Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins’ mercurial rookie quarterback, returned to practice after a few days off feeling revived, he said. He also picked up a rare title for a first-year player: captain.
The Redskins’ offensive players voted Wednesday to make their quarterback a team captain for the rest of the season. Coach Mike Shanahan said he believes it’s the first time he’s had a rookie in such a leadership position. But Griffin’s appointment speaks to his position on the team and the leadership acumen he has displayed since arriving to the Redskins.
And he said he does not see the new responsibilities as a burden.
“You just know that everybody’s looking at me to be the guy, to make everything work,” Griffin said. “To me, that’s not pressure. But I just echo it to everyone else that it’s not just me. People will say it’s me and I’ll get all the blame and all the fame, but it’s the guys around me that make me great.”
Shanahan — who is in the news because he had money and his passport stolen from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ locker room when they played there almost two weeks ago — typically lets his players vote for an initial set of captains before the season, then takes another vote around the midpoint of the schedule. Griffin joins left tackle Trent Williams as the captains on offense.
Griffin the few days “to get away from the familiar” during the bye week has replenished him. He insists the playoffs remain a realistic goal for the Redskins (3-6), who face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, because the rest of the NFC East also has been struggling.
“I came back even hungrier,” he said. “I thought I was hungry before the bye week. You come back and you realize just how much more energy you have, just having that week off.”
He certainly didn’t lose his creativity. For practice, Griffin wore a red shoe on his left foot and a white shoe on the right foot.
“In college I used to wear a white shoe and a black shoe,” Griffin said. “And the whole message is everybody’s working together. Wednesday, Thursday, the shoes will be different — and Friday we bring it all together and get ready for Sunday.”