A tsunami of euphoria has bathed the Washington, DC metropolitan area with a level of hope and excitement not seen since Joe Gibbs announced his return eight years ago. Redskins Nation has officially gone RG3 crazy, delighting in the throes of exaltation that can only come from the arrival of an apparent messiah.
Despite the fact that they have only been available for about two days, the number of shiny, new #10 jerseys numbered in the hundreds during Saturday’s draft party at FedEx Field, an event which had the feel of a coronation for the newly drafted Heisman Trophy winner. The ravenous Redskins faithful have long wondered what a bona-fide franchise QB could do for a team which has consistently struggled to acquire that special player at the game’s most important position. Judging by the frenzy of the 20,000 football fanatics who gathered upon the very same field where Griffin will one day showcase his considerable talents, they believe they have finally found their man.
During Griffin’s introductory press conference, I had the chance to ask him what he had to do to bring stability to the Redskins quarterback position, which has been unsettled at best for the better part of a generation.
“I try not to take the weight of the past 20 years on my own shoulders.” Griffin said, “I realize there are other guys on this team that can help us be successful. I don’t have to do everything. All of these guys are very talented: many all-Americans, many all-conference players. Everybody’s on this team for a reason. They want to win, and they’re good at what they do, so I don’t have to do everything by myself. [I need to] just be myself, go out and work hard, learn the offense, continue to do the things that help me be successful as an individual and help build that through the team with the qualities I can help add to a team.”
Anyone who has followed Griffin’s meteoric rise from relative obscurity to becoming the second pick the NFL Draft won’t be surprised to hear this; RG3 always seems to say the right things, and while his words are clearly polished, the have the feel of coming form the heart rather than the head. He seems to have grasped the undeniable reality that perhaps the most important part of the job of every quarterback, rookie or not, is to be a leader. Griffin’s first obstacle will be to earn the trust and respect of his teammates, and he appears very cognizant of this fact as he deftly produces all the right answers.
While answering a question about his relationship with current Redskins, it’s clear the new kid has done his homework. Step one in impressing his new teammates appears to have been successfully completed.
“I’m familiar with players on the roster [but have] no friendships. I do know [Brian] Orakpo. He played at Texas so no friendships there, but we’re cool now because we’re all part of Redskins Nation, so that matters. I am familiar with a lot of the guys. Santana Moss was a guy I watched. I’m not going to mention his age, but he was a guy I watched growing up. I wanted to go to ‘The U.’ It will be a pleasure playing with him. Of course, there’s Pierre Garçon and Josh Morgan who just came in, Anthony Armstrong, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, [and] Leonard Hankerson. I could go on there for days with the receivers because those are my guys. That’s who I’ve got to throw the ball to … [I know] Roy Helu, the running back, Evan Royster, [and] Tim Hightower if he comes back. I’m familiar with the guys on the team. I want them to know that I am looking them up and thinking about meeting them. Hopefully I can form good relationships with them. I’ve been doing my homework. I know a little bit about just about everybody because those are my teammates now.”
When was the last time a new Redskins quarterback broke down the roster like this on his first day? This is a very encouraging first sign, and it shouldn’t take long for him to stabilize himself as the leader of this team.
In order to be successful as an NFL quarterback, a man cannot lack for confidence, and RG3 certainly does not. When he walked into the press room at FedEx Field, the atmosphere had the electric quality that one usually experiences when a rock star or master politician works his magic. Griffin has an aura about him that makes those around him buy in to whatever he says; he is clearly aware of this power, and he knows how to use it.
For those desperate to rally around a leader, these qualities leave the fan faithful salivating with anticipation. As he made his way onto the gridiron to address the throngs of fans this past Saturday, FedEx erupted with the sound reminiscent of Santana Moss’ overtime-winning catch against the Jaguars several years back. The difference here, of course, is that there was no game being played, just a man and a podium, with Redskins Nation chanting his name in unison. Everyone who was there, young and old, seems already prepared for greatness under Griffin.
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So for those that don't know sonofwashington has become a credentialed media outlet for the Washington Redskins. Saturday was the first event we covered and it was insane. The reaction to RG3 is like nothing I have ever seen and the kid is impossible to not be excited about.
We have some awesome photos and videos over on SOW if you wanna check it out.