Robert Griffin III explains meaning of mystery sign in 2015

BEREA, Ohio -- The motivational sign Robert Griffin III left hanging in his Washington Redskins locker after last season was simply something that stuck with him, the quarterback said Wednesday.

Griffin said Joe Kim, a martial arts instructor who is part of the Cleveland Browns strength staff, gave him the poster. Kim spent last season with the Redskins.

"He would give me inspirational quotes, and that one just stuck the best with me," Griffin said, addressing the mystery behind the sign for the first time since he left Washington. "So I left it up there and someone stole it. One of my teammates stole it actually after I walked out of the locker room."

The sign urges people to ignore outside voices, to do good and to succeed regardless of the obstacle. It starts by saying: "People are often unreasonable, irrational & self-centered. Forgive them anyway." Its conclusion: "In the final analysis, it's between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

Much was made of the sign, and the way Griffin left the Redskins without speaking publicly. He said the sign was a tool to help him fight through a season when he did not play a down.

"It's just a real powerful statement to say; you got to persevere," Griffin said. "You got to be who you are and don't let anything ever change that. Learn from your mistakes, but don't ever let anything change who you are, at the core of who you are."

Griffin repeated that it's "a blessing" to have a fresh start with the Browns. On the field, he will roll with the reality that the Browns will not name a starting quarterback coming out of the final minicamp of the offseason.

"I think the guys, when you step out there every day, they see how you work," Griffin said. "They see your work ethic. They see your leadership ability. And they buy into those things. They don't buy into who's the starter, who's not the starter."

On Tuesday, coach Hue Jackson made it clear he would not name a starter as the offseason program winds down, which means Griffin and Josh McCown will go into camp in a quasi-competition. Jackson said it's simply too soon.

"I expect a lot out of this position," Jackson said. "This is not some fly-by-night, just hand a job to somebody. This job is earned, and it's earned through trust, it's earned through leadership, it's earned through repetition and guys understanding the process of what it takes to play that position in this league week in and week out, day in and day out."

Griffin, who signed with the Browns after being released by the Redskins, goes along.

"There's nothing I can do aside from go out there and ball out that's going to change his mind," Griffin said. "So that's my plan: go out there, ball out, have fun and prove to the guys that I'm the guy that they should follow."

Part of that work includes working on sliding and throwing the ball away, two elements of quarterbacking he did not do well in Washington. In Cleveland, Griffin slides regularly -- once popping up and yelling, "Who said he can't slide?" He has brought new artistry to throwing the ball away as well, as at least three of his throwaways under duress in OTAs flew over a 15-foot fence that surrounds the practice field.

"Coach asked me to work on those things," Griffin said. "So if he says throw it away, I'm going to throw that thing as far as I can. All the way away."

His throwing in practices open to the media have been a mixed bag of results. His powerful arm is evident, but he's also had miscues. Low throws, throws that sailed high and interceptions -- one that started and one that ended Tuesday's team work. Jackson will not make a huge deal of the offseason slips; the team is learning a new offense and new players.

Griffin's goal: consistency, something McCown has shown, well, consistently in the offseason.

"And not consistently good, not consistently average," Griffin said. "Be consistently great. Everything else will fall into place."