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Robert Griffin III eager and prepared to lead young Browns team

Shortly after he was named one of five season-long captains, Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III seemed to have an extra spring in his step Wednesday as he spoke about the team's preparations for its season opener at Philadelphia.

"Everything that I have been through personally in the league, it makes you have that emphasis on controlling what you can and focusing on what you can and when you get an opportunity make the most of it," said Griffin, who joined Cleveland's roster after four seasons with the Washington Redskins.

"I'm extremely happy, not satisfied but happy with where I am, the opportunity that has been blessed upon me and being here with these guys is truly a blessing. I can't speak enough about how this locker room has been awesome. I've been able to grow as a player and as a leader in this locker room."  

For Griffin, Sunday will mark his first start since 2014 and he's eager to see what the afternoon has in store after the preseason showcased a series of bright moments.

"We have an opportunity to do something special. Everyone has the same goal at the beginning of the year and that's to win every game, and we're no different," he said.

"We know what it takes. We know what we have to do to make that happen."

The Browns will do so with one of the youngest teams in the league, a dynamic head coach Hue Jackson embraced Monday following the finalization of the 53-man roster. "I have an expectation and I'm not backing down from that and I'm not changing that thought process in our players," he said.

"That's just what we are going to do and we're going to find a way to do it. I don't know how it's going to happen. By hook or by crook, we're going to get this done. We have to. That's all I know. I don't know anything else."

The Browns, of course, will count on Griffin to help orchestrate a retooled offense that returns veterans such as left tackle Joe Thomas and tight end Gary Barnidge and a bevy of younger players including four rookie wide receivers.

"The young bucks, they're hungry. They're excited. Their mindset is on telling their story, which is our story, so when they get out there, they have a chip on their shoulder and they want to prove to everybody that upper management and the coaches all made the right decision," Griffin said.

"I look forward to working with these guys every single day. It's just fun to be able to mold a group of young guys, a lot of rookies and a lot of guys that don't have a lot of playing experience in the NFL, but that's part of the game and I am excited about it."

Indeed, Griffin said he's out to "lead by example" this season.

"It's a blessing to be the face of a franchise or be the team leader. That's not something that you take lightly," he said. "I appreciate all these guys in here giving me that opportunity because you have to earn that."

His captainship, Jackson said, is a reflection of that approach.

"I think the testament of Robert being named captain is that it came from his teammates. They voted on it, coaches had nothing to do with this, this was all his teammates. So obviously he's embedded himself within the organization and his team and his teammates," he said Wednesday.

"I think he's shown them that he's somebody they can depend on and look to that he's working each and every day to better not just himself, but his teammates."

And Sunday, Griffin and the Browns will have an opportunity to make good on months of hard work.​

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