Baylor Head Coach Art Briles: I Have Never Doubted RGIII … ‘Never Will’
WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — In an interview with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier Tuesday, Baylor head coach Art Briles opened up about consulting his former player, quarterback Robert Griffin III, through his many struggles during a hellacious 3-13 2013 Redskins season.
So what did Briles make of Griffin’s demeanor last year? How down did he get, Briles was asked.
“I don’t think ‘down’ is a good word,” Briles said. “I mean ‘frustrated.’ ‘Disappointed’ are probably a little better words.”
“Any time you’re dealing with an ultra-competitive athlete that’s used to winning every time he steps on the gridiron; the court; the track; the baseball diamond — whatever he does, he’s the best that’s out there — then there’s gonna be some frustration,” he said. “And rightfully so, and that’s what you’d want, and that’s what you’d expect, and that’s what we got.
“So I have never doubted Robert. Never will, because I know what burns inside of him, and I know how athletically gifted he is, and I know how determined he is, so what you’re dealing with is an extremely gifted athlete that’s extremely disciplined and determined.”
Briles, however, declined to give comment on the controversy Griffin seemed to be embroiled in with former Redskins coaches Mike and Kyle Shanahan.
“I really didn’t talk to him about that,” he said. “Robert’s a grown man. That’s between him and what he’s got going on there. What I would do when we would talk, is just try to feel out his mental state and keep his competitive balance where it needed to be, and his realistic thoughts where they needed to be and go from there, because every situation is different, and everybody deals with situations differently, so it’s not really my place to talk about a situation that I’m not aware of. I know the person. I know what burns him, and that’s what I deal with when I talk to him.”
On Griffin’s ACL injury suffered in the 2012 playoffs, and his subsequent struggles to return to his 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year form the following season.
“I’ve been doing this thing awhile, and been around a lot of ACLs — I’ve actually had one myself — and I think an ACL injury is a year injury, until you’re completely back to where you are,” Briles said. “There’s a few exceptions, and it kind of depends on the position you’re playing.
“If you’re a running back, you’re a downhill runner, you know where you’re gonna go all the time, you can come back a little quicker. If you’re an O-lineman or something, where you know where your movement’s gonna be, you’re okay.
“But if you’re a QB, a DB, a receiver and you’re having to make lateral instinctive movements in a split second, with your instinct taking over and not your mentalness, then I think you’re putting yourself in danger. When he was here, we kept him in a brace for a year. So he played the 2010 season in a brace; in ’11 he played without one. He was very effective in 2010, but he was certainly more effective in 2011 when we felt like he was 100 percent.”
On being rumored as a candidate for the Redskins offseason head coaching vacancy:
“I love where I’m at. Baylor’s an unbelievable place,” Briles said. “These people have been unbelievably good to us and our program, with the proactiveness that we’ve had. It’s certainly a job that I’m really comfortable with. We have a lot of great things out there in front of us. The NFL intrigues me, from a standpoint that I would like to see somebody with our mentality and our tempo and our nature up there, and just turn it loose and letting it play. I think it would certainly be good for the league, but right now, shoot, I’m grinding to get win number one in 2014.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio clip below.