Posted January 07, 2014

Is Robert Griffin III holding back Washington’s coaching search?

NFC East, Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III is almost a lock to be the Redskins' start in 2014. Could that be a turn-off to coaching candidates?

Robert Griffin III is almost a lock to be the Redskins’ starter in 2014. Could that be a turn-off to coaching candidates? (Joe Mahoney/AP)

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen mentioned on NFL Insiders Monday that current Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a coveted name in multiple head coaching searches around the league, would want to go somewhere with an “established” quarterback.

That comment sparked this discussion on Twitter: Which quarterbacks on teams with coaching vacancies fit that “established” tag?

Matthew Stafford in Detroit, sure; maybe Jake Locker in Tennessee. But what about Robert Griffin III? He has a division title, which neither Stafford nor Locker can boast, and two years of starting experience. Even with Kirk Cousins in town (for now), Griffin’s locked in as the starter — the offense is built around him.

Yet, there are growing questions about what exactly RGIII’s relationship is with Washington owner Daniel Snyder. The latest log on the fire came from the Washington Post‘s Sally Jenkins:

On the surface, the presence of Griffin should be a lure for a head coach: Who wouldn’t want to work with an electromagnetic talent who just needs some schooling as a dropback passer to become one of the most powerful weapons in the league, right? …

Instead, any head coaching candidate will be hesitant about working with a player whose rampant owner-empowered entitlement was clearly part of the team’s problem this season. Once, Griffin was an immensely likable, unpretentious kid who was wide open to collaboration. But according to insiders, Griffin’s public campaign to have the offense altered for him was just the tip of his egotism in his second year.

Those remarks fall in line with something Cousins said last week: “I’m sure Mr. Snyder and Robert and those people will have a lot of input as to who the hire is.”

The Redskins reportedly denied that Griffin would be involved in the hiring process, which in most cases would be a no-brainer. However, the narrative on Griffin clearly has shifted from his to-the-rescue rookie season, with the front office’s apparent special treatment of him adding to that perception. (For what it’s worth, Stafford met with coaching candidate Jim Caldwell last week, reportedly at the QB’s request.)

It almost goes without saying that the first task for Washington’s new coach will be coming to an understanding with Griffin, in hopes of erasing any lingering issues — whether they be real or not.

Is it possible that one or two of the possible replacements for Mike Shanahan would rather not deal with that public headache? Or that they would not want to gamble on where Snyder’s loyalty lies?

Sure. And that might be problematic for Washington.

10 comments
RosaNosabe
RosaNosabe

How's that multiple picks for RG3 working for the Redskins now? He'll whine and get Gruden fired if things don't turn out to his liking next season

Andrew21
Andrew21

Yeah, being labelled a coach killer doesn't bode well for any young QB. As sands through the hourglass...

BallRush
BallRush

This is actually a big story and I think a major test to the NFL...  QB's having significant impact on who the coach is, when and how the QB plays, and QB's having input in management decisions.  The new NFL is a world where the QB is the most valuable player on the field, with not another position even close.  Remember when it was Defense and the Running Game wins Championships?  Not anymore.  It's QB and pocket protection that wins championships.  The St. Louis Rams of 2000 was the first hint of it and now it's come to full fruition.  RG3 is the first player in the QB era to actually assert this new-found leverage and power.  Personally, I think it's a shame and potentially puts the NFL on the same track as the NBA with star players calling the shots.  I could never imagine Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees, Newton, Wilson doing what RG3 is doing.  That's why I think the good news is that in the end, I believe that RG3's methods will fail and that he'll never win a Super Bowl, which hopefully will discourage other potential prima donna players from pulling the same antics.  Long live the NFL!  Please!

EaglesPdx
EaglesPdx

Except there is no evidence of "rampant owner-empowered entitlement" by RGIII.  How did Snyder interfere with the Shanahan's coaching in any way?  No evidence he did.  How did Snyder interfere with Shanahans position as VP and Director of Player Personnel, having the first and last word on players choices?  No evidence he did.  Snyder gave Shanahan a free hand and Shanahan blew it badly.  Getting RGIII seriously injured.  Bringing him back too soon with no practice.  No having players needed to win games. Not having the coaching to win games.  Only then did we hear about how RGIII having a dinner with the owner was the cause of all of Shanahan's bad decisions.

$30CashLot
$30CashLot

Catchy headline but keep moving. Nothing to see here. 

Peter13
Peter13

@EaglesPdx thank you... surprisingly unbiased critique of this past seasons issues from a division foe. Shanahan had final say on all decisions and created the monster that is now RGME

Cool
Cool

@EaglesPdx Not saying that Shanahan was a good coach so let's get that off the table now.  What I will say is that any coach (good or bad) is going to have a hard time over riding what the OWNER of the team says, no matter what title or rights the said owner agreed to previously.  Reports that RG3 was in the locker room bragging about how he could get what he wanted out of Snyder have been confirmed.  Read the article about how when RG3 gets knocked on his can there are no teammates there to offer him a hand up.  Why would that be?  He is an immature player who let one year of hype, and praise from the owner go to his head.  Coach probably got tired of hearing his players complain about spoiled brat, and got tired of being told what plays he should be calling.  Shanny saw the writing on the wall and did what he should have done much earlier in the year.. sit RG3 out.