Robert Griffin III of Baltimore Ravens a ‘smarter player’ after year off

NFL


OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Robert Griffin III believed he had two choices while being out of the NFL last year: Get upset or get motivated.

Griffin dedicated himself to watching games, analyzing offenses and learning from the mistakes of other quarterbacks. He feels he has a better grasp of how to play the game and what coaches are looking for from him.

“It helped me become a smarter player,” Griffin said at Wednesday’s introductory press conference with the Baltimore Ravens. “I tried to use that experience to grow. I feel like I have grown from that and I look forward to being able to show it.”

“I’m not relying on what I did in the past. I want to show them the player that I am and the player I can be moving forward. It’s time to let that stuff go and move forward as a new player, a better player, a grown player.”

Robert Griffin III

Griffin, 28, signed a one-year deal with Baltimore to be the backup to Joe Flacco. The No. 2 overall pick of the 2012 draft, Griffin was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and reached the Pro Bowl in his first season, throwing 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. But injuries and inconsistent play derailed his career.

The Washington Redskins cut him in 2016, and the Cleveland Browns released him after one season. Griffin didn’t know whether he would get another chance after sitting out last year.

He believes he received another opportunity because of his standout workout with the Ravens earlier this month. Team officials told Griffin how impressed they were with his preparation and eagerness.

“I’m not relying on what I did in the past,” Griffin said. “I want to show them the player that I am and the player I can be moving forward. It’s time to let that stuff go and move forward as a new player, a better player, a grown player.”

Griffin, who has never played a full 16-game season in his career, said there are no lingering health issues.

“Being 100 percent honest, I haven’t felt this good since I came out of college,” Griffin said. “A year off of football can do that when trucks aren’t landing on you every play.”

In his five-year career, Griffin has started 40 of 42 games. So, being the No. 2 quarterback is a different role for him.

“I knew coming into this situation that this is Joe’s team,” Griffin said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to learn from him. I’m here to compete and get better every single day. I think they saw that from me in the workout and in our general conversations together. I think they realize that I’m ready for the opportunity and I’m ready for this role.”



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