ASHBURN, Va. (CBSDC) — Robert Griffin III is already winning over his new Washington Redskins teammates.
The Heisman Trophy winning quarterback is yet to disappoint the veterans on the team, many of whom he held court with for the first time on Monday.
One veteran in particular that has been impressed with the Heisman Trophy winner is Chris Cooley, who is returning following a disappointing injury-riddled 2011 campaign.
“For the first three weeks being around Griff, I couldn’t have expected more,” Cooley said. “The way he’s come in and worked, not just with the team, but with our staff and our playbook has been extremely impressive. His ability to pick up our offense, just what we have initially, and his ability to come in our huddle and enunciate our plays, call the plays confidently, get us to the line… it’s been pretty exciting.”
The veteran tight end said he was especially impressed at the speed in which RGIII has picked up the playbook given his recollection of trying to learn the offense when he was a rookie.
Larger than Griffin’s book smarts, however, are the intangibles and perhaps the very reason Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen “fell in love” with him as a prospect out of Baylor.
RGIII is changing the Redskins culture.
“Something that stood out to me, especially as a rookie, is he said ‘It’s not about playing good football. It’s about winning.’ ” Cooley recalled. “I’ve been here long enough to know that playing good football doesn’t really do it for you. It is about winning. And I think that as I group we have to take that attitude. I think he’ll instantly come in and be a leader for us and kind of sway everything toward that direction.”
London Fletcher has also been impressed by the youngster during their limited time together. The age-defying linebacker said the team’s decision to draft Griffin was a factor in his own decision to re-sign with the Redskins.
He further praised Shanahan’s decision to name RGIII as the team’s starter right out of the gate as it gives him as much time as possible to prepare for opening day and cuts down on guess work.
“He’s very humble, you know very respectful, you know not coming in feeling like he’s entitled to anything,” Fletcher said of Griffin. “He’s willing to work, he works hard, he’s in here early, and he’s in his playbook. There are some first round draft picks, especially high guys, they come in and feel like things should be given to them. That’s not the case with him. He has an aura about himself that people want to gravitate to him and just get to know him, talk to him, things like that. You can see why everybody spoke so highly about him.”