INDIANAPOLIS: Robert Griffin III wouldn’t mind earning a bit of redemption against Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.
When Griffin was a freshman quarterback for Baylor in 2008, he and the Bears suffered a 45-21 thrashing at the hands of McCoy and the Texas Longhorns. McCoy threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the rout.
Now Griffin is wondering about the possibility of the Browns selecting him early in the draft and setting up a reunion with McCoy. During his news conference Friday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Griffin even flirted with the idea that he could duel with McCoy to become the Browns’ starting quarterback.
“It would be fun to compete with Colt,” said Griffin, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. “I played him one year in college and he beat us. Maybe I’d have to go out there and beat him. 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.”
Griffin said he was scheduled to meet with the Browns on Friday night. His goal is to convince teams he’s capable of excelling in their schemes, even though he played in a spread offense at Baylor.
“West Coast offenses with Washington and Cleveland [are] highly concept-based, long verbiage in the plays,” Griffin said. “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.”
In addition to selling himself as a quick learner, Griffin also hoped to prove he was as tall as Baylor advertised. He did that Friday. His official measurement is 6 feet, 2 inches, and he weighed in at 223 pounds.
“Height is important,” Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “Honestly, the guys up in front of [the quarterbacks] aren’t getting shorter.”
And every inch counts in the minds of NFL decision makers.
“In that area of 6-1, you better be able to have pocket presence and be able to move and see much like [New Orleans Saints quarterback] Drew Brees,” St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “Once you get to 6-2 plus, that’s important.”
As for the rest of the combine, Griffin plans to run, but he won’t throw until his March 21 Pro Day, which has been rescheduled so it won’t conflict with the March 22 Pro Day of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. In his meeting with reporters, Luck said he won’t throw at the combine, either.
Griffin is expected to be the second quarterback drafted after Luck, who’s projected to be picked first overall by the Indianapolis Colts on April 26. The Browns, who have the fourth and 22nd overall picks, will be among the logical candidates to become suitors of Griffin if they don’t sign a quarterback in free agency, which starts March 13. But the Browns might need to trade up to get him because the Washington Redskins, the Miami Dolphins and the Seattle Seahawks could be in pursuit.
The Rams have the No. 2 pick, and Fisher said they’re open to trading it.
“We have the option to stay there, take the best player, or listen to whoever’s willing to talk,” he said.
Fisher ruled out the theory that the Rams might trade starting quarterback Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. He also indicated the Rams would not seriously think about drafting Griffin.
In other words, the door is open for a team to move up and nab Griffin. He likes the idea of a team becoming infatuated with him and making a move to show it.
“I hope somebody falls in love with me other than my fiancée,” Griffin said. “That’s what you want. As a player, you want a team that really wants you.”
If the Browns don’t become the ones to make Griffin’s wish come true, they could still target a quarterback in the first round. Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill might be an option at No. 22.
Tannehill suffered a broken foot that’s keeping him from working out at the combine. But he said he’s ahead of schedule in the healing process and expects to be ready for his Pro Day on March 29.
In the meantime, Tannehill is at the combine to interview with teams. He learned the West Coast offense from his college coach Mike Sherman, a former assistant of Browns President Mike Holmgren.
“When [Sherman] came in my freshman year, it was straight West Coast terminology,” Tannehill said. “All of our concepts originated from that. I definitely think it’s going to be a help no matter what system I go in, having played for a coach who used an NFL system.”
Nate Ulrich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Read the Browns blog at http://browns.ohio.com Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NateUlrichABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/browns.abj.