Robert Griffin III says he isn’t known as “RG3” inside the Redskins’ locker room, so he didn’t seem fazed Wednesday to learn that’s also the case among the New York Giants.
Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora tweaked the Redskins’ new franchise quarterback on New York radio Tuesday, saying he will refer to Griffin as “Bob Griffin” instead of “RG3” until he proves himself as a pro.
“Who is this RG3 guy you guys keep talking about?’’ Umenyiora said on WFAN radio, as transcribed by the New York Post. “You talking about Bob Griffin? You guys are giving him a cool nickname already and everything. When he does anything in the NFL we’re gonna call him RG3. Right now he’s Bob Griffin.”
“That’s Osi for you,” Griffin responded Wednesday. “One of my coaches at Baylor called me Bob. Nobody really calls me Bob, but if that’s what he wants to call me that’s fine. He doesn’t have to call me ‘RG3’ at all.”
It’s too bad the Redskins don’t play the Giants until Oct. 21.
Not only did Umenyiora’s seemingly unprovoked heel turn add some juice to Washington and New York’s intra-divisional rivalry, they cut to the core of a major storyline of Redskins training camp.
The hype and on-field expectations surrounding Griffin are off the charts as he comes off a Heisman Trophy-winning junior season at Baylor, but he still is in the process of earning the respect of his teammates and in the greater NFL.
Griffin emphasized the importance of downplaying the hype, fitting in with his teammates and not having some oversized persona.
“I don’t think you can be approachable if you’re larger than life or if they feel you think you’re larger than life,” he said. “You have got to be down to earth. You’ve got to talk to them, be real with them. I think that’s the biggest thing, and I try to be real with all of my teammates. I mean, if they want to call me ‘RG3’, they can call me whatever they want. I think that persona of RG3 as far as a fan, it’s not the same feeling for these guys in the locker room.”
On a personal note, let me just say that this is not the first time “Bob Griffin” has gained some traction. The week of the draft in late April, Griffin and his family attended an EA Sports party at LAVO nightclub in New York City. A VIP area was reserved for his family behind a velvet rope that separated them from the rest of the party.
Grant Paulsen, my buddy who covers the Redskins for 106.7 The Fan, and I were doing shtick thinking about how we could get into the VIP area. We joked that one of us could pose as Griffin’s dorky cousin, Bob Griffin.
Apparently, the legend lives.