The alleged divide between Robert Griffin
III and Mike Shanahan
could make for an interesting offseason. (The Washington Post/Getty Images)
The mini-circus that has surrounded Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is still in town ... unless it isn't. After Washington's 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, Griffin raised the hackles of fans and some of his teammates when he said that his own offense was predictable enough for the Eagles defense to read. He also seemed to insinuate that the game-clinching interception to Philly cornerback Brandon Boykin was, well, not so much his fault. This brought fire from receiver Santana Moss, who quite correctly said that whether Griffin was at fault or not, part of his job as a quarterback is to take the hits for such plays when speaking to the media.
Griffin and head coach Mike Shanahan spackled over these issues throughout the week, but on Sunday morning, Shanahan had to do more damage control. Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that Griffin asked his coaches to refrain from putting his bad plays up on the boards in meeting rooms. Head coach Art Briles agreed to that when Griffin was at Baylor, but according to Silver, Washington's coaches have not agreed to the same consideration.
“What I am told is that Griffin met with Mike Shanahan to clear the air and the word I get from inside the building is they are working together," Ian Rapoport said on the network's Gameday Morning program. "There is an air of positivity, essentially because there is no other choice. Kirk Cousins is not an option, has never been an option, but when you talk to players, you get a guy like Santana Moss who grew up in the Bill Parcells world where the quarterback takes blame for everything, RGIII hasn’t done that and that’s rankled some guys.”
“There is a lot of air to be cleared," Silver responded, regarding the alleged divide between Griffin and his teammates and coaches. "This is real. RGIII has expressed to teammates his dissatisfaction with Mike Shanahan and this could be coming to a head. Inside the building, when you talk to people familiar with this situation they perceive RGIII as kind of insecure, specifically about Kirk Cousins, which may be one reason he was so eager to rush back. At Baylor, they didn’t put RGIII’s bad plays up on the board in the meeting rooms; sources familiar with the situation say he has asked the Redskins to do the same. They have refused to this point, but keep an eye on this situation.”
Shanahan, whose Redskins face the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, had a little extra time on Sunday morning to address the issue, and he did with certainty. He spoke with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and said that Silver's report was "completely false. Robert would never do that.”
Whatever happens with this team over the last five weeks of the season will come to an interesting head when the 3-7 Redskins are done playing. There's very little chance they'll go on the same kind of run they did last season to win the NFC East after a 3-6 start, and if there's continued reports of differences between the team's most important power-brokers, there might be changes afoot in D.C. -- and those changes won't involve the quarterback the Redskins gave up multiple first-round draft picks to acquire.