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Redskins would sign another QB if Kirk Cousins or Rex Grossman got hurt

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinHow committed is Mike Shanahan to keeping Robert Griffin III on the bench for the remainder of the season? As long as Shanahan is the coach, Griffin will not be touching the field again during a game in 2013. According to Mike Jones of The Washington Post, Shanahan told reporters on Thursday that the Redskins would sign another quarterback if Kirk Cousins or backup quarterback Rex Grossman got injured.

So there you have it — RG3 isn’t even available in an emergency. He is expected to be inactive this weekend and will apparently remain that way for the rest of the season. Since Shanahan insists he is benching Griffin to protect his health and the future of the Redskins franchise, I guess that is the only way to go.

To make matters more interesting, Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan — who happens to be Mike’s son — told reporters on Thursday that he was “disappointed” RG3 won’t be playing and had no hand in the decision to bench him.

“You play your starting quarterback, that’s been Robert,” Kyle Shanahan said, via Pro Football Talk. “I’m pretty disappointed we don’t get to play with him. But it is what it is, and I’m gonna deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.

“I’ve got zero involvement in that. I actually game-planned for both (Griffin and Cousins) all Tuesday. It was a little frustrating to game plan for both. I was told the final decision Wednesday morning, then rolled with it. I definitely made it clear I was disappointed in that. … I think it would be good for Robert to get the reps.”

As PFT’s Mike Florio noted, that could simply be Mike’s way of protecting his son from what has turned into an embarrassing mess. With all the rumors swirling around about the elder Shanahan intentionally trying to provoke Daniel Snyder to fire him, it’s probably wise to keep his son as distant from the unpopular decision making as possible.

Is Mike Shanahan benching RG3 to provoke Daniel Snyder to fire him?

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinKirk Cousins is expected to start at quarterback for the Washington Redskins this weekend over Robert Griffin III, according to ESPN’s John Keim. When Mike Shanahan told the media earlier this week that he was considering shutting RG3 down for the remainder of the season to protect his health, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that the former Baylor star had played his last snap in 2013.

The Redskins are 3-10, so it doesn’t really matter who their starting quarterback is for the final three games of the season. The most intriguing aspect of the story centers around Shanahan’s motivation for benching Griffin. On Tuesday, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported that a source close to the Redskins believes Shanahan’s decision to bench RG3 could be an attempt at getting team owner Daniel Snyder to fire him.

Shanahan is under contract through next season. If he is fired, he would in all likelihood receive the remainder of the $7 million he is still owed. If he chooses to resign, he would forfeit the remainder of the money.

Maske also noted that the details of Shanahan’s contract are not known, but many believe it gives him the final say over personnel decisions like who will be the team’s starting quarterback. It’s possible that if Snyder attempts to intervene and force Shanahan to start RG3, Shanahan could contend that the terms of his contract were violated. In an instance like that, Shanahan might be able to resign and still collect the remainder of his money.

That theory would make sense and it would certainly help explain why an earlier report claimed Snyder would not step in if Shanahan chooses to bench Griffin. Snyder and RG3 seem to be so tight that it is widely assumed Shanahan is tired of their relationship. It would not be far-fetched to think that he is looking for a way out by benching Griffin.

Report: Daniel Snyder would not stop Mike Shanahan from benching RG3

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsRobert Griffin III may find himself standing on the sideline this weekend when the Washington Redskins take on the Atlanta Falcons. On Monday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan told the media that he has considered benching Griffin for the remainder of the season to protect his health. Shanahan’s remarks were followed with speculation that team owner Daniel Snyder would never allow something like that to happen.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Snyder would not stand in Shanahan’s way if he chose to go with Kirk Cousins over RG3.

“He won’t step in and interfere with that,” a person familiar with the situation reportedly told Maske on Tuesday. “He’s not going to step into a personnel decision that way.”

The belief all along has been that the relationship between Snyder and Griffin has created problems for Snyder and Shanahan. In other words, Snyder expects RG3 to be the quarterback of the future for the Redskins. If Shanahan and his son — offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan — cannot find a way to win with Griffin, both will likely be fired. Most people expect them to be fired after the season ends, at the latest.

As Maske noted, Snyder may be inclined to let Shanahan bench RG3 because he agrees with the reasoning — not because he is opposed to pressuring his head coach into a certain personnel decision. Griffin has been getting hammered over the past several games and always looks one hit away from another major injury. The Redskins are currently 3-10. Why risk it?

Mike Shanahan says he has considered benching RG3, hasn’t spoken to him about it

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinThe Mike Shanahan watch is in full swing, with many speculating that the Washington Redskins head coach is going to be fired in the wake of his team’s embarrassing 45-10 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Redskins are 3-10 this season after reaching the playoffs in 2012. Shanahan’s relationship with Robert Griffin III has seemed rocky all season, and it may have just gotten rockier.

On Monday, Shanahan told reporters that he is considering benching RG3 for the remainder of the season to protect his health. Griffin, the future of the franchise, has been sacked a whopping 24 times in the past five games — all losses.

“I want to make sure he’s healthy going into off season,” Shanahan said, via Around the League. “I’ll think about it and decide Wednesday.”

The move would almost certainly upset Griffin, who vowed to be ready for the start of the regular season and let it be known publicly that he was upset with Shanahan for holding him out of practices and preseason play. But the worst part of all is that Shanahan said he has not discussed the prospect of benching RG3 with RG3. That means the former Baylor star found out about it during the press conference like the rest of us.

