INDIANAPOLIS | Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III met with reporters earlier Friday afternoon. He was beyond impressive at the podium: smart, engaging, charismatic, funny, genuine, self-aware. He’d own D.C. if he plays well.
Here’s the full transcript:
Q: “What kind of socks are you wearing?
RG3: “I’ve got Ninja Turtles on today.”
Q: Can you show us?
RG3: “Yes.” [lifts up left pant leg]
Q: What do you hope to show this week at the combine on the field?
RG3: “On the field will be running. I’m not going to throw this weekend, but I’ll get there and move around, have fun, compete. And then in the interviews, just looking forward to showing who I am; letting them get to know me, I get to know them and just explain our offense to them a little bit.”
Q: Was it your decision not to throw? Why won’t you?
RG3: “It’s my decision. You don’t go somewhere and run a game plan you never practiced, throw to guys you don’t practice with in an environment you’re not prepared for. So that’s why.”
Q: You plan on telling teams who you are. Who are you?
RG3: “That sounds like a paper from English class. The person that I am, some people think I came on the scene this year, so they haven’t had as much time to evaluate me. So I’m just excited to show them who I am as a person. I’m happy-go-lucky. I like to make people laugh but know when to be serious, as well.”
Q: What would you say is the biggest misconception about your game?
RG3: “I think it’s just a misconception of being a dual threat quarterback. You run first, throw second. I think I’ve proven that I’m throw first, and then run if I need to.”
Q: Can we hear your height and weight from your own lips?
RG3: “All right. 6-2 3/8 and 223 [pounds]. We didn’t lie about my height. [laughs]
Q: What was it like when people were questioning your height?
RG3: “Well in high school I was 6-4, 200 pounds, so when I got to college I shrunk an inch and gained weight, so I was 6-2, 220. I guess they just thought I shrunk some more, so I was 6-foot, 190 now. But it’s official: I’m 6-2 3/8, 223. You try to block those things out, but at the end of the day the numbers don’t lie.”
Q: One of the draft experts said you came from a “simple” offense. Would you disagree with that?
RG3: “I’d like to sit down with them and show them how simple it is. It’s not a simple offense. It’s a good offense. It’s a really great offense and a quarterback-friendly offense, but ‘simple’ would not be the word to describe it.”
Q: Is that one of the things you’re looking forward to in interviewing, drawing up plays?
RG3: “Yes, sir, because different concepts, people understand them differently. So in the NFL they’re run a little bit different. We ran a numbers-based concept system in college. I like getting on that board and showing them and watching the film with them so they can kind of understand what we’re going through as an offense.”
Q: How would you fit into a West coast offense?
RG3: “West coast offenses with Washington and Cleveland – highly concept-based, long verbiage in the plays. But other than that, once you get into a system, it’s easy to learn. I’m not saying I’m going to open the playbook and know it immediately, but once you can get on the field and start going through the routes and the protections you’re going to have to run in those types of offenses, it comes to you a lot sooner.”
Q: What do you think about the talk about the Browns falling in love with you and moving up to get you?
RG3: “I hope somebody falls in love with me other than my fiancée. But that’s what you want. As a player you want a team that really wants you; head coach, GM, owner, everybody that really wants you in their place and the players believe in you. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to making somebody fall in love with me.”
Q: You’re not conceding that No. 1 spot to Andrew Luck?
RG3: “As competitors we both want to be the best. Whether I go No. 1 or not, it’s not going to change who I am. It’s not going to change my confidence. But I’d be a fool to say I don’t want to go No. 1 in the draft because I think I do. Andrew does. Matt Kalil does. Trent Richardson does. You ask any of them and they want to go No. 1. That’s the main reason. It’s not ‘I think they should not pick him,’ or, ‘They should pick me.’ It’s just we all want to be the best.”
Q: Do you believe you are the best?
RG3: “I think you have to. As a quarterback, when you step on the field, if you don’t believe you’re the best you’re not going to go out there and perform like you’re the best.”
Q: (inaudible question)
RG3: “That our offense isn’t simple, that’s it’s not the traditional spread where we’re in shotgun all the time – although we are in shotgun a lot. So was Tom Brady and Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, but that’s beside the point. [laughs] But just that’s it’s not a simple offense. I’m not going to try to make it seem difficult, but I will explain it to them, whether it’s protections, progressions and what I’m going out there. It’s not as simple as everybody makes it seem.”
Q: Would you like it if your NFL coaching staff went back to Baylor and said, ‘OK, we can take elements of this and that?’
RG3: “Those elements that they brought out show how good of coaches that they are. If you go back and looked up all your strengths, that can be great. But I’m not going to be the one that walks in the door with five plays from Baylor and, like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to run these.’” [laughs] So if they want to do that, I’m more than happy to go with that. And if they want to know some concepts from Baylor, I’d be happy to bring Coach [Art] Briles up there. My job is to learn their offense and to respectful to them that way.”
Q: What was the experience like for you and Baylor WR Kendall Wright to go from where Baylor was a bit of a losing program to get it to where it is today?
RG3: “It was a great experience. It’s not an experience that everybody wants to go through; when you walk into class and teachers are making fun of you. And then my junior year…all they want to do is talk about the football game and how great we are. It shows you how quickly things can change and just how much work we had to put in to get it that way. A lot of things that are there now weren’t there when we got there. And now they’re talking about putting an on-campus football stadium in 2015, so we’re excited about what we did. We also know our futures are bright in this league if we’re so honored to be drafted into it.”
Q: Are you looking forward to that challenge in the pros? You’re probably going to be drafted by a losing team.
