RG III, Browns' newest QB, says he wanted to come to Cleveland

ByPat McManamon ESPN logo
Thursday, April 7, 2016

BEREA, Ohio -- Robert Griffin III's walk-off comment said it all -- of his attempt to revive both his career and the Cleveland Browns.

"No pressure, no diamonds," the Browns' newest quarterback said as he strode away from the podium after his introductory news conference in Cleveland. The only thing missing was the mic drop.

It's tempting to say that Griffin has no real idea what awaits him in Cleveland given that the Browns have had 24 starting quarterbacks since 1999. But he said he is thrilled to be with the Browns.

"I know the history, a little bit, of Cleveland," Griffin said. "And guys sometimes don't want to come here. I wanted to come here. I wanted to be here, and I wanted them to know that."

Griffin acknowledged that not playing a down in Washington last season was mentally taxing. He went from being the up-and-coming quarterback in the NFL in 2012 as the second overall pick in the draft to the third quarterback on his team.

"I've seen the great and I've seen the really bad in this league," Griffin said. "That's a very valuable piece of experience to have."

He wasn't ready to say he's been humbled, though.

"If you say you're humbled, then you're not humbled, so I can't say that," he said. "I just think I'm more experienced. I'm still a kid, I feel like. I'm 26."

Griffin promised he is healthy and refreshed from a year off and said he arrives hoping and expecting to start. The Browns have Josh McCown on the roster and the second overall pick in the draft.

"I am not trying to let any baggage hold me down from the past, but I do have a massive chip on my shoulder. I know this team has a massive chip on its shoulder," he said.

But Griffin and coach Hue Jackson tried to deflect attention from one player being the key to the Browns' coming back from a miserable three-win season.

"I don't think our system is just about Robert," Jackson said. "Our system is about our offensive players."

Those who have watched the list of 24 starters might say that the quarterback is more important than both are admitting. Griffin was not biting.

"We're going to run the best offense that we can for the personnel that we have," Griffin said. "That's why they call him coach."

Jackson said when he spoke with Griffin before signing him that he asked many tough questions. The coach said he heard a lot of the right things, and Griffin explained one of the things he learned from the down times.

"When you lose, it is always you," he said. "And that's the way you approach the game. Even if you approach it that way to yourself, you have to be able to come in front of the mic and talk to you guys and say the exact same things. Because one little slip-up makes it a national story.

"I think that's what happened to me through my experience as a player in Washington. And I know that now."

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