In it, Griffin showed glimpses of old and new, remaining painfully optimistic while also showing flashes of a cynicism that two years ago he might've covered with grins and made-for-Instagram inspiration.
Let's start with what hasn't changed, which are Griffin's knee-jerk assertions of self-confidence.
Faced with a question about whether he thinks he has something to prove during training camp, Griffin laughed it off:
I don’t feel like I have to come out here and show anybody anything or why I’m better than this guy or better than that guy. It’s more about going out and affirming that for me, I go out and I play, I know I’m the best quarterback on this team. I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league and I have to go out and show that."
Griffin elaborated on his "best quarterback" remark, saying that as a competitor, he has to have that attitude.
Any athlete at any level, if they concede to someone else they're not the top competitor, they're not trying to be the best that they can be. There's guys in the league that have done way more than me. But I still view myself as the best because that's what I work toward every single day.
Even with this qualification, the truth remains that Griffin put himself in the same sentence as the words "best quarterback in the league."
A couple of people took issue with this idea:
Update: August 18
Apparently the team didn’t love what RG3 had to say either, per Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post:
--End of update--
To be fair, Griffin's remarks are boilerplate among athletes struggling through slumps, particularly guys like himself, who seem to believe any admission of fear or frustration amounts to chumming the water for his enemies.
Griffin didn't point out these enemies by name, leaving their actions as a nebulous form of "backstabbing" he never expected to find in professional football:
It’s not the game you thought it was when you were a kid and you were dreaming of playing and being a professional athlete. There's more business that goes into it, there's more ruthlessness, backstabbing than you would expect.
Like a boxer sensing a misstep, Griffin quickly raised the guard of optimism again:
But at the end of the day when you put your helmet on, your shoulder pads and your pants, your cleats and you get to go out there and run around on the field, it's still that same game that you played as a kid.
It's hard to tell which came first for RG3: his optimism or sense of persecution.
One seems to feed the other. His "best quarterback" lines are mocked and torn down by precedent, causing Griffin to further insulate himself with more confidence, resulting in a never-ending cycle of self-mythologizing.
It's "chicken or the egg" stuff, really, and the only question is whether Griffin's paranoia will ever again translate into meaningful play on the football field.
Until it does, RG3's mind is just playing tricks on him.
Dan is on Twitter. He sits alone in his four-cornered room staring at preseason replays.