Reporting Grant Paulsen
Looking ahead to draft night:
“All the things that I’ve done personally to get to where I am, all the teammates that I’ve had, all the coaches that have worked with me … It will find hit me that all the hard work has paid off. I’ve made it to the NFL. After that night it’s up to me to decide what I do with the rest of my career and I plan on being great.”
How does he respond to the doubters that have surfaced this week?
“It has to motivate you. NFL scouts, you can’t argue that because it’s a battle that you can’t fight. But when it comes to guys like Von Miller, an A&M Aggie, most of his statements are motivated by the fact that he’s an A&M Aggie and they’re rivals with Baylor. I don’t take anything that he says too seriously. He’s a great player and I’m sure it will be a pleasure to play Houston.”
He’s expected to be a savior in DC. How will he handle the hype?
“The expectations will be high but you want that kind of pressure. You want those expectations. I’ve just got to make sure my team believes in me because that’s all that matters at the end of the day. If they go out there and they fight for me, then we can go out and win football games.”
How much do you feel pressure and when is the last time you felt it?
“Peyton said pressure’s something you feel when you don’t know what you’re doing. If there’s no pressure there is no diamonds. When you’re in those big-time games in those big-time moments in the fourth quarter you want all that pressure on you because that means you actually have a chance and as long as you have a chance you can go out and be successful.”
Playing QB for Mike and Kyle Shanahan can be tough. Why does he think this will work so well?
“The best thing about it is that [Mike Shanahan] was at every meeting affiliated with the Redskins. It lets me know that he wants me there. He’s talked to me about doing great things with me. It’s one of the first times he’s had a young quarterback since John Elway and Jay Cutler of course. He’s looking forward to working with me, I’m looking forward to working with him. Hopefully we can create greatness.”
How have his meetings with Kyle Shanahan better prepared him to succeed as a rookie?
“Just understanding what they’re going after. There’s no way I can learn their whole offense in three hours but all the sets that they run, the formations, the motions, everything. If you can know what a coach is thinking it can help you learn the offense a lot faster so in that regard I am better prepared. But by no means do I know any of the playbook.”
He’s said that DC has already let him know they love him. What signs was he referring to?
“I did a signing up there a couple weeks ago. I saw at least seven variations of my name on a shirt, pictures and all this other stuff. Through twitter, I’ve been able to see what the fans are saying. They’re excited about me being their quarterback but they’re excited about the team that the Redskins can be with me as their quarterback, not just because of me. They’re not confident because I’m coming. They’re confident because of what’s already there and that’s a big thing.”
How will he prove to NFL veterans that he is level-headed?
“I have to go in and prove it to them. You can’t come in thinking that you’re a big-dog. I might be the second pick, I might be who the fans want as a quarterback and the coaches want as a quarterback but I’ve still got to go beat out Rex Grossman… Rex Grossman is the quarterback in Washington right now and I’ve got to go beat him out. I’ve got to prove to those guys that I’m there to work and I will, it’s who I am. I’ll be the first one in, last one out and it won’t be a cliché with me.”
Are the Colts making a mistake by not picking him (according to reports that they’ll take Andrew Luck)?
“The Colts feel that the other guy is better for them and you have to respect that, and I do respect it. I wanted to be the No. 1 pick and I’m the No. 1 pick for the Washington Redskins.”
How much does having his parents and family around him this week help in his draft-week celebrations?
“It’s great. You want to make your parents proud, if you can do that it makes you joyful. My parents will be here, I have family from New Orleans, which is a coincidence because the Redskins play New Orleans first. It’ll be great to see all their smiles and bring our family somewhere it hasn’t been before.”
The RG-3 nickname was started by a weatherman in Waco, Texas. How did that come about?
“It does have a nice ring to it. People were calling me Robert Griffin III and I guess he just got tired of it so he just took my initials and threw the third on there, RG-3. The fans caught onto it. It’s a lot easier to chant. I didn’t say ‘hey call me RG-3,’ the fans called me that.”
What does being the face of a franchise mean to Griffin III?
“It means that you represent everything that franchise wants to be about. Integrity, hard-work, dedication. When anything goes wrong, they’re looking at you. Anything goes right, they’re looking at you. You have to be able to manage that. I was blessed to have that at Baylor and grow through it so now when I get to DC I’ll be better prepared for it and I look forward to it.”
What kind of socks will he wear on draft night?
“I can’t tell you what the socks are going to be. I can’t tell you what the suits going to be. Everybody just tune in and watch not just myself but everybody enjoy the draft process and getting their name called.”
Have the Colts told you they are picking Andrew Luck?
“They haven’t told me anything and you never know with Mr. Irsay, what he’s going to do. I think it’s safe to say that Andrew Luck will be No. 1. I’ll be No. 2. I’m not satisfied with that but I’m glad to be in Washington.”