Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III met with reporters this afternoon at the NFL Scouting Combine. Here is a transcript of the question-and-answer session:
Q: What kind of socks are you wearing?
A: I’ve got Ninja Turtles on today. (pulled up his pants leg to show them)
Q: What do you hope to show this week?
A: On the field will be running, I’m not going to throw this weekend. Get out there, just move around, compete. In the interviews, just looking forward to showing them who I am, let them get to know me, I get to know them. And just explain our offense to them a little bit.
Q: That your decision not to throw? Your agent’s? The reason?
A: It’s my decision. You don’t go somewhere and run a game plan, you never practice, throw to guys you don’t practice with in an environment you’re not prepared for, so that’s why.
Q: Who are you?
A: Huh, huh. What? That sounds like a paper from my English class. (laughter)
Just the person that I am, some people think I came on the scene this year so they haven’t had as much time to evaluate me. So I’m just excited to really show them who I am as a person. Happy go lucky, like to make people laugh but know when to be serious as well.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about your game?
A: I think it’s just a misconception that comes with being a dual-threat quarterback. You’re run first, throw second. I think I’ve proven I’m throw first, then run if I need to.
Q: Can we hear your official height and weight from your own lips?
A: 6-2 3/8 and 223. We didn’t lie about my height.
Q: Was it crazy when people were questioning your height?
A: In high school I was 6-4, 200 pounds. So when I got to college I shrunk an inch and gained weight. I was 6-2, 220. I guess they thought I just shrunk some more, I was 6-foot and 190 now. It’s official, I’m 6-2 3/8 and 223. You try to block those things out, but at the end of the day the numbers don’t lie.
Q: A draft expert said you come from a simple offense.
A: I’d like to sit down with ‘em and show ‘em how simple it is. It’s not a simple offense. It’s a good offense. It’s a really great offense and it’s a quarterback-friendly offense. Simple would not be the word to describe it.
Q: That something you’re looking forward to in interviews when they ask you to draw up plays?
A: Yes, sir, because different concepts, people understand them differently. In the NFL they’re run a little bit different. We ran a numbers-based and a concept system in college. I like getting on that board or showing them or watching the film with them so they can kind of understand what we’re going through as an offense.
Q: How would you fit into a West Coast offense?
A: West Coast offenses with Washington and Cleveland, highly concept-based, long verbiage in the plays. But other than that, once you get into a system it’s easy to learn it. I’m not saying I’m going to open the playbook and know it immediately. Once you can get on the field and start going through the routes and the protections that you’re going to have to run in those types of offenses, it comes to you a lot sooner.
Q: What you think about the talk about Browns moving up to get you?
A: I hope somebody falls in love with me other than my fiancé. That’s what you want. As a player you want a team that really wants you. Head coach, GM, owner, everybody that really wants you in that place and the players believe in you. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to making somebody fall in love with me.
Q: Talk about not conceding No. 1 spot to Andrew Luck.
A: As competitors, you both want to be the best. Whether I go No. 1 or not, it’s not going to change who I am, it’s not going to change my confidence. But I’d be a fool to say I don’t want to go No. 1 in the draft because I think I do, Andrew does, Matt Kalil does, Trent Richardson does. You ask any of them, they want to go No. 1. That’s the main reason. It’s not that I think they should not pick him or they should pick me. We all want to be the best so I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t want to go No. 1.
Q: Do you think you’re the best?
A: You have to. As a quarterback when you step on the field if you don’t believe you’re the best you’re not going to go out there and perform like you’re the best.
Q: What you like most about Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright?
A: His competitiveness. You can talk about his speed, his explosive ability, but he’s a competitor. He’s not going to let anybody outwork him on the field.
Q: In meetings with teams, what you have to convince them?
A: That our offense isn’t simple, it’s not the traditional spread where we’re in shotgun all the time, although we are in shotgun a lot. So is Tom Brady and Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, but that’s beside the point. Just that it’s not a simple offense. I’m not going to try to make it seem difficult. But I’ll explain it to them, whether it’s protections, progressions and what I’m doing out there it’s not as simple as everybody makes it seem.
Q: Cam Newton’s coaching staff looked at Auburn plays, Denver did that with Tim Tebow. Would you like if your coaching staff did that?
A: I think those elements that they brought out show how good of coaches that they are. If you go back and you work to a player’s strengths, it can be great. But I’m not going to be the one that walks in the door with five plays with Baylor and like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to run these.’ If they want to do that, I’m more than happy to go with that. If they want to know some concepts from Baylor, I’d be happy to bring coach Briles up there. My job is to learn their offense and to be respectful for them that way.
Q: Kendall (Wright) was up here a little bit ago … What it like to transform Baylor program?
A: It was a great experience. It’s not the experience everybody wants to go through. When you walk into class and teachers are making fun of you. And then my junior year, his senior year we walk into class and all they want to do is talk about the football game and how great we are. It shows you how quickly things can change and just how much work we had to put in to get it that way. A lot of things that are there now weren’t there when we got there. Now they’re talking about putting an on-campus football stadium in 2015. We’re excited about what we did, but we also know our futures are bright in this league if we’re so honored to be drafted into it.
Q: How can that experience help when you go to a team that’s been struggling?