RG3: “All these teams are either missing one piece or just had an unfortunate year. My job as the quarterback of that team, whether I’m the starter or the backup, is to go in there and try to lead. I’m excited no matter who the team is. It is an honor to play in the NFL. Not everybody is here with this mic in front of them with this opportunity, so I’m going to make the most of it.”
Q: What are your impressions of Andrew Luck?
RG3: “Andrew is a great guy, a great college player. Coach Harbaugh did recruit both of us out of high school to go to Stanford, and my whole thinking behind that was he was already committed, and the two-quarterback thing doesn’t work. I didn’t want to have to either me be the one to transfer or Luck be the one to transfer, so I decided to go to a different college. But I like Stanford, I like coach Harbaugh and I like Andrew.”
Q: Could you characterize your relationship with [Baylor head coach] Art Briles?
RG3: “Coach Briles is amazing. Sometimes you get a feeling about somebody and it’s right, and the feeling I had about coach Briles was right. He’s honest. He’s down to Earth. He’ll talk to you. He’s approachable as a coach. His humility is amazing. For all the things that he’s done in his life, to continue to be the way that he is helps me become a better player and better person, as well.”
Q: Do you have any indication at all that you’re still in the mix for No. 1?
RG3: “I haven’t met with Indy yet, but they haven’t told me they’re not, so I’ll just take it that way.”
Q: Can you talk about the influence your parents had on you?
RG3: “I’m a military kid. Both of my parents were in the military. My mom did 12 years. Dad did 21, served in two wars. Discipline was something that was obviously huge. If you say you’re going to do something, you do it. If you start it, you finish it. Yes sir, no ma’am. And you’ve got to have that kind of structure in your life. It like of helped me be that disciplined person that I am, whether it’s with workouts, film or just the game of football.”
Q: (inaudible question)
RG3: “I’m a quarterback, so I’ve just got to throw the ball. Running is extra.”
Q: How did the sock thing get started?
RG3: It started my sophomore year in high school. I wasn’t one that really matched all that well. That’s why the socks usually never match anything that I’m wearing. It was just to show that I’m comfortable with who I am. I’m comfortable in my own skin, and the socks are just a representation of that.”
Q: Would it be nice if an NFL franchise wore “Hello Kitty” socks?
RG3: “I’ve worn “Hello Kitty” a couple times, but I’m not wearing them right now. If they don’t want me to wear “Hello Kitty,” I won’t do it. [laughs]
Q: What teams have you met with?
RG3: “I just met with Philadelphia last night. Today I’ll meet with Cleveland and Kansas City”
*note: Griffin said after the interview that he is scheduled to meet with the Redskins on Saturday.
Q: How do you compare to [Carolina Panthers quarterback] Cam Newton?
RG3: “Cam’s a bigger guy. I think he’s 6-5, 240. I’m 6-2 3/8 and 223. [laughs] I’m not letting that go. So that’s a difference. As a runner, he is a little more shifty than I am. I’m faster than he is. I’m more experienced in the passing game in college. Not that I’m more polished and he’s not polished, just we threw it a little bit more at Baylor than he did at Auburn. Other than that, confidence-wise, his confidence is off the charts. I try to keep my confidence on the charts. I’m a confident guy, as well. You’ve got to be that way. If you don’t believe you’re the best, you won’t perform that way.”
Q: Have you seen Peyton Manning’s picture outside the stadium and would you like for that one day to be your picture?
RG3: “I’d like it to stay Peyton’s picture, but I’m not going to be a politician for that. I’ve talked to Peyton a couple of times. I wish him the best. I hope what he wants can come about from the situation. It’d be amazing for him to stay in Indy and play out his career or to be drafted here and play behind him. But as a quarterback, you’re going to be put in the forefront whether you want it or not. If you’re not, then you’re not doing your job. As a quarterback of an organization, you’re going to be out there. You’re going to have billboards as long as you’re playing well, and I plan on playing well.”
Q: Who did you pattern your game after?
RG3: “Randall Cunningham, Steve Young. Guys that people think I’ve never seen play, like Kenny Stabler. [laughs] Guys that extend the play. John Elway is another guy that extends the play. They win from within the pocket but they also know how to win outside the pocket. I think that’s what the game has kind of turned into with guys like Drew Brees, who can run a little bit, and Aaron Rodgers, who can move around a little bit.”
Q: How much would you like to play in Cleveland? What do you know about the team and Colt McCoy?
RG3: “It would be fun to compete with Colt. I played him one year in college and he beat us, so maybe I would have to go out there and beat him. Other than that, it would be an honor to go to Cleveland, to go anywhere. That’s all I can say about that. As far as a team goes, they just need that motivation, that inspiration. They’ve got the coaches in place to be successful.”
Q: Would it be a big adjustment to make the reads and progressions of an NFL offense?
RG3: “No, it wouldn’t. We usually had at least three options in our offense with a checkdown, and obviously the fourth or fifth option would be for me to make something happen. Sometimes it happens that way in games fro quarterbacks. It wouldn’t be a huge leap. Plus, I ran a pro-style offense in high school – not that this is high school football. Just saying. [laughs]
Q: Is playing behind Peyton for the Colts something that you really would embrace?
RG3: “I would embrace it. It’s not very often you get chances to be on a team with a legend like that or learn from a guy like Peyton. Definitely I’d come in and compete to be that starter, but I wouldn’t be upset if Peyton Manning is the starting quarterback of the team I’m on. It’d be an honor to sit behind him and learn. I’d hold that clipboard with pride. I’d have no problem with that. I wouldn’t come in and demand to be the starter.”
…so, what are your impressions after reading that?