Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins quarterback, is only a rookie. Griffin certainly doesn’t play like a first year player. The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. The Eagles will face a very talented player who knows the game.
He’s also a player who understands the history of the game. Doug Williams played for the Redskins. Williams, former Grambling State quarterback, led the Redskins to a historic Super Bowl victory over the Denver Broncos in 1988. He is the first and only Black quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
Griffin, 22, also known as RG3, is well aware of Williams’ accomplishment as an African-American quarterback. He’s very appreciative of the trail that has been paved for him by other trailblazers at his position.
“There have been a lot of great African American quarterbacks,” Griffin said. “Doug Williams is the one who comes to mind because he’s the only one to win a Super Bowl. I knew [that] before I became a pro, before I even put on a Redskins’ jersey.
“But all those guys who have fought those stereotypes do all kinds of things to get where they were and set the foundation for players like myself. So, other African-American quarterbacks in the league and in college and in high school know that they can come to the NFL and be successful, too. The one thing many of them told me is that you can’t try to fight that battle as an African American quarterback by yourself. You can’t try to go out and be the pioneer for that. Go out and let your play do the talking and go from there.”
Griffin has certainly done that. Despite the Redskins’ 3-6 record, he has performed extremely well. He has completed 172-of-262 passes for 1,993 yards including eight touchdowns and three interceptions. He has 81 carries for 529 yards and six rushing TDs.
Griffin was an outstanding player at Baylor University. He won the Heisman Trophy last year. He was the second player overall selection in this year’s NFL draft. For the 6-foot-2, 217-pounder, that’s a lot of pressure on a young player. He doesn’t look at himself as a player who has to put the team on his back. He has kept everything in perspective.
“I see myself as a quarterback that these players have been wanting, that this coaching staff have been wanting, fans have been itching for a long time,” Griffin said. “I don’t put myself as savior or anything like that because I don’t think anybody should look at themselves that way. How others view you is how others view you. I look at myself as a quarterback for this team that they need. I make sure I’m there for them.”