NFL Combine: Robert Griffin III sounds off

Feb 24, 2012

Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III held court at the NFL Scouting Combine on Friday afternoon, and answered questions about everything from his height, his ability to transition to a pro-style offense, his upbringing and even his socks.

Here’s a full transcript of his interview session:

On what he’ll be doing at the Combine:

“On the field, I’ll be running. I’m not going to throw this weekend. I’ll just get out there, move around and compete. And then in the interviews, I’m just looking forward to showing them who I am, letting them get to know me, me get to know them, and just explain our offense and how I ran it.”

Why he isn’t throwing:

“It’s my decision. You don’t go somewhere and run a gameplan, throwing to guys you haven’t practiced with, in an environment that you’re not prepared for, so that’s why.”

What will he tell teams if asked about who Robert Griffin III is:

“That sounds like a paper from an English class. Just the person that I am. People think that I just came onto 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. Happy-go-lucky, like to make people laugh, but know when to be serious as well.”

What is a misconception about him?

“There’s just a misconception that comes with being a dual-threat quarterback. You run first, throw second. I’ve proven I throw first and then run if I have to.”

His measurements:

Six-[foot]-2, 223. We didn’t lie about my height. In high school, I was 6-4, 200 pounds. I got to college, I shrunk and gained weight. I was 6-2, 220. So I guess they just figured I shrunk some more, so 6-foot, 190 now. But it’s official: 6-2-3/8, 223. You just have to block those things out, but at the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie.

On the claim that he comes from a “simple offense”:

“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 for quarterbacks, and simple would not be a word to describe it.”

On if he’s looking forward to chalkboard sessions in formal interviews:

“Yes. Because different concepts, people understand them a little bit differently in the NFL. We ran a numbers-based concept system, so I like getting on that board and showing them and kind of help them understand what we go through as an offense.”

On how familiar he is with West Coast offenses:

“West Coast offenses, like Washington and Cleveland are highly concept-based, long verbiage in the plays. But once you get into a system, it’s easy to learn. I’m not going to say I’m going to open the playbook and know it immediately, but once you can get on the field and go through the routes and protections you’ll have to run in those offenses, it comes to you a lot smoother.”

On if he’d like a team like the Browns or Redskins to fall in love with him and move up to draft him:

“I hope somebody falls in love with me other than my fiancĂ© [laughs]. That’s what you want as a player, a team that really wants you: head coach, general manager, owner, everybody. So that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

On not conceding the No. 1 spot although Andrew Luck is considered the favorite:

“As competitors, we all want to be the best. But whether I’m 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 do, Andrew does, Matt Kalil does, Trent Richardson does. I think all of us do.”

What he needs to show teams and scouts at the Combine:

“That our offense isn’t simple, that it’s not the traditional spread where we’re in shotgun all the time, although we ran shotgun a lot. So did Tom Brady and Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, but that’s beside the point [laughs]. … I’m not going to go out there and try to make it seem difficult, but I’m going to show them the protections, the progressions and what I’m doing out there, it’s not as simple as it seems.”

On if in his offense his first option after a pass read was to run:

“No, it wasn’t. We had at least three options in our offense with a checkdown, and my fourth or fifth option was to make something happen. I did run a pro-style offense in high school, not like this is high school, but just saying.”

His take on how Carolina and Denver’s coaches added plays from Cam Newton and Tim Tebow’s college offenses to help their transitions:

“That just shows how good coaches they were to play to their players’ strengths. But I’m not going to waltz in the door with five plays from Baylor and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to run this.’ But if they want to know what he did at Baylor, I’m fine with that. If they want to know some concepts from Baylor, I’ll be happy to bring Coach [Art] Briles up there. But my job is to learn their offense and be respectful of them that way.”

On helping turn Baylor’s program around:

“It was a great experience. It’s not one that everyone wants to go through. When you walk into class and teachers are making fun of you, and then my junior year … all of a sudden, all teachers want to talk about is the football game. Things can change, and just so much work we had to put in to get it that way. And now they’re talking about putting in an on-campus football stadium in 2015, so we’re excited about what we did, but we also know that our futures are bright if we’re so honored to be drafted into this league.”

On helping turn a team around:

“All these teams are missing just one piece, or just had an unfortunate year and so it’s my job is as quarterback of that team, whether I’m the starter or the backup, to try to come in and lead. I’m excited, no matter who the team is. But it’s an honor to play in the NFL, and not everybody’s here with this mic in front of them with this opportunity, so I’m honored to be here.”

On Andrew Luck, and why he turned down Stanford coming out of high school:

“Andrew’s a great player. Coach Harbaugh did recruit both of us coming out of high school to go to Stanford, but my thing was, Andrew was already committed, and the two quarterback thing doesn’t really work. So, I didn’t want to have to be the one to transfer or Luck to have to transfer, so I decided to go to a different college. I like Stanford and I like Coach Harbaugh.”

On his parents’ influence on his life:

“I’m a military kid, both parents in the Military – Mom did 12 years, Dad did 21, served in two wars. So discipline is something that was huge. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you start something, you finish it. ‘Yes, sir. No, ma’am.’ And you have to have that type of structure in your life, so it’s helped me off the field and also in the game of football, whether it’s in a workout, studying film, or just the game of football.”

On his tradition of wearing colorful socks (he’s been known to wear everything from Superman socks to Hello Kitty socks. Friday he wore Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles socks Friday):

“It started my sophomore year of high school. I was never really one that matched all that well, so that’s why the socks never really matched what I was wearing. But it was to show that I’m comfortable in my own skin, and the socks are just representation of that.”

On what teams he had met with:

“I’ve just met with Philly. Tonight I’ll meet with Cleveland and Kansas City.” [Griffin said after he left the podium that he’s meeting with the Redskins on Saturday evening.]

Differences between he and Cam Newton:

Cam is a bigger guy. He’s 6-5, 240, I think. I’m 6-2-3/8 – I’m not letting that go – and so that’s a difference. As a runner, he’s a bit more shifty than I am, but I’m faster than he is. [I was] a little more experienced in the passing game in college. Not that I’m saying I’m polished and he’s not polished. It was just that we threw it a little more at Baylor than they did in Auburn. But other than that, confidence-wise, he’s off the charts. I try to keep my confidence on the charts, but I’m a confident guy as well. You’ve got to be that way. If you don’t think that you’re the best, then you won’t perform that way.”

On whether he’d like to replace Peyton Manning’s big picture outside Lucas Oil Stadium with a picture of himself :

“I’d like it to stay Peyton’s picture. I’ve talked to Peyton a couple times. I wish him nothing but the best. It’d be amazing to see him be able to stay in Indy and play. I’d be happy to play behind him. As a quarterback, obviously, you’re going to be put in the forefront whether you like it or not, and if you’re not then you’re not doing your job.”

On what it would be like to play behind Manning:

“I would embrace it. It’s not very often you get the chances to play, or be on a team with a legend like Peyton. Obviously, I would come in and compete to be the starter, but if Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback of the team I’m on, then it’d be an honor to sit behind him and learn all I could. I’d hold that clipboard with pride, and wouldn’t come in demanding to be the starter.”

On who he patterned his game after growing up:

“Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, guys people think I’ve never seen play, like Kenny Stabler; guys that extend the play, John Elway’s another one that can extend the play, they win from within the pocket, but they can win outside the pocket, and I think that’s what the game’s turned to with guys like Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, who can move around a little bit.”



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