Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has made the decision to bench starting quarterback Robert Griffin III, and start backup Kirk Cousins against the Atlanta Falcons. Shanahan ahs stated the move would be to ensure the safety of RGIII to get him to the offseason in one peace. Shanahan cited the number of sacks Griffin had sustained as the catalyst.
But when you look at the Redskins opponent on Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons, they are in a similar situation. Their quarterback Matt Ryan has sustained a lot of punishment in a losing season as well, and yet Ryan will be starting for the Falcons. There has been no push on behalf of Falcons head coach Mike Smith to get Ryan to the offseason healthy, so what gives?
It seems Shanahan is playing politics and Mike Smith isn’t. Smith knows he will be returning as head coach next season for the Falcons and has no reason to play mind games with ownership. And at this point there’s little doubt that Mike Shanahan’s days as head coach of the Redskins are nearly over, so on his way out of the door he’s creating chaos.
It almost seems as though Shanahan is trying to tempt owner Daniel Snyder to intervene in this decision to bench RGIII, and cast himself even more than he has through the media as a victim of a meddling owner. But so far Snyder has resisted that urge and is allowing Shanahan to make his decisions without any interference.
But the question is how long will this go on? It seems that Shanahan will continue to dare Snyder to fire over the next three weeks, or until actually happens. RGIII is not injured, and is capable of playing, but Cousins is the starter. So until Snyder fires Shanahan or Shanahan quits, Redskins fans and players alike will have to endure this mess for a little while longer.