Osi Umenyiora salutes Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III

Osi Umenyiora warms up before a game against

Osi Umenyiora warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. (Oct. 14, 2012) (Credit: Getty)

Osi Umenyiora has gone from bestowing the derogatory nickname of "Bob" on Robert Griffin III to knighting him.

The Giants defensive end said he has so much respect for the rookie quarterback and what he's accomplished this season that he won't call him Bob and he won't even call him by his preferred RG3.

"Sir," Umenyiora said. "His name is Sir Robert Griffin. That's what I refer to him [as] now."

Umenyiora went out of his way to flatter Griffin, talking more like one of his fantasy football owners than a defensive player who will face him Sunday.

"Look at what he's done," he said. "Look at the way he's performing as a rookie. You don't see players coming in and performing like that at that stage in his career. All the respect in the world goes to him. He's a phenomenal football player."

But does that make Griffin Sir-worthy?

"I opened my mouth and I said when he does anything in the league, we're going to call him his name, and he's definitely earned whatever he wants to be called," Umenyiora said. "He's earned that for sure."

Umenyiora relented on the Bob name quickly, rescinding it after Griffin's first game against the Saints. Then he earned his new title last week with a 76-yard touchdown run against the Vikings.

"Ridiculous," Umenyiora said. "You saw guys who are known as fast guys just trailing behind him and you just saw him blazing down the football field, so you know, we know, what type of speed he has, but more importantly, he has an arm. He's 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."

On Wednesday, fellow Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul issued a warning to Griffin that he shouldn't run to his side. Umenyiora Thursday suggested the same thing, but his wishes came not as a challenge but as a request.

"I hope he doesn't come to my side," Umenyiora said. "Hopefully, they'll be able to go somewhere else because I don't want no part of that."

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