Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, December 11, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Atlanta Falcons.
Five notes and quotes from Wednesday’s epic Mike Shanahan news conference (the full transcript is available right here).
1. Does Shanahan have second thoughts about starting Robert Griffin III in Week 1? He said that he might but he doesn’t. “I think you can always go back and always question yourself on what’s the best situation, but at the time that we decided to go with Robert, the doctors said he was 100 percent. So you go with the doctors. Robert felt that he was 100 percent.”
2. Do you want to win these last three games? So why are you sitting your franchise QB “I think it’s 100 percent different when you take a look at the quarterback position. A quarterback needs an offseason program. It’s important to him. When you take a look at a quarterback who is your franchise quarterback, he’s your future. If you miss two offseasons in a row, it’d be the hardest thing to do is recover from that. I take a look at the next three games, I’d like him to have that experience, but at the risk of setting him back where he doesn’t go into the offseason [healthy], I think that would be devastating to him.”
3. So Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder are both behind this move? “Well, just put it this way, I said if either one wasn’t 100 percent behind my reasoning that I’m giving you, I said we won’t go there. Nothing needs to be said. We’ll just keep it status quo.”
4. I asked Shanahan why his offensive line that has been together for two years had trouble protecting the quarterback to the point where he had to bench his starter. “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where it’s at. You’ll see as time goes on — is it the offensive line? Is it the quarterback? Is it the receivers? There’s a combination of different things and I don’t get into detail, but at the end of the day you’re always trying to improve your football team. I think when you take a look at the year before, when we’re the No. 1 offense in the National Football League — for every time the ball’s snapped we had more yards rushing and more yards passing — that’s pretty good with a bad offensive line, isn’t it?”
5. Finally, he was asked about the ESPN report that he planned to quit after last season. Why not just say no, the report isn’t true? “What I said is there’s always bits and pieces of an article that are true. I’m not going to go into detail what was true about the article. I don’t think it’s fair to the organization and I would speak to that person first before I would speak to anybody else.”
Stat of the day
—If Robert Griffin III is indeed done for the season he will finish the year with a passer rating of 82.2. In the 22 seasons since the Redskins won their last Super Bowl that is the seventh-best passer rating among quarterbacks who threw at least 125 passes in a season.
—Days until: Redskins @ Falcons 3; Cowboys @ Redskins 10; Start of NFL free agency 89
—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett news conferences and player availability after practice (approx. 2:00)
In case you missed it
- Shanahan says he talked to Snyder, Allen about RG3 benching
- RG3 accepts decision to be benched
- Cousins: “I need to be ready to go”
- Smoot knows how to fix the Redskins
- Fantasy: Effects of yesterday’s move
- 3 & Out: Cousins takes over
- Players say they’re behind Cousins
- Combative Shanahan addresses his future, RG3
Tandler on Redskins Nation