Even though today’s rookie mini-camp was technically closed to the traditional media, staff members from ESPN 980 and the NFL Network were present on the sidelines, hobnobbing with the coaches and training staff.
Those are the spoils of being a former Redskins player-turned-media personality.
Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Theismann and Hog tight end Rick ‘Doc’ Walker were the face of the glory years in Washington, and have a personal interest in seeing it return to form. That’s why both made an effort to be out on the field for the first practice of Robert Griffin III, and they shared a lot of their thoughts with Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael:
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Here are the highlights, as Walker and Theismann talk a little bit about themselves, and a lot about Griffin III and the critical importance of a franchise quarterback:
Walker on Griffin III: “What I love about this young man, is that he enjoys working–that he enjoys getting better…This is the process, this is what it’s all about: when they start working on the game. He’s so athletic, but he’s got the discipline that it takes to get the little things accomplished.”
Walker on Theismann: “Joe was the hardest worker on our team, in addition to being our leader. And I think that’s imperative, that no matter how famous, no matter how much prestige the kid has, he’s gotta be an animal out there on the practice field.”
Theismann on Griffin III: “I think work ethic is the only way to earn your stripes in this business. You can wear the color socks and shoes you wanna wear, and you can have people talk about you. But I think, having been the guy that won the Heisman Trophy, and all the publicity and notoriety that goes with that award, and the scrutiny he’s been under, it just gets you ready to make the transition to this level very easy.”
“When you spend time and talk to Robert, you don’t find a more humble guy. He understands that he is here to become a part of the Washington Redskins. And he understands the importance that he has to play for this franchise to move forward. I think that’s very important that guys know where they stand, and know what they need to do.”
Despite the amazing seasons of Doug Williams and Mark Rypien, Joe Theismann was the last Redskins quarterback that might qualify as a franchise guy. Griffin III has a chance to change that over time, but is only just beginning his journey today. Good to see the alumni standing behind him all the way.