Redskins' Robert Griffin III says 'best NFL QB' remarks taken out of context

ByJohn Keim ESPN logo
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin IIIsays he does not regret telling a local TV station he thought he was the NFL's best quarterback, but he said his comments were mostly taken out of context when they garnered national headlines.

Griffin, speaking Tuesday to media a day after drawing widespread attention for his remarks, added that he needed to prove he was the best.

"I know what I meant. I think everyone in this circle [of reporters] knows what I meant," Griffin said. "It's unfortunate that my name keeps getting used for headlines for people to click on stories. I know what I want to be, and I know what I strive to be. I'm not going to make any apologies for that."

In an interview with WJLA-TV over the weekend, Griffin said, "I feel like I'm the best quarterback in the league, and I have to go out and show that. Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else, they're not a top competitor, they're not trying to be the best that they can be.

"There's guys in this league that have done way more than me. But I still view myself as the best because that's what I work toward every single day."

The remarks led to national headlines and sports talk fodder, which has become routine for Griffin and the Redskins.

At one point Tuesday, Griffin was not going to speak to the media per the team's wishes.

Griffin left the practice bubble but came back in and, after huddling with a team spokesman, issued a statement before taking questions about other football topics.

Redskins coach Jay Gruden, who was hard on Griffin last year for some statements he made, said he wasn't fazed by Griffin's initial comments.

"I didn't make a lot out of it, you guys did," Gruden said. "All players want to strive to be the best, and that doesn't change. DeSean Jackson said he was uncoverable. Whether he is or isn't, that's how he feels, and Robert has high goals for himself. I don't fault anyone for having high goals. We don't want anyone that strives to be average. The key thing is, he said he has to go out and prove it. We all have to go out and prove it."

Gruden said he has not grown weary of all the hoopla surrounding Griffin, that it's been like that since he entered the NFL -- Griffin went from winning the Heisman Trophy to being named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was viewed as a franchise savior.

But the past two seasons have been rough, with Griffin beset by controversy, another injury and a benching.

Gruden said Griffin hasn't wavered in the confidence he displayed during those successful seasons.

"He has to go out and prove it and stay healthy and then continue to play," Gruden said. "The whole thing about great quarterbacks and top-notch quarterbacks is they're durable, and they do it year in and year out, game in and game out. We have to do our best to keep him healthy, and he has to do his best to perform."

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