WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Robert Griffin III undoubtedly is a breath of fresh air to the people of the D.C. area, who were malnourished at the quarterback position until the Redskins finally drafted the Baylor product last year.
Often times though, it can be difficult to strip away the local fanfare and gauge how a player’s perceived nationally.
Well, at least from a media perspective, the answer to that is RGIII is “refreshingly honest.”
“I just think he’s incredibly honest,” Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports told Bill Rohland and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan.
“I just don’t think that there’s any agenda when he answers things,” Carpenter said. “He’s asked a question and I think he just says exactly what he thinks, and we’re not used to that. I think most guys in his position, they fib. They tell white lies. Whatever. And I think that’s perhaps the difference between him than a lot of other people.”
The Redskins had to do damage control on Monday, to quell rumors of a rift between Mike Shanahan and RGIII, after he let on a little too much about his thoughts on not playing in the preseason. Carpenter says that kind of honesty – the kind which inadvertently prompts national headlines – doesn’t come around often in sports.
In fact, he had to reach all the way back to 1993, to a different sport, to find an athlete he could compare RGIII to, honestly.
“The only guy who really sticks to me, is years ago I was covering UConn basketball, and they brought in this recruit named Ray Allen,” Carpenter said.
“And I got to know him a little bit through his recruitment, and an 18-year-old Ray Allen is what I think of when I think of RGIII,” he continued. “Another person who is incredible honest, kind of, and Ray has changed too, a little bit in that regard and I think he’s become a little more guarded just because of his position. But that same kind of refreshing sort of enthusiasm and honesty is there.”
Carpenter says he’s asked countless former coaches and peers if they think Griffin’s capable of changing, and the verdict returns the same every time: ‘No, he’s not gonna change. He’s just going to be honest. He’s going to tell you what he’s thinking.’
“It can come off weird and it can be a bit of a distraction and obviously it generates plenty of talk radio and whatever else, but that’s just who he is,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter later added, “He is so comfortable with who he is, he is so confident, that he is not going to change.”
And while that may not be a breath of fresh air to hear, given how this week has played out, it’s definitely different, and don’t look for that to change.