Redskins rookies on Monday got the opportunity to hear current and former stars talk about their experiences as NFL players, and how they can avoid making the same mistakes that oftentimes plagued their careers.
For Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III, the NFL Symposium speeches by Michael Vick and Adam Jones, especially, were eye-openers.
Griffin III told the NFL Network that he grew up as a young quarterback idolizing Vick, who starred for the Atlanta Falcons before his career was halted after being imprisoned on dogfighting charges.
Vick has since been released from prison and landed on his feet in a big way — as the starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.
“He’s a real guy,” Griffin III said. “He made a mistake, he owned up to it, came back out, made the best of his situation and got his second chance and made the most of it. I think a lot of guys could really relate to that — maybe not going to prison and things of that nature — but just the fact that he’s real. He made a mistake and he’s working hard now, which he wishes he would’ve done from the beginning.”
Griffin III said the entire room was focused as Vick told his tale.
“It’s really good to see and have him come talk,” Griffin III said of Vick. “I think everybody in that room was zoned in. He’s definitely a guy that everything he says holds some power.”
The rookies — who are participating in this year’s Symposium in Aurora, Ohio, with their divisional rivals — also had a chance to learn from Jones, the Cincinnati Bengals’ cornerback who until recently was referred to by the nickname “Pac-Man.”
Jones’ story is also well-known: He was the sixth overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft known for his dangerous skills as both a cornerback and a kick returner, but was suspended for the entire 2007 season and part of the 2008 season for off-the-field conduct, which included multiple run-ins with law enforcement.
Griffin III said he came away from Jones’ speech with a better perspective of how to control his own life.
“To see him come up and, also, admit all his faults and just tell guys that he’d done everything that a lot of these guys think of,” Griffin III said, “… 14 cars, some of the stuff he was doing, taking guys to Florida, spending $400,000 — that’s stuff that maybe as a little kid you dream of, that ‘I’ll be able to do all the stuff when I grow up,’ but it’s not something that you want to do.”
The speeches also had an effect on other Redskins rookies, like quarterback Kirk Cousins, who tweeted this:
Tags: Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III, Rookie Symposium, washington redskins
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