BEREA, Ohio – Robert Griffin III tossed the football around the Cleveland Browns practice fields Tuesday morning.
Some Browns fans would regard that as another false alarm.
Griffin had little time to spend on what might have been. He was there with the NFC’s other drafted rookies for a youth football clinic in conjunction with the NFL Rookie Symposium, which is being held this week in Northeast Ohio.
The Washington Redskins gave up a boatload — three first-round picks and a second-round pick — to move up to No. 2 in last spring’s NFL Draft and get the former Baylor star and 2011 Heisman Trophy winner. The St. Louis Rams held what amounted to a silent auction for the pick in March, and the Redskins outbid the Browns.
Griffin said he was “not aware” that the Browns tried to get him, but he said last winter he originally thought Cleveland is where he would end up.
“Once I declared for the draft, Cleveland was the place I thought I would be because (the Browns) had the most firepower when it came to draft picks and tradeability,” he said. “It didn’t turn out that way and I have no idea why it didn’t.”
Griffin said he thought briefly about the possibility of how different things might be as he walked into the Browns’ complex Tuesday morning, but then quickly moved on to the business at hand.
“It turned out a different way,” he said. “There’s no looking back from here.”
His arrival in Washington has Redskins fans buzzing, and Griffin seems very much at peace with the expectations that have been placed on his shoulders.
“There’s a difference between hype and excitement,” Griffin said, “and I think in Washington it’s genuine excitement, not just for me but for the team.
“You can’t feed into it but you can feed off of it.”
The Browns eventually put together a package of mid-round picks to move from No. 4 to No. 3 and select Alabama running back Trent Richardson. With their second first-round pick — part of that draft “firepower” Griffin mentioned — the Browns selected Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden at No. 22.
Griffin and Weeden played against each other last fall, and Griffin said they trained together for a time in Arizona last winter in the pre-draft process.
“Brandon’s play speaks for itself,” Griffin said. “He has a great arm, seems like a great leader. Everybody wants to question his age (28) but as long as you’re playing well right now it ‘matter what your age is.”
The Browns have not officially named Weeden their starter, but Griffin immediately got the keys in Washington. He knows NFL fans everywhere — not just in Cleveland — are anxious to see if he eventually lives up to the expectations.
“I think that (starting immediately) was the expectation once I was drafted,” Griffin said. “It’s big of Coach (Mike) Shanahan to do that right away with a rookie. That’s what I expect to do.
“No one should have higher expectations for you than yourself. I expect greatness out of myself. I’m not where I want to be today.”