With the 2012 NFL Draft officially in the books, the real work begins on developing quarterback
Due to NFL rules, Griffin III has already left Washington to prepare for next weekend’s rookie mini-camp. During his time away from the facilities, he will be expected to digest the playbook and prepare for his new teammates.
But the challenging part of his development could come off the football field, where Griffin III has been universally embraced by a hungry fan base.
In his introductory press conference, Griffin III embraced the pressure of his situation while including his new teammates in the limelight.
“It’s not just about me being here that has fans excited. It’s about the team that’s already here, with the addition of myself,” he explained. “Fans are excited because of the pieces that are already in place. They brought me in to be the quarterback.”
The hype surrounding Griffin III is deeper than his Heisman-winning season and impressive workouts leading up the draft. He also must be the answer for a franchise that bundled four high draft picks to move up and get him.
“I plan on being successful, and I hope the Redskins will join me in that battle,” he told the gathered media. “I have to be a professional, and I plan on doing my job at a high level.”
To help him reach that level, Griffin III has head coach Mike Shanahan, who oversaw the development of Steve Young in San Francisco and John Elway in Denver.
Shanahan understands the pressures on a young quarterback and feels confident in Griffin III's ability to succeed.
“You are always looking for that ‘franchise guy,’” he told the media. “He has not proven himself yet and we understand that. Hopefully we can get a good supporting cast around him and play well as a football team.
“I think he will have the chance to do some special things.”
While the media spotlight on him has been positive to this point, Griffin III understands that the time will come when he must take the blame as well.
“Quarterback always gets all the attention, but he also gets all the criticism,” Griffin III said. “It’s not necessarily how you can take the praise and attention; it’s how you deal with the criticism.
“I know this is a business.”