Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III gave his first interview to Redskins media since the end of the season last night. Griffin called into ESPN980 and spoke with host Chris Russell for almost twenty minutes about a variety of topics. The conversation started with RG3's new charitable organization, the Family of 3 Foundation. Twitter:@Fo3Foundation
Their Mission Statement:
Our objective is to continuously grow our Family with people who share our passion for helping others. In doing so, we can reach more lives collectively than we ever could as individuals. Together we strive to give people a reason to believe they can accomplish anything, and that their dreams aren't out of reach.
Full Interview Here
Russell then asked Griffin about the newly announced QB coach that will be working with him, Kirk Cousins, and any other QBs who will be on the roster this season.
CR: So you guys hired a new quarterbacks coach that is going to be working directly with you, Matt Cavanaugh. Recently with the Chicago Bears and Jay Cutler, has experience with the New York Jets, been around the league, college football for a long time. Do you know anything about Matt? Have you reached out to him, has he reached out to you? Did you know this was going on? What do you think about having an individual position coach to help you guys take the next step?
RG: Ya, I mean, everything appears with the coach, to the new GM. Everything that they're doing is helping us be a long-time winner, changing the culture, and I'm going to look forward to that. And I can't wait to work with coach Matt. He brings a lot of experience to the table. I'm willing, and can't wait to add more knowledge to the bank, as I like to call it. You add more knowledge to the bank, you get to feed off of other people, and you just realize that there's a whole lot to learn, and I'm willing to do that.
Robert is currently emptying the bank during the offseason to get ready for the Cavanaugh experience, sounds...dirty. Russell then asked about downtime, training, and staying active during the offseason.
CR: How have you been able to help yourself during this period from the end of the season when you're not allowed to work directly with coaches and be involved in football-related activities. What are the kinds of things that you can do besides taking a mental break and getting away from it to help your career, and to help you become a better quarterback.
RG: Ya, every year you go back, you look at the things you can do better, and you try to grow from there. Obviously you take a mental break so that you're not overloading yourself for the whole year. The biggest thing for me is coming back healthy. Last year I wasn't healthy, and it sucked, there's no other way to say it other than that. When you dislocate your ankle in the 2nd week of the season. When you and your team have big things in mind. It's just getting healthy, getting the mental break, getting a chance to spend time with family, and then formulate my plan going forward for this year and go ahead and win games and be playing again at this time next year.
I'm almost sure he said broken and dragged home there, but if anyone else can verify that, let me know.(editor's note: it was when you dislocate your ankle) He goes on to talk more about how severe his ankle injury was last season.
CR: When you look back again at last year with the injury. We went down to Houston, and you guys didn't win that game because of some costly turnovers inside the 10 yard line. But you guys moved the football, you operated the offense, you seemed to be in a flow early on in that Jacksonville game, everyone was excited. I remember the emotions of seeing you carted off, I mean all of us kind of couldn't believe it. I know it was an emotional thing for you. What were those days like, in the next week, knowing that again, you're building this momentum, and then it's taken away from you again?
RG: For me, I rely heavily on my strength, and I believe God allowed that to happen to me for a reason. It was to show me something, and ya it sucks. Nobody wants to have those things happen to them and we felt like we were going to be able to get on a roll after Jacksonville and put some wins together and have a much better season than we did. But the days after that, I had never suffered an ankle injury to that severity before, so I didn't know what to expect. And it just became harder and harder with the more games we lost, because you know how hard the guys work and you want to get out there and help them win games.
I could have sat out the rest of last year with as bad as the ankle was, but I felt like I could play, and I wanted to get out there and play with my guys and help them win games. And that didn't happen when I got back out there, and coach made a decision. And that was an unfortunate decision, and something we all had to go with because that was coach's choice. But at the end of the day I got to go back out there with my guys, we had a little bit of fun, we beat Philadelphia and the season didn't close the way we wanted it to, but we all know what we can do and we gotta go out there and do it, and there's nothing that we can say that's going to change what happened last year.
The previous paragraph will be the choose your own interpretation section of the interview... Russell then asks about maintaining consistency, something that RG3 the Redskins are not known for.
CR: How do you turn the moment's brilliance that we saw in Minnesota, you mentioned the Philadelphia game, the big play striking ability to DeSean, all of that. How do you turn that into being something consistent? Is there an easy fix, or is it way too complicated to just give a simple answer?
RG: Ya, I mean there's no simple answer. For me, what I've learned, at times like this you have to focus in on yourself harder and that's what I've tried to be, and I've tried to figure what more I can be be more consistent, go out there and play the game that you love, the way you know how to play it. Also for me, it's to stay healthy so I don't have to fight back from these injuries, because I know as of late, I've made a habit of coming back from these injuries faster than other people, and that's not by design, that's because God has allowed me to do that.
So stay healthy, go out and have fun and play the game and the rest will fall in place. I think with the moves that we've made, that the coach and the GM have made, it will allow us to be in a better position to win games, and I think all the guys are excited about that. You never want to see guys go, coaches and players, but I know coaches have to do what's best for the team, and we all hope and pray we end up winning.
Griffin notices his habit of returning from injuries quickly, and knows he can't keep getting hurt. Insert your cliche here(Can't make the club in the tub, best ability is availability, etc...) Russell then asks about the speculation on Griffin's future with the Redskins.
