Combative Shanahan addresses his future, benching RG3

Combative Shanahan addresses his future, benching RG3
December 11, 2013, 4:00 pm
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Shanahan says he had to run decision by Snyder and Allen

In nine years of covering the Redskins, I have never seen anything quite like this. In front of a packed media room at Redskins Park, a combative Mike Shanahan defended his decision to bench quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season and discussed how his future with the franchise will be determined.

During the session, which lasted about 30 minutes, Shanahan said the following:

“What I’m trying to do is be as honest as I can, and I don’t normally do that”

“Dan [Snyder] could care less about the other positions.”

“Yeah, you always want to finish something you started.”

To put some of those into context:

—On his decision to make Robert Griffin III inactive for the last three games: “At the end of the day, we felt the best thing we could do for Robert was to not play him, give Kirk an opportunity to play so he could go into an offseason healthy . . . With Robert, I felt the hits were piling up on him.

—On why he was concerned about Griffin getting possibly getting injured and not any other players. “I think it’s 100 percent different when you look at the quarterback position. A quarterback needs an offseason program. It’s important to him. When you take a look at your quarterback, your franchise quarterback, he’s your future. If you miss two offseason in a row, it would be the hardest thing to do to recover from that.”

—On why in Griffin in particular needed the offseason program: “I don’t care if you talk about inside linebacker, outside linebacker, corner, offensive lineman. What’s critical to the development of the quarterback is, at least in my opinion, that second and third year offseason. He didn’t have the second, I don’t want to take the chance on him not having a third.”

—On why he talked about to Dan Snyder about the decision to shut down RG3 for the season but not about other decisions: “That’s what you do about a quarterback. He’s your franchise. That’s why you ask those questions. You don’t do it about the other positions. Dan could care less about the other positions. ‘That’s why you coach. That why I own.’”

—On the decision process for returning in 2014: “That’s Dan’s decision at the end of this year. My job is do the right thing for the organization. I don’t care if it’s the first year I came here or the second, the third or the fourth.”

—On if he wants to come back: “Yeah, you always want to finish something you started.”