They profess confidence in what Robert Griffin III will do. Not in terms of his physical talent, but when it comes to the tough part of the game: recovering from bad plays. Or situations. Or games. That’s what ultimately will define Griffin.

They’ve seen him handle every situation thus far precisely the way they had hoped. Now it’s different. Now the games count.

Will he handle it the same?

“I hope so,” nose tackle Barry Cofield said.

Actually, Cofield is confident as well. He played with the New York Giants when Eli Manning was still a young quarterback enduring growing pains. Cofield saw how Manning handled situations and knows what he wants to see from his new quarterback.

“Just maturation and being able to tune out everything around them,” Cofield said. “You need someone to not go in the can and slump their shoulders when things go wrong and to bounce back and show up every day with a smile on their face ready to work. That’s what Eli did and I think RG3 will do the same thing.”

Backup quarterback Rex Grossman agrees. He did not begin his career as the starting quarterback, but he did play as a rookie.

“That level of wanting to prove yourself as a rookie is added pressure,” he said. “But [Griffin’s] demeanor and his personality, he’s very comfortable with who he is and knows that this is the start of something great. In my experience just observing him it’s not going to be a problem. Everyone wants to go out and prove it right away. But he’s done everything to this point as well as you can ask as far as his mental approach and his personality and the way he handles situations. I don’t think that will be a problem. I definitely felt that as a rookie, proving your worth. How you handle that will determine whether you play well.”

The Saints clearly will target Griffin, with defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo trying to con him. Yes, veterans like facing rookie quarterbacks.

“Because you feel you can throw some things at them they might not be prepared for,” Redskins linebacker London Fletcher said.

That’s to be expected of every rookie. But teammates say they expect Griffin to handle those situations too.

“We’ve seen how he reacts to all kinds of blitzes and we’ve seen how he reacts to a lot of different things,” Redskins receiver Josh Morgan said. “He prepares so well during the week that nothing surprises him. You never see him get thrown off guard with anything.”


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