Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Robert Griffin III emulates Manning, Brady in fooling defenses

Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears

Photograph: Sarah Glenn/Getty Im

Robert Griffin III, Baylor’s Heisman Trophy winner who is expected to become a Washington Redskin as the second overall pick in the NFL draft, has the talent to make plays with pure speed like few quarterbacks in football history. But Griffin wants to make clear that he’s entering the NFL with a plan to use his brain and his arm more than he uses his legs.

During ESPN’s QB Camp session with Jon Gruden, Griffin broke down his own tape of Baylor’s win over Oklahoma, and he seemed particularly proud of a play when he hurried his teammates to the line and quickly called for a snap to catch Oklahoma with 12 men on the field.

“They’ve got a D-lineman running off the field -- he’s tired,” Griffin said. “I feel like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, those guys, when they catch those guys getting off the field they’re like, ‘We need to snap the ball because we’re gonna get five free yards.’”

That was music to the ears of Gruden, who responded, “This gets my motor running. This gets my heart pumping. I love this.”

Griffin emphasized that he views himself as a quarterback who can read defenses and make all the throws, but who just happens to be a former track star who was viewed as a potential Olympic hurdler before he decided to focus full-time on football. When Gruden asked him if he thinks he’ll be the fastest quarterback in NFL history, Griffin answered, “I don’t like talking about myself like that.”

“I can throw with the best of them as well,” Griffin said. “I believe in my arm and I believe I could be a quarterback even if I didn’t have the speed that I do.”

The speed is a nice bonus, but it doesn’t define Griffin as a quarterback.