In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new quarterback in town. The first day of training camp is over, his quotes from earlier this week have been disseminated. Early analysis from the media on Thursday’s camp indicates his performance was respectable, though not flawless. His interviews from Wednesday, however, were in veteran form, particularly where he declared himself as “just Robert” to his teammates.
Robert, as is Robert Griffin III, better known across the league as “RGIII” and the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, also showed a refreshing empathy with the common man’s plight when a question came up about housing prices in D.C.
“I’m not a spender of money. I don’t spend money that much,” he said. “The prices on some of the places were ridiculous, but we handled that. It’s nice out here. It’s like a jungle. [There are] a lot of bugs, a lot of trees,… but it’s definitely fun.”
Really, even his bouts of ordinary are extraordinary, considering the microscope he’s under.
But back to football.
Besides the enormous amount of physical talent he brings, RGIII…excuse me, Robert… also gave the most interesting description of any high-profile athlete’s affiliation with a franchise that I’ve ever heard: “There’s really no true face of the franchise because if we all just had faces, we’d all be dead. So you know, there’s got to be a heart, there’s got to be some legs, some arms. So that’s those guys in there. I guess you can say I’m just the mask. Those guys are the real ones that make up the body of this team.”
But Robert doesn’t just get his teammates; he gets the fan base.
“The fans are definitely starved for success,” he said. “But I think the players in that locker room are starved for success as well. They want to get out and show people what they’re made of. Whether we’re ranked first in the poll or fourth in our division, whatever it is, I don’t think anybody in the locker room really cares. We know what we have to do to go out and be successful, and we’ve just got to play. Let your play do the talking.”
It’s a very long road to September, let alone anything that could happen come January-February of next year. There has been a caution issued to not expect seasoned Elway out of rookie Robert, and it’s a wise sentiment. So far, there’s been little to indicate in one day of training camp that RGIII won’t someday be everything fans ask.
It’s just gonna take a lot of hard work. And no one should expect otherwise.