On Saturday August 10, 2012, I happened to be in attendance for the Chicago Bears versus Washington Redskins preseason game at Soldier Field.
Though I am a Bears fan at heart, I was very interested to observe the play of Robert Griffin III, better known by his nick name of RG3.
I was not sure what kind of player or man I was going to be observing as all I knew of Griffin was the persona often shown on ESPN or on one of his commercials for Subway or any of the other products he endorses. I was very happy to see that this is a man who truly gets it when it comes to life in the NFL.
Though Griffin did not have the best statistical game Saturday night, you would have never known it based on his composure on the sidelines. One situation that really sticks out to me was after a fumble that was recovered by the Bears in the first quarter, Griffin came to the sidelines and was patting his offensive linemen on the back and blaming himself for the turnover.
The Bears' defense was truly keying on Griffin and focused on shutting him down. Griffin did make a few plays on his own, particularly one run in the second quarter that had many veteran players on the Bears' defense grasping nothing but air when they thought they had Griffin lined up for the stop.
It is plays like that, that show you what a truly gifted athlete Griffin is, and why the Redskins gave up all they did to ensure they drafted the young playmaker.
The cool under the pressure the Bears' defense was bringing was something to behold. It would have been very easy for Griffin to blame his offensive line for the troubles he was facing, as he had no time to pass against a very aggressive Bears pass rush Saturday night. But Griffin appeared to refuse to do just that. Is it because he is a rookie and is accepting his role as such on his new team? Maybe, but I don't think so.
To me this shows a young superstar who gets it. He is definitely and up and coming star with a very magnetic personality, otherwise he would not have all these promotional opportunities without playing a single snap.
Too often in the NFL you see rookies coming into the league after very successful college careers thinking they can just show up arrogant and selfish. It seems to be very uncommon to see a player come into the league and accept his role, whatever that may be and just go out and do it. Griffin appears to be that uncommon case.
Even in the second half of that game when Redskins' head coach Mike Shanahan had decided it was time to give fellow rookie Kirk Cousins all the snaps, Griffin was engaged. You didn't see Griffin goofing off with his teammates, or sitting on the bench getting a drink of water or taking a rest when the offense was on the field. He was actively speaking to his coaches and watching his offense and learning even when not playing.
The Washington Redskins not only drafted themselves a very special playmaker with the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, they selected a tremendous leader. Griffin may not be the leader of the Redskins yet, but with what I saw in Chicago Saturday night it is only a matter of time before Robert Griffin III is the unquestioned leader of the Redskins.