Now, after seeing Griffin play, Umenyiora has given the Redskins' rookie sensation a new title –- one typically reserved for knights.
"His name is Sir," said Umenyiora, who was born in London. "His name is Sir Robert Griffin. That is what I refer to him now.
"I mean, look at what he's done. Look at the way he's performed as a rookie. You don't see players come into the league and perform like that at that stage in their career, so all the respect in the world goes to him and he is a phenomenal football player."
Umenyiora said he doesn't refer to any other quarterbacks by "sir." But he has been impressed by Griffin, enough so to regret calling him Bob in the first place.
"I opened my mouth and said when he does anything in the league, we will call him his name," Umenyiora said. "And he has definitely earned it, whatever he wants to be called, for sure."
The Giants get their first taste of the RG3 hype on Sunday when they host the Redskins in a pivotal NFC East meeting. The Giants are already 0-2 in the division and need to start winning games in the NFC East.
They have spent the week praising the talents of the Redskins' dynamic quarterback and the offense he runs. But defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul also said the Giants will be ready and have the type of speed that could surprise many in countering Griffin.
"We like to set the edges," Pierre-Paul said Wednesday of containing the corners. "Yes, it'll be a very good matchup. Not on my side, though. Not on my side. Or the other side."
When asked about his side of the defense, Pierre-Paul responded: "Don't come on my side, I told you that. Don't come to my side. Not my side."
Umenyiora also spends time rotating in on Pierre-Paul's right side of the Giants defense. Unlike Pierre-Paul, who seemed to challenge Griffin to test him, Umenyiora said he hopes he doesn't see Griffin breaking out toward his side.
"I hope he doesn't come to my side," Umenyiora said in offering praise for Griffin. "Hopefully they will be able to go somewhere else.
"I don't want no parts of that," the defensive end said with a chuckle. "He is just a phenomenal football player and they are a good team and we got our work cut out for us."
Griffin said Wednesday in a conference call that he respected Umenyiora despite the "Bob" comment, and that he didn't mind the nickname.
"Some of the media down here in Washington started calling me 'Bob' for a few days, trying to laugh it off," Griffin said. "Other than that, it [the Bob nickname] really hasn't stuck. I don't plan on letting it stick, either."
"Osi is a guy that has proven himself in this league," he added. "He's a sack-master, he's done a lot of great things over his career. I didn't mind it at all. I got where he was coming from. It doesn't matter, I've had people call me worse things on the field."
Umenyiora marveled at Griffin's 76-yard touchdown dash during the Redskins' 38-26 win over Minnesota last Sunday.
"Ridiculous," Umenyiora said. "You saw guys who are known as fast guys just trailing behind him, and you saw him blazing down the football field. We know the kind of speed he has.
"But more importantly he has an arm," he continued. "He is a good quarterback. Forget all the running stuff. This guy is good. They got a real good player on their hands and we got a problem on ours."