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Robert Griffin III: ‘You can’t control when coach makes a (QB) decision’

BEREA, Ohio — Robert Griffin III said he takes nothing from the fact that he has taken every first-team rep for the Cleveland Browns so far during training camp.

On a team where the starting quarterback job is (allegedly) up for grabs, the Browns have tilted the (alleged) competition toward Griffin.

For him, though, it's inconsequential.

Or at least he said it's inconsequential.

"You just focus on what you can control," Griffin said Tuesday. "If coach tells me to go, I go. If he tells me he wants me to go play on the concrete with the first offense, that's what we're going to go do.

"It doesn't matter where we're at. We're ready to play."

Although no formal decision has been made on the Browns' starting quarterback, Robert Griffin III has taken all the first-team reps in training camp. Scott R. Galvin/USA TODAY Sports

Browns head coach Hue Jackson has said he will name the starter before the first preseason game at the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 12.

That leaves the Browns 10 days and six practices to officially name Griffin (or anyone else) the starter. Barring a change of approach, it would be tough to make Josh McCown the starter as he has not worked with the first team.

One of those six practices will be Friday night, when Jackson will have the team go full speed in a live scrimmage with tackling. The quarterbacks will be off limits, but it will provide the truest glimpse into Griffin's development in a new offense.

"It’s not about me, it’s not about any individual," Griffin said. "It’s about us as a unit. Just get the unit moving and have positive plays."

In Tuesday's practice, Jackson jump-started the work by having an early full-speed drill with tackling. Griffin quarterbacked the first team against a mix of backups, and with short throws guided the offense to a touchdown. Griffin looked good in that drill, though in a later full-speed work the defense had the advantage.

Jackson reiterated that the decision on the starting job will be about more than just on-field play.

"He has to lead," Jackson said. "I said a long time ago in that position you have to wear a lot of different hats. It's not just throwing the ball straight. Obviously that's a real important quality a guy has to have. But he also has to be able to uplift his teammates and have his teammates follow him."

How is Griffin doing in that regard? The same as he's doing on the field. Growing, Jackson said.

"When you come into a new locker room, a new team, a new organization and a new coach, everybody wants to see what you do and how you respond," Griffin said. "What I try to do is go in and work hard, show up every day and prove it to them that they can trust me."

Griffin dared to discuss the offense's potential, which became brighter when wide receiver Josh Gordon was reinstated from his suspension. That gives the Browns a player who led the league in receiving yards in 2013 to go with running backs Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell, tight end Gary Barnidge, first-round pick and wide receiver Corey Coleman as well as fellow receiver Andrew Hawkins.

"It's real exciting to see our roster," Griffin said, "to see the guys and know that we do have some guys that aren't completely healthy, and when they do get out here and start rolling it can be even more fun. It's my job to get them the ball, and I promise you I'm going to do my best."

He would not, however, say he's eager to be named the starter — even if it would bring the position into focus and allow the team to move forward.

"You can’t control when coach makes a decision, how he makes a decision," Griffin said. "One thing we all know is we’re all going to have each other’s back."


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