CR: I wanted to ask you a tough question, and I hope you don't take offense to this, but there's been a lot of speculation about what the Redskins are specifically going to do with you. There's an option they can pick up, and some people have said you would not be here. I believe you will be here, I've written that, and I don't believe in giving up on people who have not completely reached their prime, or been given a fair chance. I wanted to know from your perspective when you hear something like that does it motivate you, or does that piss you off?
RG: I'm indifferent to it, because if you ride those emotional roller coasters based on what people say, it can really affect you and how you play all the time. For me, the way I put it, I'm a Washington Redskin until they tell me I'm not. That's all I can focus on, that's all I'm going to focus on. Take care of my family, be there for my teammates, be there for the city. I know the city wants us to win like we did in 2012, and we want that to and we're going to go to work to make sure that happens.
We just have to put the work in and not really talk about it. I know we have to talk to the media, and that's just part of what it is for us as players in the NFL, and you can see with Marshawn Lynch. We just have to go out and play, have fun, and not have any worries about anything else. So when it comes to the question for me, I'm a Washington Redskin until they tell me I'm not.
Well played Robert, throw out a Marshawn Lynch bone for Chris Russell to bite. Griffin however, doesn't bite on the question about his future, and Russell moves on to Lynch, and Griffin's issues with pressers this year.
CR: That makes a lot of sense, but since you brought it up, when it comes to a situation like Marshawn Lynch, because you're a guy that likes to talk to the media, who has helped us out. Sometimes that works both ways, and sometimes you had to pull back like you did for some of the other criticism you faced. How do you go about putting that into your thought process of what you're going to say, what you're not going to say, how much you're going to give, how much you're not going to give?
RG: I think Marshawn has a great plan, and he's not wavering in any sort of way when it comes to his answers. It doesn't matter what the question is, he's going to give you the same answer. And I know a lot of media members might not like that, but it's an example of what can happen when you take a player's words or anything that he said and pin it against him or make it personal towards that player.
As players, it can make us feel a certain kind of way, and make us feel like this is a tactic we have to go to protect ourselves, to protect our families, and to protect our team. It's unfortunate, but I understand and I can totally see where Marshawn's coming from just from my own experience and just talking about myself.
And we can't have an interview this week with talking about balls, so Robert, who rubs the mud on your balls?
CR: DeflateGate has taken over centerstage. How do specifically go about finding a good feel for the footballs you're going to use on gameday. What goes into that from your perspective, how do you make sure that everything is being done to compliance and code, but more importantly that you're comfortable with the rock in your hand?
RG: Well, I tell you what, I didn't even know that the ball had to be a certain way. I know they pump up the balls and they get inspected before every game, but I wasn't aware that the ball had to be at a certain limit or higher. Which is interesting, it could be something that we look at going into the future about how much we pump up the ball. For me, going this far in my career, all we worry about is can we grip the ball, not how much air is in it.
We have our guy Pat rub the balls down with mud, and get the ball to where it's not brand new, because a brand new ball is very slick. Other than that, we just make sure that it feels good, and if it doesn't feel good, you just throw it out. Now I'm sure the league will change something with the air or who's messing with the balls. I just think it's really funny, especially when you don't specifiy that you're talking about footballs.
CR: It's a dangerous slope
RG: I think I said balls 7 times already
CR: You're not the only one, you can't watch these Brady or Belichick press conferences they can't say it without a smirk on their face
Did I mention balls? Russell closes out the interview by asking about the two QBs in this year's Super Bowl, and Robert talks about how great it is for them to have a team and organization that is fully behind them...
CR: Russell Wilson obviously has some of what you were famously known for in 2012, maybe what hasn't been as big a part the last couple of years for various different reasons. You look at Tom Brady, and he's the ultimate pocket passer. He just picks apart a defense. When you see these two quarterbacks, what goes through your mind, and do you try to take little things from them, or can you not do that just from watching them on TV or even from having Brady down in Richmond in August?
RG: No, I mean these are guys that I've had the opportunity to talk with, and guys that have been great players and great for their team. It just goes to show you the longevity of Tom Brady with Bill Belichick and their belief in him. How hard they work, and we were able to see that first hand, how effiecient they can be. It's something that you want to have, and Tom's a good guy as well. Then with Russell, he comes with an offense that might not be exactly the same as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick They run plays a different way, they have license to be more creative, they make plays down the field. They are one of the greatest scramble drill teams in the league, broken play, second reaction play, whatever you want to call it. They do a great job of that.
I think it just comes with the organizational support they both have as well to be the players that they are. To understand that this is our guy no matter what. I think the last game with the Packers shows that more than anything else. To go out and throw 4 interceptions and then lead them to victory. I think that guy knows in the back of his head that his entire team has his back, and the entire organization has his back. And I think it's the same way with Tom Brady. I think they are some pieces of the game, but I also understand the situation that they're in and try to take that as well. And I know this is how you build a winner and this is how you build a family-like atmosphere. And that's what we're trying to do with the Redskins, and that's what I want to be a part of.
(Editor's note: 1/29/15 9:00 AM)The original transcription of this line from the first question has been updated. Everything that they're doing is helping us be a long-time winner, changing the
coaches culture, and I'm going to look forward to that.)