What have you learned the past couple years in Washington?
Griffin: I just learned it’s a beautiful game that we play. It’s a privilege to play the game. Really just how much you have to love the game to have to go through some of the ups and downs that are presented to you in the NFL. I’m looking forward to a lot more ups and growing, growing with Cleveland, growing with coach Hue [Jackson] and [associate head coach – offense] Pep [Hamilton] and my teammates to do something that’s special here in Cleveland.
Where do you stand physically and mentally in terms of regaining the promise you once had in the NFL?
Griffin: I just feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do – I know that – to not only get back to where I was personally in 2012 but to where we want to be as a team and where I want to be as a professional. I’m ready to work. I’ve never been afraid of that. I look forward to being able to do that with my teammates coming up on April 4.
Why are you confident that you are the QB who can get the Browns "over the hump?"
Griffin: Confidence is the No. 1 key when it comes to playing quarterback in the league, aside from just the things that God blessed you with. You’ve got to be confident. I think my confidence will continually grow as I continue to work with my teammates coming up on April 4 and trusting the guys around me. They’ve got some special players there that want to win now, and I look forward to growing with them, talking with them and just not really putting everything on my shoulders to try to do it by myself. I know that those guys there can play, and I’ve just go to help them show that.
What excites you most about playing for Jackson?
Griffin: You guys have seen it. Just an excitement for the game, the passion that he has and dedication. You have those things, and things will eventually turn in your favor. He’s got a proven track record working with quarterbacks, working with teams and molding the offense to what the team has. I look forward to that and just growing with him. It’s a really exciting for me.
How much have you studied Cleveland and what do you know about the Browns?
Griffin: I’ve done my homework, and I’d like to think that I’m somewhat of a football historian, but now is not the time for me to dive into that. I’m excited about the opportunity that’s before with this team. I look forward to talking with some of the guys on the team here in the coming hours and really just getting to know the guys.
How do you feel when Jackson says you'll have to compete, and how would you handle Browns taking a quarterback with the second pick in the draft?
Griffin: It’s like you said, you have to compete. I’m just excited about the opportunity, like I said. After not playing football for a year, I’m really appreciative of the Browns stepping up and giving me an opportunity to go out and grow with their team, compete on a daily basis and lead the team. I’m really excited about that. If they draft a quarterback, take the guy under my wing. I’m considered a vet now after four years in the league and I’ve been through a lot more than a lot of guys go through in their entire career. I’ve got a lot of experience. I can help a young guy, but it’s not my focus. I don’t pick the players. [Vice president of football operations] Sashi [Brown] and Hue and all those guys will take care of that stuff, but if they draft a quarterback, it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m just ready to compete.
What adjustments do you have to make joining your second team, and what did you learn most from your experience in Washington?
Griffin: Frankly, what I learned most was just the love that’s inside of me for this game of football. What happened down there would break a lot of people. I thank God for the people he surrounded me with to get through that time and to show me that this is what I’m supposed to do. This is my calling. I’m excited about that. When it comes to what I need to work on, I’m really excited to have another opportunity to grow with a coach that believes in me. That’s big, and I’ve just got to go out and prove it.
How tough was it not to play in 2015, and are you still able to improve your game?
Griffin: If you ask any competitor, if you take them out of their competitive realm and you can’t do what you love to do, it’s going to be tough. I wouldn’t be where I am today if that wasn’t tough on me last year, but you are able to learn a lot. Grew a lot. Dedicated myself to make sure I took the time after practice every day for an hour to continue to work because I knew that I would be presented with an opportunity like this coming the offseason if I continued to work. Like I said, I am just really excited. I want to talk to some of the guys on the team and get a gauge on what they think the team needs and go from there so we can lead this thing in the right direction.
Have you been in contact with Josh Gordon, and what are your thoughts on potentially being his teammate again?
Griffin: Josh is family. We went to Baylor together. I love the guy. I don’t know what’s going to happen with him in the league or with the team, but he always knows that he has a brother in me. If the opportunity comes that he can get reinstated and play for the Browns, then I won’t be upset with that – let’s just put it that way. He is family. At Baylor, we believe in that no matter what happens; we always have your back.
How important it is for you to start in 2016 to get your career back on track?
Griffin: This isn’t about me, to be honest with you. I really just want to go out and help this team win football games. I believe in what coach Hue is preaching. I believe in Pep and what they plan to do. That’s really what it is about for me. It is about the team. It is about coach believing in this team, believing in this city, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken the job. If he didn’t believe in what I can do, he wouldn’t have brought me to Cleveland with him. I’m just really excited about the opportunity. It’s not about me or my career. It’s about this team and growing with this team, and that’s what I set out to do.
How much did injuries affect you early in your career, and how close to 100 percent healthy are you?
Griffin: I feel great. God has been good throughout the years. Maybe I’ll write a book about it later, but right now, I’m not focused on that kind of stuff. I’m just really happy to be feeling good and moving forward.
Can you expand on what Jackson meant in your decision, and what other potential motivations did you have for signing with the Browns?
Griffin: You want to have a coach who believes not only in his own abilities, but in the city. For him to switch teams from Cincinnati to a team within the division, that shows you the belief in what he is doing and the city. For me, that’s all I needed to know. I believe in what he is going to bring to the table. I believe in the players that are on the roster already and whoever they bring in. Those are the greatest things. Then, to be able to grow in a city like Cleveland, for me -- I talked to (former NFL linebacker London Fletcher, a Cleveland native) today -- it’s really cool to have an opportunity to impact the youth and grow in a city like Cleveland. Those are the things that are exciting about the opportunity, and I look forward to making the most of every single one of them.
Did you think the Browns could draft you in 2012?
Griffin: Yeah, I did. I was just working out in Scottsdale, Arizona. Talking with my agent, we definitely thought that Cleveland was going to be where I ended up just because of the way it looked like everything was lining up. We were ready then, and we are more than ready now.
Have you talked with Gordon about being teammates?
Griffin: No, like I said, I just try to be there for Josh as much as I can possibly can. All of us -- me, him, [Titans wide receiver] Kendall Wright, [Cowboys wide receiver Terrance] Williams -- we’ve all talked about reuniting at some point. It would be a lot of fun. You just have to take things as they come, and he is taking care of the business that he has to take care of right now. He knows I’m there for him. That’s all I can say.