RICHMOND—Although Robert Griffin III will be focused on running the Redskins’ offense, he acknowledged on Saturday that he hopes to watch--and learn from--Tom Brady when the Patriots come to town.
“I know I haven’t experienced playing against another team in practice, so it will be interesting,” Griffin said. “[But] to sit here and tell you I won’t be looking at Tom Brady to see what he’s doing, that’d be a lie. I’ll be looking at him.”
And why wouldn’t he?
Griffin, 24, is entering his third NFL season and is looking to reestablish himself as an up-and-coming player after struggling as a sophomore. Brady, who turned 37 on Sunday, has won three Super Bowls, twice was named the champion game’s MVP, and has been to nine Pro Bowls.
“You always want to take things from other quarterbacks’ games,” Griffin said. “[I grew] up watching John Elway and all those guys. The command in the pocket that Tom Brady has... Being able to step up and maneuver and move around, even though he might not be the most fleetest of foot guy. You want to be able to control the line like Peyton Manning does. You want to be able to make athletic throws like Aaron Rodgers. All those things. Those guys have amazing attributes in the things they do well. So you take that from their game [and] add it to your own. But I’ll never mimic anybody else. You just have to make it your own.”
Redskins Coach Jay Gruden also views Brady's visit as a potential learning experience for Griffin.
"Any time you get a chance to practice against somebody like that, I think it’s a great benefit for a lot of people and hopefully Robert will see the way Tom Brady handles the huddle, handles his teammates and [how he carries himself] as a leader and as a person and as a player," Gruden said. "Any time you get a chance to learn from somebody like that firsthand, you better use it to your benefit. I intend to use it with Coach Belichick and hopefully our whole team gets a chance to watch a team play like that and learn from them."
Indeed, Griffin will have the opportunity to learn from one of the game's all-time greats, even if he and Brady don’t get the chance to sit down for a chat. That said, Griffin reiterated that he can’t become too consumed with watching Brady.
“He won’t be the focus of my attention the entire time that they’re here,” Griffin said. “Like I said, he’s been a great quarterback in this league for a long time, and he’s done great things. So you always want to talk those guys and soak up whatever knowledge you can from them.”
“But,” he added, “at the end of the day, I have to go out and practice against the New England Patriots’ defense. I’m past the goo-goo, gaga eyes over [star] players that you see out there on the field.”
The Redskins will host the Patriots at the Bon Secours Training Center for joint practices Monday-Wednesday.