BEREA, Ohio - The Cleveland Browns announced Robert Griffin, III as the team's starting quarterback Monday morning, its 25th since 1999. Griffin beat out veteran Josh McCown, Austin Davis and rookie Cody Kessler for the starting position ahead of the preseason opener at Green Bay Friday.
"It's an honor. It's an honor to be one of 32 in this league, so you take that, you respect that, and you continue and go out and work and try to get better," Griffin said.
The second overall draft pick out of Baylor in 2012 and a former Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin signed with the Browns in March after four seasons with the Washington Redskins. Following an impressive first season with the team, his career there fizzled. Griffin didn't play in a single game last season.
"Everything you go through in life is a lesson, and it's up to you whether to use that lesson in a positive or negative way," Griffin said. "Since I got here, I've been real thankful for the opportunity because they don't come around that often, and when you get one you got to seize it."
Browns Head Coach Hue Jackson said "it's time" and Griffin earned the right to be named starting quarterback.
"Robert has made it clear through his actions that he is willing to do everything that has been asked of him to earn this role. Throughout this process, he has gained the respect from his teammates, the coaching staff and the entire organization that is necessary for him to lead our offense and really the entire team."
Jackson said it's on Griffin to shows the team and fans that this is the right decision, noting that he has shown improvement throughout training camp. He also commended McCown, Davis and Kessler for their play, professionalism, and work ethic.
"You come out every day for an opportunity. I'm thankful to coach that he believes in me, thankful to my teammates they believe in me," Griffin said. "Every day you come out here, you work hard, you try to execute the offense to the best of your ability."
Teammates were complimentary of the decision. Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor said Griffin earned the position.
"We're happy with RG and looking forward to moving forward," he said, describing Griffin as intelligent on the field and relaxed in the locker room. " He FaceTimes his daughter and his wife a lot. He's a family guy, he's a teammate first. He's awesome."
Browns cornerback Joe Haden, who was moved to the active list and eligible to practice starting Monday, said he's noticed improvement in Griffin so far this year.
"He throws one of the prettiest deep balls I've seen. He throws a catchable ball, and he just seems a lot more comfortable, like this is his offense and he understands what's going on," Haden said.