Kyle Shanahan disagrees with decision to bench Robert Griffin III for rest of season
If you thought things couldn’t get any stranger with the Washington Redskins … well, think again. And if you were under the impression that offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was on board with every decision made by head coach and father Mike … well, that would be wrong, too. Shanahan the Elder’s decision to bench quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season out of concern for his health was announced on Wednesday.
Not a huge surprise — Shanahan had been making noises about keeping Griffin out of harm’s way for the last three games of the 2013 regular season because he’d taken 24 sacks in his last five games, and the head coach wanted his quarterback to have the full offseason he didn’t have in 2013 due to knee surgery.
That Shanahan will most likely not be Griffin’s head coach in 2014 wasn’t relevant to the story, but Kyle Shanahan’s public response to the Griffin benching became a bigger story when he spoke with the media on Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve got zero involvement in that,” he said. “I actually game-planned for both [Griffin and new starter Kirk Cousins] all Tuesday. It was a little frustrating to game plan for both. I was told the final decision Wednesday morning, then rolled with it.”
Leaving your own offensive coordinator in the lurch until just before the public is made aware adds to the cavalier way in which Mike Shanahan has seemed to handle this drama. Never mind holding such important news from your own son!
And if Kyle Shanahan was supposed to toe the party line about the decision, he certainly did anything but.
“I think if the decision was about football, you would have talked with your offensive coordinator,” he said. “But this doesn’t have to do with football — it has to do with the future of an organization. That’s out of my realm — it has to do with a GM and an owner. … In a game, the process of whether a player goes down or comes out for a play or not, you don’t know whether he’s hurt. The doctors come up and tell you whether you have him or not, and you don’t ask questions. You just keep calling plays. I’ve never seen a coach take a player out of a game when he says he’s healthy, and the doctor says he’s healthy, unless he wants to play the backup.
“I definitely made it clear I was disappointed in that … I think it would be good for Robert to get the reps.”
It’s just another episode in what certainly seems to be the NFL’s weirdest miniseries in 2013.