On Tuesday an article came that claimed that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is not very coachable. The report contains an account of Griffin openly ignoring advice from his position coach during a game.
When Mike Shanahan was asked about the report during his news conference on Wednesday he brushed it off. ““If you want me to comment to every one of those – I mean, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s ludicrous. I told you something was going to come out every day. That’s just part of it to even write that kind of stuff. First of all, I understand, or at least somebody told me, that he [Quarterbacks Coach Matt LaFleur] was on the sideline. He’s in the press box – that’s one. So these things come out time after time and I’m not surprised about it.”
A couple of questions later, Shanahan was asked, specifics of any media reports aside, if Griffin is generally a coachable player. Here is his full response:
“I think part of the growth of any football player is to be a pro player. And like I said about London, what’s the best thing for a young guy to go through? And that’s to be coached, learn how to practice as a pro, because it’s so totally different than it is in college. I coached in college for 10 years. It was a great learning experience for me, but the difference between college and pro level with these players is night and day, so all of it is a learning experience. Some guys are more in tune than other guys, but it’s not a negative. It’s just, ‘Hey, this is a learning experience guys go through.’ To be next to a guy like London Fletcher is the ultimate experience for a young football player.”
Anything about how well or poorly Griffin responds to instruction there? No. Is there anything there saying that Griffin is learning how to be an NFL payer? No. So this one is a non-answer.
A bit later on, another reporter circled back to the coachability subject and asked if Griffin has improved in that area. Here’s Shanahan’s response in full:
“Yeah, that’s what I think learning is, is taking every situation and learning from it and knowing in the back of your mind that, ‘Hey, I might have made a mistake here or there, it may be on the field or off, but this is the way that I can become a better pro. I’ve learned [from] my experiences.’ Some will be positive, some will be negative, but the great ones learn from their mistakes.”
Again, the “Robert is coachable” bus drove by and for the second time Shanahan declined to show any interest in getting on board.
You can these exchanges any way you’d like. Perhaps they are a reflection of reality and Griffin still has a lot to learn in that regard.
But remember that Shanahan said last week that he’s not always honest when he speaks to the media so perhaps he is pushing his agenda here. There are many who believe that Shanahan’s camp is planting stories like the one mentioned at the beginning of this article in order to make Griffin look bad and deflect blame for the Redskins’ 3-11 record away from the coach.
The truth could well lie somewhere in between but an honest assessment from the coach would help us figure that out.