Aug 8, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) warms up prior to the game agains the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
It all began at the end of the 2012 season during the Wildcard Playoffs against the Seattle Seahawks. Robert Griffin III undoubtedly should have been taken out of the game, whether it be by himself or Mike Shanahan, yet it didn’t happen. That poor decision-making ultimately led to the tearing of Griffin’s LCL and ACL.
There no doubt were issues between Griffin and head coach Mike Shanahan, which was known many times, but after coming back to Redskins Park for OTA’s, Mini Camp, and now Training Camp in Richmond, the two have in Griffins eyes, “worked things out.”
That however might have changed today, as Robert Griffin III seemed to be unhappy with Shanahan’s approach to his recovery time. Griffin is said to be able to now work in 11 on 11 drills with his teammates, but he still says he wants to be out on the field in preseason.
“I want to play, let’s get that straight. I want to play in the preseason…. I’ll definitely push for that third game, but who knows what happens.”
Of course Griffin said it’s up to Mike Shanahan whether he plays in preseason or anything more than that, but he feels it’s the right time to let him loose:
“I just think it’s time to get back out there with my teammates. I’ve proven that I can protect myself and [I’m] dang near close to 100 percent.”
While Griffin says he understands that him and Mike Shanahan are on the same page of him being near 100 percent, his issue is that he doesn’t fully understand the plan Mike Shanahan has in store for him during his rehab process, as he feels he’s ready:
Aug 8, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) talks with Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) during warm ups prior to the game at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
“I don’t understand the whole plan at all. I can’t lie about that, but when you give your word to somebody, that’s all you have, so I’m just banking that they will stay true to their word and I’m staying true to mine. I’m doing everything they have asked me to without any gripes other than with you guys and that’s just the way you have to do it. “
The interesting part about all of this was besides a few smiles Robert Griffin III gave, he seemed very serious and almost annoyed at times. Griffin is usually always in a happy, upbeat type of mood, but today he didn’t seem his normal self, almost to the point of having trust issues with the coach.
This of course could just be a typical act the two are playing with the media, but more importantly the Philadelphia Eagles, who the Redskins open the season against on Monday Night Football. Mike Shanahan after all is the king of smoke screens.
The important part is he (Griffin) still feels no pain or soreness in his knee, which should set him to play in Week 1, and possibly the third preseason game if he can prove to Mike Shanahan he is without a doubt ready. That would allow him to get a quick half of football in at game speed which would benefit him drastically than what he’s seeing in practice, and now 11 on 11 drills.
Mike Shanahan must approach this situation carefully because there’s no doubt Robert Griffin III now runs the team. If something happens, Daniel Snyder won’t be shy to hit the termination button on his contract with the Redskins, as he’s done time and time again to head coaches.
At the same time Griffin must realize what Shanahan is doing is for his best interest, not as a way to make an example out of him. If Shanahan or himself handles the situation poorly, it could ruin any future he has in the NFL.