Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
RICHMOND, Va. (WUSA) -- Last week I wrote about the most telling quote Robert Griffin III has revealed since his knee injury occurred during the NFC playoffs in early January.
"So, um, obviously with this situation, and what we have to deal with here, in the DMV and in D.C., there's a lot of scrutiny. So coach has to also account for that," is what Griffin said last Monday.
There were a couple more quotes that stood out today about Griffin's dislike of his slow recovery process.
"I want to play, let's get that straight. I want to play in the
preseason. Coach is just saying that if things go great these next
couple of days and next week, then maybe, but it's a hard no right now.
It's my job to make that a soft no and possibly a yes. But I'm
definitely going to push for it."
And on his recovery plan.
"I don't understand all of it. But at the end of the day, he [Shanahan]
gave me his word. We talked privately. I know the plan. I am not telling
the whole plan because he doesn't want the whole plan known and I
understand that as well. 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."
So in turn media outlets (ESPN) are insinuating there is some friction between the Redskins quarterback and head coach Mike Shanahan. That's not exactly the case.
Why are we making it a big deal that Griffin III is speaking his mind? Do we want him to start lying in press conferences and becoming a robot? The fire inside of Griffin III is hard to compare to any player the Redskins have ever boasted on their roster. This is a new situation for all involved.
Here's the deal: Shanahan deeply regrets playing RGIII late into the Seattle game (even though I defended Shanny for doing so). So by tapping the brakes on RGIII's recovery process and setting strict rules, Shanahan is admitting he made a parenting mistake towards his young prodigy, and in turn has grounded RGIII like any good parent would do.
Yes, it appears like RGIII is ready to come off punishment tomorrow if called upon. But certain agreements have already been made and it seems RGIII's grounding won't change. And it shouldn't. Sticking to firm plans is how solid NFL organizations are built.
Kudos to Shanahan for not relenting power to Griffin. And props to Griffin for being as translucent and real as possible. If he wasn't pushing to play, that might ring more alarm bells. Now if Shanahan's word is broken and he doesn't start week one, then this has potential of becoming a nightmare situation dividing the locker room. But we'll cross that unlikely bridge if it ever comes.
So, friction? Not really. Tough love? Definitely.