last Saturday and will likely do so again at training camp.
Cousins, a 3-year starter at Michigan State was no doubt expecting to be drafted by a team that could give him a pragmatic chance at a beginning job in the near future. As it is, he realizes he’s sure to be stuck behind Griffin for the entire length of a 4-year rookie deal.
According to Shanahan, Griffin was everything a coach could love during the 5 practices that made up the minicamp. The newbie had studied ahead and arrived with a basic awareness of the playbook.
“You can see what an incredible athlete he is,” Shanahan claimed. “I was impressed because the 1st day we didn’t have one bust with a formation or a play call, and I don’t believe I ever had that in any minicamp that I’ve been involved with.”