The 2012 NFL Draft is officially here. One of the two most talked about picks, Robert Griffin III, went to the Washington Redskins with the second overall pick. As such, that means RG3 will be squaring off with the New York Giants defense, twice a year.
Does that worry Griffin at all? Per the man himself, he is not afraid of the Giants pass rush.
As reported by Anthony Sulla-Heffinger of the New York Daily News, Griffin claims that he does not approach the game with fear, saying:
“I’m not going to play with fear … I’m a talented guy and I respect talent. I respect Pierre-Paul, I respect Tuck, Umenyiora all of those guys, but I am not going to go out and play as if I’m scared they are going to sack me."
It would be wise to "respect" the likes of Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora (as well as the rest of the Giants D-line that he neglected to mention), who were dubbed the NASCAR defensive line due to their speed and fierce pass rush last season. For his sake, hopefully Chris Canty and Mathias Kiwanuka didn't catch wind of this story.
However, Griffin went on to explain that his comments were more about his overall outlook on how he plays the game on a fundamental level. If you have ever played football, the one thing you heard, starting in Pop Warner, was to never try to protect yourself. Go out there and hit hard because when you play to protect yourself, that's when you get hurt.
It seems RG3 has made that something of a personal mantra, explaining:
“That’s the one thing I’ve never done as a player,” Griffin III said. “Never play with fear, always play fearless but respect your opponent. Those guys are great so use your strengths against them."
Griffin also took a moment to elaborate on the continued emergence of the mobile quarterback due to the increased athleticism of defensive linemen, starting back with the likes of former Giants great, Michael Strahan, and legend, Reggie White. Griffin noted:
“First and foremost you have to blame guys like Michael Strahan, Reggie White, Justin Tuck for making quarterbacks have to be mobile,” Griffin III said. “The game always evolves, because defensive linemen are so athletic now, quarterbacks have to be able to move a little bit. They don’t have to be world-class speed guys but they have to be able to move."
Whether he's afraid or not, Griffin will be getting a healthy dose of a lethal New York Giants pass rush this season. It will be interesting to see how much he "respects" them after his first two outings against them.
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