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Ruminations on RG III

By Pat McManamon

Robert Griffin III did the interview thing at the Super Bowl, talking to everyone from Mike and Mike to Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice.

Griffin impressed — to the point that I might start changing my mind about him. Though my esteemed colleague Barry McBride was bothered by the fact that Griffin said he will do all he can to go to Indianapolis as the first overall pick, I kind of liked it. A guy should want to be the best, and striving to be the top pick means he’s the best coming out. Yes, it also means he gets more money, but we’ll set that aside for now. As Griffin told Don Banks of SI.com, “Every kid wants to be the first pick in the draft.” (Well … not every kid … some kids don’t even like football.)

Griffin also sounded impressive when he said he’d do whatever was asked of him. If it meant sitting, he’d sit. If it meant competing, he’d compete. If it meant starting right away a la Cam Newton, he’d start right away. That’s a good attitude.

There are concerns. He has to adjust from the spread offense to a pro style system, but then again if Tim Tebow could make the shotgun-misdirection stuff work in Denver,  Griffin ought to be able to do the same. As he said to Banks: “There are traditional ways to win, and there’s branching out with ideas that can also help you win in a more nonconventional way.”

Interviews do not make a player, of course. They provide only a small hint to his entire person. But it is a piece, and as the Browns approach this draft every piece is important. I’m a little sick of seeing new quarterback after new quarterback come through Berea, but as Mike Holmgren said, you change every year if you need to to find the right guy.

Colt McCoy might or might not be the guy. His season would have most leaning toward he is not. Griffin might or might not be the guy. If he’s as good as some say, he could light up the town right away. If he’s not, then who’s the quarterback we’re talking about next year.

What’s becoming more and more clear is that Griffin won’t last beyond the second pick. The team that covets him will have to trade up to two, assuming the Colts take Andrew Luck. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter said this in his Insider column: “…a team that loves Griffin — be it Cleveland, Washington or Miami — should make the jump to No. 2 to get him if it believes in him enough.”

For the Browns, that means giving up their two first-round picks, and perhaps another choice. They have to decide if Griffin is worth it. The Colts should have their heads examined if they don’t take Luck, but if they somehow decide to take Griffin I’d be more in favor of the Browns trading up for Luck because he seems more pro-style ready, but if Luck goes first and the Browns believe in Griffin then they’ll have to move up. He’s not going to last past two.

How this proceeds will be fascinating to follow. This early in the game, this early in the process, Griffin has done some of the right stuff.

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