Robert Griffin III Is Making a Great Impression on Ravens' John Harbaugh

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QB Robert Griffin III

Head Coach John Harbaugh's daughter, Alison, first pointed out to her father that quarterback Robert Griffin III has purple-tipped dreads. If it wasn't clear already, Griffin has bought in on the Ravens.

The feeling is mutual.

After a year out of football, Griffin is making a very positive impression on the Ravens with his attitude, health and arm.

"He's a pro's pro in every single way," Harbaugh said after Thursday's practice.

Griffin signed with the Ravens in March as he looks to reboot his once sparkling career.

The 2012 second-overall pick was the NFL's Rookie of the Year before a knee injury, and a subsequent quarterback controversy, left him benched and ultimately cut by the Washington Redskins after just four years. Griffin got another shot as the starter of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, got injured again and was out of work all last season.

The Ravens gave Griffin a tryout a couple months before the NFL Draft and came away impressed enough to ink him to a low-risk one-year deal reportedly worth $1 million with a $100,000 signing bonus.

While Griffin wants to get back to his former stardom, he's gone about it the right way. He's putting in the work to try to help the Ravens win any way he can as Joe Flacco's clear backup and now with first-round rookie Lamar Jackson (another Heisman Trophy winner) also in the room.

"These guys have been great accepting me into the family," Griffin said. "It's a special thing to be a Baltimore Raven. I've learned that; I see it in the building and I'm happy to be here."

Griffin has been putting in the effort to bond with his teammates and has clearly hit it off with Harbaugh. Harbaugh does early morning workouts with other coaches, and Griffin is already in the gym putting in extra work.

"Robert Griffin in the quarterback room has been excellent, and not just the quarterback room," Harbaugh said. "I love everything about the way he handles it. And you saw him practice today, and I think you have to say he practiced very well."

Griffin still has his signature speed that makes him a dangerous dual-threat quarterback, but Harbaugh has been particularly impressed with what Griffin has shown as a pocket passer. He has a very strong arm and showed good accuracy Thursday.

The biggest thing that has jumped out to Harbaugh, however, is Griffin's health. The Ravens have felt all along that if Griffin is healthy like he was at the very start of his career, he can play at that level once again.

"He's had so many great moments when he's been healthy," Harbaugh said. "You can tell he's been putting the work in for the last year to be healthy."

Harbaugh said the Ravens have a good strength and conditioning program for Griffin to help keep his legs in the kind of shape needed to remain healthy, "because he's going to be moving around like he always does."

Outside of summer practices and training camp, Griffin should have ample opportunities to show what he can do during preseason games. The Ravens have one extra this year (five total), including one game against the Redskins.

"He's a heck of a quarterback," Harbaugh said. "I'm excited to see him play."

But will Griffin have a spot on the 53-man roster come September? The Ravens haven't kept three quarterbacks on their 53-man roster for the past eight years (since 2009 when they had Flacco, Troy Smith and John Beck). Flacco and Jackson will take two spots.

"My job is to make them change," Griffin said. "My job is to come in and help the team to where they feel like I'm an asset to the team.

"That's what the whole goal has been. Come in, create relationships with the guys, build upon that and give them confidence that they know when Rob steps into the huddle, this is what it's going to be, he's ready to go and we can definitely win with this guy."

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