Much of first day of training camp spent singing rookie's praises

ASHBURN -- It's hard to know where to begin with Robert Griffin III. Do you start with the arm? The one that delivers lasers downfield, something the Redskins haven't seen a lot of in recent years. Or the feet? The ones that, they hope, will help him escape pressure, extend plays and hurt defenses. Or the leadership? It's what his teammates already are raving about.

His new Redskins teammates don't focus on any one aspect of Griffin's game. Rather, they see it in total. He's one training camp practice into his career but three months into his Redskins career. And they continue to like what they see.

"He definitely has the total package," Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said.

In previous camps, if one player dominated the conversation, it usually wasn't good. See Albert Haynesworth, 2010. Or it's about a free agent acquisition, one entering with an outrageous contract. Also see Haynesworth, 2009, and a number of other seasons with other players.

But no rookie has captured an organization the way Griffin already has done.

"You know being around this game for a number of years, you can tell when you meet guys who have it, and I think he's on the way," Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said. "Just the way he carries himself, not a sense of entitlement. He works hard, and he wants to be the best quarterback he can be. We know it'll be a process. We don't expect him to come in and be a top-five quarterback, but if he does we won't be mad about that either."

There was buzz when Donovan McNabb arrived two seasons ago courtesy of a trade. Players then talked about what he could do and how he could energize the franchise. But McNabb was at the end of his career. There was debate about what he had left (which turned out to be not much). With Griffin, though, nobody knows where he'll go. And they can't wait to see him get there.

"He's a star, not quite a rock star yet," Hall said. "He's just a cool guy. He's exciting to watch. He makes plays. He's charismatic. It's rare to find that in one package. ... He wins games, he's gonna be a rock star."

Griffin did not have his best practice Thursday. He looked off in his timing, was inaccurate on throws on the run and didn't make any memorable plays. Even for Griffin, it will take time to find that rhythm.

And it will take time for him to find his place in the NFC East.

"Our division is so tough," Hall said. "He's probably right now the worst quarterback in our division. He hasn't taken a snap. He has that title until he takes a snap and proves something."

Thus far all that he has proved is that he understands what he must do to succeed.

"It's the way he handles himself," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He has a lot of charisma. He's very smart, works extremely hard. He wants to be one of the guys. He wants to get to know his teammates. He wants to be the leader of the team. He's handled himself accordingly."

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com