Redskins' RG3 has well-defined on-off switch

Associated Press Modified: October 3, 2012 at 4:47 pm •  Published: October 3, 2012
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ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — We've seen the fourth-quarter comeback. We've seen the Barney socks.

We've heard about the studiousness and the leadership. We've heard the disarming jokes.

Where does one stop and the other start? For Robert Griffin III, it's a well-defined line.

"Can't be 'on' all the time," the rookie quarterback said with a smile and a shrug as he strolled through the Washington Redskins locker room Wednesday. "Guys would get discouraged. You've gotta be fun to be around."

Athletes are well-known for having on-off switches. Some of the nicest guys around become maniacs when they put on a uniform. Still, knowing when to be goofy and when to be serious isn't as straightforward as it sounds, as anyone in any workplace knows.

Teammates and coaches say Griffin already has it down pat, even though he's just arrived in the NFL.

"Real professionals are able to do that," linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. "Some players aren't able to separate the two, but he has a great knack, especially for a young guy."

The Barney dinosaur socks made another appearance in the locker room a week ago. Griffin's weekly session with reporters is always good for at least a couple of good chuckles. Before Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was high-fiving and posing with fans when he emerged from the tunnel — something most players don't do — then flipped on the serious side in a matter of moments to start pregame warmups.

By the end of the game, any doubt that Griffin studies the playbook and takes practice seriously was eradicated when a malfunctioning headset forced him to improvise during the game-winning drive in the final two minutes. Griffin cleverly anticipated a blitz on the second play based on the result of the first play, so he called a quick pass that turned into a 20-yard gain for tight end Fred Davis.

Once the 24-22 win was complete and the Redskins were 2-2, Griffin naturally was in a festive mood with his teammates, but he was the only quarterback to celebrate a victory Sunday by stopping to sit on the stadium tunnel floor and do the now-familiar "Griffining" pose with Olympic track and field medalist Kellie Wells.