Robert Griffin III tried.
Under fire this week for comments he made after the Washington Redskins' loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday, the quarterback really, really tried Wednesday to give one of those news conferences that media members loathe -- with the guy at the podium just repeating the same phrase over and over no matter what question is asked.
Griffin's phrase of choice was "just preparing for the 49ers" -- similar to New England Coach Bill Belichick a couple weeks ago, when he answered every question by saying his team was getting ready for its next opponent, Cincinnati.
It wasn't really a surprise coming from Belichick, who has never tried to hide his dislike for the media. But Griffin is a friendly, outgoing guy who usually has plenty of insightful things to say.
While he wasn't completely robotic Wednesday, Griffin definitely was not the guy we've grown used to. Several minutes into Wednesday's presser, one reporter even asked Griffin, "How tough is this for you that you feel like you can't be yourself and talk like you want to talk?"
Griffin's answer? "Hey, you know, it is what it is. You get what you ask for. So I'm focused on San Francisco. Jay [Gruden, Redskins head coach] wants me to be focused on San Francisco, so that's what I'm going to do."
After Sunday's game, Griffin made comments that many interpretted as him putting at least some of the blame for Washington's loss on his teammates. Gruden told reporters the next day, “Robert needs to understand he needs to worry about himself, No. 1, and not everybody else.”
Griffin, who defended himself on social media earlier in the week, did a lot of smirking and repeated his new favorite phrase nine times during the first half of his Wednesday news conference, throwing in "Jay wants me to get better" numerous times as well.
He did switch it up once. When someone specifically asked him not to say he's focused on San Francisco, Griffin replied, "Just preparing for San Francisco."
But you've got to give the reporters credit. They hung in there with Griffin through the silliness and eventually a bit of the old RG3 returned. He actually answered several questions, saying that he addressed the team following Sunday's controversy and that "everyone is on the same page."
He also said that he wasn't under orders from Gruden to curb his comments to the press.
“No, he just wanted me to focus on me,” Griffin said. “And I'm going to do that to the best of my ability. I'm a quarterback, man. I've got to help this team win.”