Robert Griffin III takes his role and his profession very seriously. He knows that at any time, he could step in as the Ravens’ starting quarterback if something happens to Lamar Jackson.
After officially signing his two-year contract Thursday at team headquarters, Griffin stopped by The Lounge podcast and discussed a variety of subjects, including why staying with the Ravens was the perfect move for him this offseason.
“Great working relationship with L.J. (Jackson),” Griffin said. “Felt like I earned the respect of my teammates and the coaches. An offensive system that speaks to my skillset.
“I’m not looking to go somewhere and be a bridge, be there for a season and then go somewhere else. I’m looking for stability, opportunity. For me right now Baltimore is the best situation. I think it’s good for me to be here to help Lamar, to help the team in whatever capacity they ask me to help. I’m excited to be back. I think we have a really good opportunity to be a great team, to come back, defend the (AFC) North and win championships. I know that’s what it’s all about and what the fans want. I’m not just saying that because they want to hear it. I know the guys in that locker room. We want to win championships, but you’ve got to start with one step at a time.”
Griffin revived his career in 2017, earning a roster spot with the Ravens after playing well during the preseason. With Joe Flacco traded to the Denver Broncos, Griffin heads into the 2019 season as the No. 2 quarterback, feeling his best football is still ahead at age 29.
“I haven’t been a full-time starter since 2013, mostly due to injury,” Griffin said. “So I feel like at 29, I really am like a 26-year-old quarterback. I want to play well into my 40’s. That’s a goal for me. I think I can do it. I think I’ve taught myself and learned how to stay healthy. Continuing to work on eliminating that five percent of my game that is inherently risky. I think I proved that last year in the preseason by taking care of myself and not taking hits. I do think my best years of football are still ahead of me. If called upon to play, I’ll be ready to go help the team win.”
Much has been made of the veteran players the Ravens have parted with this offseason – Flacco, C.J. Mosley, Terrell Suggs, Za’Darius Smith, John Brown, Michael Crabtree. However, Griffin thinks the Ravens have plenty of players capable of stepping forward as leaders. Specifically, he mentioned safeties Tony Jefferson and Earl Thomas, and outside linebacker Matthew Judon. Griffin also plans to help Jackson’s development as a leader.
“I’m not going to be able to replace any of those leaders,” Griffin said. “This is Lamar’s team. The organization is fully behind Lamar. What I have to try to do is help Lamar replace that leadership. I understand my role in that. I think Lamar understands that, too. Lamar’s not a very vocal guy, he’s in many regards similar to me, he leads by example. You go out and do it, you perform. That’s how you gain guys’ trust. And then you speak when you need to.
“We’re going to replace that leadership. We have the guys in place to do that. From the top to the bottom, the organization is set up well to succeed post those guys. This organization gives you the feeling that everything we’re doing is working toward winning.”