Mike Shanahan and his quarterback, Robert Griffin III haven’t been on the same page for some time now.
According to Mike Wise of the Washington Post, Griffin III and Shanahan haven’t really seen eye to since last January. According to the report, there’s been tension brewing between the two for some time now and it started with Shanahan putting his quarterback in harms way.
Soon after Griffin’s devastating knee injury last January, Shanahan reached out to the Griffin family. Putting himself in the shoes of Griffin’s parents — knowing he would want the same clarity if it were his child writhing in pain on the ground of FedEx Field in the waning moments of that playoff loss to Seattle and had undergone major knee surgery — the coach merely wanted to explain what led up to the most crucial, in-game, on-the-fly decision of his tenure in Washington.
Shanahan eventually was able to communicate those thoughts — but not before he was originally rebuffed, according to people on both sides with knowledge of last January’s events who spoke on condition of anonymity in interviews over the past three weeks.
According to Wise, Griffin II appreciated him trying to look out for his son, but would have preferred Shanahan focus on coaching his team even more.
Some in the know felt Griffin III wouldn’t have rushed back and wouldn’t have tried to play hurt if Kirk Cousins wasn’t drafted three rounds after him.
Though Shanahan did eventually convey some regret in his decision privately to Griffin, he refused to take blame publicly for what he claimed was a mutual decision made by all parties involved (himself, orthopedic surgeon James Andrews and Griffin).
That fateful day last January was the backdrop to everything this season. It became a larger story than Griffin’s rehabilitation, forking into how Griffin should be used at quarterback going forward. It carried over into training camp, with dueling notions of whether Griffin should play in the preseason and why he essentially was put in bubble-wrap before the season began.