A: I mean, all these teams are either missing one piece or just had an unfortunate year. My job as the quarterback of that team, whether I’m the starter or the backup is to go in there and try to lead. I’m excited no matter who the team is. It is an honor to play in the NFL and not everybody’s here with this mike in front of them with this opportunity so I’m going to make the most of it.
Q: What are your impressions of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck?
A: Andrew’s a great guy, great college player, coach Harbaugh did recruit both of us out of high school to go to Stanford. My whole thinking behind that was he was already committed and the two-quarterback thing doesn’t work. I didn’t want to have to either me be the one that transferred or Luck be the one that transferred. So I decided to go to a different college. But I liked Stanford, I liked coach Harbaugh and I like Andrew.
Q: What does Baylor coach Art Briles mean to you?
A: Coach Briles is amazing. Sometimes you get a feeling about somebody and it’s right. The feeling I had about coach Briles was right. He’s honest, he’s down to earth, he’ll talk to you, he’s approachable as a coach. His humility is amazing. For all the things he’s done in his life, to continue to be the way he is. He helped me become a better player and a better person as well.
Q: Have the Colts given you any indication at all that you’re still in the mix for the No. 1 pick?
A: I haven’t met with Indy yet, but they haven’t told me they’re not, so I’ll just take it that way.
Q: Can you talk about the influence your parents had on you?
A: Aw, that’s the end of the question, yeah.
Military kid, both my parents were in the military. Mom did 12 years, dad did 21, served in two wars. Discipline was something that was obviously huge. If you say you’re going to do something, you do it. If you start it, you finish it. Yes, sir, no ma’am. You’ve got to have that kind of structure in your life. It kind of helped me be that disciplined person I am, whether it’s with workouts, film, or just the game of football.
Q: Do you think you have to change your running game because of the size of defenders in the NFL to have durability?
A: I’m a quarterback so I’ve just got to throw the ball. The running’s extra.
Q: How did this sock thing get started?
A: It started my sophomore year in high school. I wasn’t one that really matched all that well. That’s why the socks usually never match anything I’m wearing. It’s to show I’m comfortable with who I am, I’m comfortable in my own skin. The socks are just a representation of that.
Q: Can the face of an NFL franchise wear Hello Kitty socks?
A: I’ve worn Hello Kitty a couple times, but I’m not wearing them right now. If they don’t want me to wear Hello Kitty, I won’t do it.
Q: Have you met with any teams?
A: I just met with Philadelphia last night. Today I’ll meet with Cleveland and Kansas City.
Q: Comparisons with Cam Newton.
A: Cam’s a bigger guy, I think he’s 6-5, 240. I’m 6-2 3/8ths and 223. I’m not letting that go. That’s a difference. As a runner he is a little more shifty than I am, but I’m faster than he is. More experienced in the passing game in college. Not that I’m more polished and he’s not polished, just we threw it a little bit more at Baylor than they did at Auburn. Other than that, confidence-wise his confidence is off the charts. I try to keep my confidence on the charts. But I’m a confident guy as well. You’ve got to be that way. If you don’t think you’re the best you don’t perform that way.
Q: Have you seen Peyton Manning's picture outside, can you picture yourself up there?
A: I’d like it to stay Peyton’s picture, but I’m not going to be a politician for that. I’ve talked to Peyton a couple times and I wish him the best. I hope what he wants can come about from the situation. It would be amazing for him to stay in Indy and play out his career or to be drafted here and play behind him.
As a quarterback, you’re going to be put in the forefront whether you want it or not. And if you’re not, then you’re not doing your job. As the quarterback of an organization you’re going to be out there, you’re going to have billboards as long as you’re playing well and I plan on playing well.
Q: Who did you pattern your game after?
A: Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, guys people think I’ve never seen play like Kenny Stabler. Guys that extend that play. John Elway is another guy who extended the play. They went from within the pocket, but they also know how to go outside the pocket. I think that’s what the game’s kind of turning to with guys like Drew Brees who run a little bit and Aaron Rodgers who can move around a little bit.
Q: With all the talk about you going to Cleveland, how much would you like to play there, what you know about team and Colt McCoy?
A: It would be fun to compete with Colt. I played him one year in college and he beat us. Maybe I’d have to go out there and beat him. Other than that, it would be an honor to go to Cleveland, to go anywhere. That’s all I can say about that. As far as the team goes, they just need that motivation, they need that inspiration. They’ve got the coaches in place to be successful.
Q: Is it going to be a big adjustment to go through multiple progressions in your offense?
A: No, it wouldn’t. We usually had at least three options in our offense with a checkdown. Then the fourth or fifth option would be for me to make something happen. Sometimes it happens that way in games for quarterbacks. So it wouldn’t be a huge leap. Plus I ran a pro-style offense in high school. Not that this is high school football, just sayin’.
Q: Possibility of playing behind Peyton Manning with the Colts?
A: I would embrace it. It’s not very often you get chances to play or be on a team with a legend like that and learn from a guy like Peyton. Definitely I’d come in and compete to be that starter, but I wouldn’t be upset if Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback of the team that I’m on. It would be an honor to sit behind him and learn. I’d hold that clipboard with pride. I’d have no problem with that. I wouldn’t come in and demand to be the starter.h pride. I’d have no problem with that. I wouldn’t come in and demand to be the starter.