Robert Griffin III press conference
With the Washington Redskins primed to participate in the first practice of their 2012 training camp on Thursday, all eyes will undoubtedly be on the new guy under center.
At Wednesday's press conference, Robert Griffin III's burgundy shirt read "No Pressure. No Diamonds."
Griffin, who signed a 4-year, $21 million contract with the Redskins last week, says that he isn't setting individual goals.
""If we're winning, I win," he says
The pressure is already on the precocious rookie; in early May, head coach Mike Shanahan made no bones about the fact that Griffin is entering the season as the Redskins starting quarterback.
"I was more anxious, maybe a little nervous for minicamp and OTAs," Griffin said, "I've been through the offense, got a taste for how fast the game is and just what I need to do as a quarterback to help this team win. I feel a lot more comfortable. It's actually more relaxing. There's nothing going on outside of football. It's all smiles in the locker room. In the short time, we've built great relationships."
Some of that relationship building happened in Waco, Texas, in late June when Griffin welcomed receiver Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks and tight end Fred Davis to work out with him at Baylor.
"Throwing with the guys over the break, you can see who's truly dedicated and who you have to continue to stay on," Griffin said. "We went twice a day. I wanted those guys to get a feel for who I was. It's best to just show them sometimes ... go through a workout with the Baylor team, see how we worked. I thought it was very productive as far as throwing and as far as being able to bond."
Griffin has done commercials for several companies including Adidas and Gatorade, but he doesn't necessarily buy into the fact that he's face of the franchise as a 22-year-old who yet to take an NFL snap.
"Maybe they might not have accepted me as their leader yet, but they definitely see me as a guy that can help," Griffin said. "(They) don't look at me as a celebrity. Yeah, I'm the quarterback, the guy that's going to lead them to victory, (but) I'm not RGIII to them. I'm just Robert. I don't think you can be approachable if they think you feel you're larger than life. You got to be real with them."
Like Griffin, the Redskins, 11-21 during coach Mike Shanahan's first two seasons and 21 seasons removed from their last Super Bowl, just want to win.
"This is a similar situation to the one I was in at Baylor," Griffin said. "The program had been starved for success for a long time and we ... got the program back on top. It's a larger scale here in D.C., but I'm not going to put unnecessary pressure on my shoulders when I know it's more of a team thing. I'm very proud to be a part of this franchise. I just to make sure I try to stay focused, continue to work and act like I'm that undrafted free agent who's trying to make the team."
"There's no celebrity, no autographs, in the locker room," he says.