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Baylor Quarterback Robert Griffin III Throws For Redskins At Pro Day

By ZAC BOYER | zboyer@freelancestar.com | @ZacBoyer

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, expected to be the Washington Redskins’ first-round selection in April’s NFL Draft, held his pro day workouts on his school’s campus on Wednesday and threw for a selection of coaches and scouts that represented nearly every NFL team.

Griffin

Griffin unofficially completed 78 of 84 passes – at least four were dropped by his receivers – at the pro day, which was televised by ESPNU and attended by nearly 150 reporters from around the country.

“I thought it went great,” Griffin said in a post-workout press conference, which was also televised by the network. “I had a few misses, but other than that, I think the stat was 78 out of 84, so that was pretty good. The guys came out and worked hard, and that’s all that you can ask for.”

Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, general manager Bruce Allen and owner Dan Snyder were amongst the contingent from Washington making the trip west to Waco, Texas, located approximately two hours from Dallas and three from Houston.

It was not a private workout; pro days are affairs organized by a college where players can show their skills in front of a variety of professional scouts. Nine of Griffin’s Baylor teammates from this past season, including receiver Kendall Wright, center Phillip Blake and running back Terrance Ganaway, also participated.

The quarterback opted out of taking part in the athletic measurements, such as the 40-yard dash, vertical leap and broad jump, because he did them at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month. He did not throw then, citing a desire to throw to receivers he’s familiar with – his teammates – and did so Wednesday.

Griffin said he, his parents and his fiancé met with the contingent for dinner the night before. Because he had met Shanahan before – namely, at the combine, where they met with him for a private interview – “the starstruck part of it was gone.”

“My fiance’s a Broncos fan, too, so she was kind of weirded out by the situation because the coach that she watched growing up was sitting right there,” Griffin said, smiling. “But Shanahan’s a great coach, a great mind, and it would be an honor to play for him.”

The Redskins traded the No. 6 pick and their second-round choice in the draft, along with their first-round pick each of the next two years, to St. Louis last week in exchange for the No. 2 pick and the right to select Griffin or, far more unlikely, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.

Griffin acknowledged that there’s a likelihood he’ll end up playing for the Redskins beginning next season, and he has been convinced in his time with the coaches that he’ll be able to develop under them.

“They gave up a lot of picks to be able to move up to that spot to pick a player, and if it happens to be me, they’ve showed me that I can definitely get along with them, keep it light – but when it’s time to get serious, they’ll get serious,” Griffin said.

He also alluded to the Redskins’ lack of stability at the quarterback position and the success that Shanahan had in Denver with John Elway, who led the team to Super Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

“Since Elway, he hasn’t had that guy that you can associate him with,” Griffin said of Shanahan. “Hopefully I can be that guy if I’m available at that spot. I’ll be excited to be that guy. I don’t want to be the guy that replaced Elway because I’m not in Denver, but it would be pretty cool to be that guy that he can nurture and build up when he gets into the league.”

Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner, left Baylor after his junior year having completed 67.1 percent of his passes for 10,366 yards and 78 touchdowns against 17 interceptions. Quick on his feet, he also ran for 2,254 yards and 33 touchdowns in 41 career games, and left Baylor having set or tied 54 school records.

“I hate to talk about myself, but you’ll get a guy that everybody’s going to say, I’ll come in and work hard, I’ll be dedicated,” Griffin said. “But I mean it when I say it. I’ll come in and I won’t just try to be flamboyant and act like I’m the man, I’m the leader. You have to earn that respect from the players. I’ll do it from the inside out. From the inside of the organization out to the fans, and all the players will get the recognition for what we do – not just myself. I’m looking forward to going out there and having fun. That’s what it’s about. You have to try to have fun in the moments that you can, and my definition of fun is winning.”

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