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Robert Griffin III plays down spotlight in media intro: 'It's about us'

In his first meeting with local reporters, Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III was peppered with dozens of questions while a row of cameras trained their lenses on his every move.

To his left and to his right, televisions above showed ESPN and the NFL Network were live-streaming his press conference. The fanfare was in full force.

The former Washington Redskins star and Heisman Trophy winner said he understands why the position he plays sometimes lends itself to increased attention — especially in Cleveland, which has struggled to maintain continuity at quarterback.

But Griffin, who signed with the Browns last month following a meeting with first-year coach Hue Jackson and his staff, stressed he's here to be a part of the team and not the other way around.

"It's not about me," Griffin said. "It's about we. It's about us."

Indeed, that's the message he and Jackson have been trying to convey as the Browns begin their offseason workouts.

"I just know what it takes to be great and succeed in this league," said Griffin, who was named the league's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 following a record-breaking season.

"It's not about 'I' or 'me,' it is about 'we.' It is about 'us.' It is us versus everybody outside of our locker room who may not believe in us, who don't think that we can do 'this' or do 'that.' I think I can bring that atmosphere and that confidence to the team, not only through what we say and how we work but what we do on the field."

"I have seen the great and I have seen the really bad in this league. That is a very valuable piece of experience to have. I feel like that is what the guys are wanting from me, or at least what I've been told, they want to know how to turn it around."

Griffin, who played four seasons with the Redskins before the team released him in March, will compete with fellow quarterbacks in veteran Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Connor Shaw for the right to start next season. Griffin's aware the quarterback room could have a different look after the 2016 NFL Draft.

"That's everybody's expectation when you play quarterback in the National Football League. It is what it is," Griffin said.

"Only one guy gets to play, but the stronger we are in that group in that room, the stronger football team we will have. No one is going to step on anybody's toes, but we are all here to compete, we are all here to win a job and at the end of the day, do what we can to help this team win."

Those comments, of course, echo an adamant sentiment reiterated by Jackson in the past month. Nothing will be given to anyone, including Griffin.

"I think what he needs to do is play quarterback the way the Cleveland Browns need him to play quarterback and for how I have a vision of him playing," Jackson said Wednesday.

"We put this young man on our football team to compete and to give him an opportunity. We have some other young quarterbacks here and coach all these guys the same … I think they all have different strengths because they're different, they're different people. But we create an environment for our quarterback to be as good as he can be."

While Griffin became something of an instant star in Washington, his time there was defined by highs, lows and injuries. Last season, the Redskins sat him behind quarterback Kirk Cousins.

"It's one of those things that you love to do something so much and when that is stripped away from you, one of two things can happen: You can either tank it and allow it to break you or you can let it build you up and show you that you really love this game," Griffin said, adding he's also been lifted by the energy of his teammates.

"I know the history a little bit of Cleveland, and guys sometimes don't want to come here. I wanted to come here. I wanted to be here, and I wanted them to know that," Griffin said when asked of his message to members of the roster upon signing with the team.

"They call this 'The Land' so we are going to make this ours and really give these fans what they deserve. I really just tried to echo to them that I am excited to be here."

And he knows he can't do it alone.

"I'm excited to work with them," he said, "It's going to take all of us."

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