“I told him I’m his coach, not his best friend,” Shanahan said when asked about his relationship with Griffin.

RG3 recently denied that he rushed back from knee surgery because he believed backup quarterback Kirk Cousins could steal his job. A number of people have insisted Cousins would give the Redskins a better chance to win right now given the way Griffin has played and how ineffective he has been, particularly with his legs. Based on Shanahan’s comments, it sounds like we’re about to find out.

Unless, of course, team owner Daniel Snyder accepts the dare Shanny threw at him on Monday. What dare is that? The “fire me, I dare you,” line he might as well have dropped when discussing RG3.

Texans reportedly not interested in Jon Gruden, Mike Shanahan

Jon-Gruden-Miami-HurricanesWith the Houston Texans having fired former head coach Gary Kubiak last week, the usual big names have been flying around as potential candidates for the vacancy. Two of the more popular ones are Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden. According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, neither Shanahan nor Gruden are a possibility.

McClain wrote on Sunday night that the Texans “will not try to hire ESPN analyst Jon Gruden” and “won’t be pursuing Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan” even if he is fired after his team’s disappointing 2013 season. Texans owner Bob McNair has said he wants a coach with head-coaching experience and NFL experience, which both Shanahan and Gruden have. Still, it sounds like the team is not interested.

Sports Talk 790 in Houston’s Lance Zierlein reported on Sunday night that there is “no way” the Texans hire Shanahan and that Shanahan’s name is probably being leaked by his own camp.

One candidate who is expected to draw serious interest from the Texans is Lovie Smith, who took a season off this year after being unexpectedly fired by the Chicago Bears. McClain said he expects Smith to be the first candidate the Texans interview. Other candidates include Stanford head coach David Shaw — who worked as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens — and San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

The Texans are having a horrendous season, but they are only a year removed from the playoffs and have core pieces like JJ Watt and Brian Cushing on what has been an underachieving defensive unit. The job should have plenty of appeal.

Redskins expected to pursue Art Briles as head coach

Art Briles Robert Griffin BaylorThe Washington Redskins could be dreaming of a reunion between Robert Griffin III and Art Briles, his college coach at Baylor.

According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Washington is expected to pursue Briles when Mike Shanahan’s tenure as head coach comes to an end.

ESPN reported on Sunday that Shanahan thought about quitting after last season because of frustration over the way owner Daniel Snyder favored RG3. They say Shanahan, who is in the fourth year of a 5-year, $35 million contract, stuck with the team because he didn’t want the perception to be that he walked away because his franchise quarterback got hurt. Reports indicate Shanahan could be fired this week.

Briles would be a natural candidate for the position because of his success with RG3 in college. Briles and RG3 began their careers at Baylor in the 2008 season. The Bears went 4-8 in their first year, 4-8 the next year (Griffin tore his ACL that season), 7-6 in 2010 and 10-3 in 2011. The 2011 season saw RG3 win the Heisman Trophy and lead Baylor to a win in the Alamo Bowl. He threw for 37 touchdowns and six interceptions under Briles that season, and rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Since losing RG3, Briles has maintained a strong level at Baylor. The Bears went 8-5 last season and are 11-1 this season. His excellent coaching and explosive offense resulted in him being rewarded with a 10-year contract extension last month that runs through 2023. The contract calls for him to be paid him more than $4 million next season, but La Canfora says it does not preclude him from jumping to the NFL.

Though the appeal of coaching Griffin could be high for Briles, the failures of so many other coaches in Washington could be a turnoff. Super Bowl-winning head coach Tony Dungy said this week that he would not want to work for Snyder.

It remains to be seen whether Briles would be open to the challenge when the time comes.

Trent Williams: Robert Griffin III, Mike Shanahan don’t deserve the criticism

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinRobert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan have been widely criticized amid the Washington Redskins’ struggles the last several weeks, and offensive lineman Trent Williams believes it’s undeserved.

Williams and defensive team leader London Fletcher both were asked whether there’s any extra motivation for the team to play for Shanahan’s job, and they said no. That wasn’t an insult to Shanahan so much as it was a matter of them saying they’re focusing on their jobs. But Williams did tell The Washington Post that RG3 and Shanny don’t deserve all the criticism they’re facing.

“The media, number one, is going to go to the head coach and then the quarterback. But, it really has nothing to do with the head coach or the quarterback, why we’re struggling,” Williams said. “We’re just not playing well as a team. I’m pretty sure Robert knows that he’s going to get some scrutiny, but I don’t think he deserves it. I don’t think coach Shanahan deserves it, to see people talk and say he’s not doing his job. I think he’s doing a heck of a job. It does wear on you to see people go through undeserving criticism.”

Few people would agree that Shanahan is doing a “heck of a job,” but maybe he and RG3 are being criticized excessively. I wouldn’t at all call it undeserving, though.

Both parties are extremely deserving of criticism. Shanahan deserves criticism going back to playing Griffing when the quarterback was hurt last year. RG3 deserves criticism for his mixed public comments about his coaches and his subtle shots. And whoever’s in charge of the decision making there — likely Daniel Snyder — deserves criticism for having Griffin start Week 1 and sticking with him when the guy hasn’t looked healthy, as many players have said.