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Michael Irvin pulls the race card over Robert Griffin III benching

Robert-Griffin-RedskinsThere has been no shortage of controversy surrounding Mike Shanahan’s decision to bench Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season. Between speculation that Shanahan is intentionally trying to get himself fired and reports that RG3 is furious, the situation has turned into a full-blown circus. And now, Michael Irvin has attempted to introduce the race element.

During halftime of Thursday Night Football, Irvin and the rest of the NFL Network panel discussed the mess in Washington. Deion Sanders said he thought RG3 “needed a little humble pie.” Irvin basically said the Redskins wouldn’t be handling the situation the same way if they had a white quarterback.

“You are tearing him down,” Irvin ranted, via Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog. “I doubt that any man can come back from this, walking around three weeks around these guys that you have to lead. And I don’t want to hear about teammates either; we understand as teammates and players, quarterbacks do get special treatment.

“You don’t see people arguing when Peyton Manning or Tom Brady gets (special treatment) — I don’t want you arguing when this kid gets it. He’s the quarterback, and the rest of us brothers have to understand that and treat him as such. I’ve got an issue with all of it. … You think they could do this to Andrew Luck? Let me ask you that, you think they could do this to Luck?”

First of all, comparing RG3 to Peyton Manning or Tom Brady is so absurd we don’t even need to bother getting into detail over it. Brady and Manning receive “special treatment” because they’re Super Bowl MVPs, league MVPs, and future Hall of Famers.

Moreover, I refuse to believe that Shanahan’s decision to bench Griffin has anything to do with the color of RG3′s skin. Would the Redskins do the same to Luck if he was their quarterback, had played horribly, had a 3-10 record this season and was coming off his second reconstructive knee surgery? Yeah, I think they probably would.

RG3 reportedly ‘extremely angry’ about benching; Redskins coaches want to be ‘put out of their misery’

Mike Shanahan Robert GriffinWashington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is playing a game of chicken with Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff. It is widely assumed that Shanahan is going to be fired before the 2014 season, but for some reason he has been left to continue coaching his 3-10 team. And he’ll be doing so without the future of the franchise.

According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Robert Griffin III is “extremely angry” that he has been shut down for what are being described as health reasons. Griffin was upset that he was not allowed to play or practice in the preseason, so you can understand why he is hesitant to accept health as a reason for being benched for the remainder of the season.

While some have speculated that Shanahan is trying to get fired by starting Kirk Cousins, Snyder has reportedly been “receptive” to the idea of avoiding potential injury with his franchise quarterback. However, NFL.com’s Mike Silver cited sources who claim Shanahan’s real motivation for benching RG3 has to do with performance.

Rapoport added that the Redskins coaches expect to be fired and would actually prefer to be “put out of their misery” at this point.

Here’s my personal opinion — Shanahan is not going to resign and forfeit the $7 million he has remaining on his deal. That’s a given. He’s going to wait to be fired so the Redskins have to buy out his contract, but in the meantime he still has to audition for future coaching opportunities. The Redskins have looked completely lost with RG3 under center. That reflects poorly on Shanahan and his staff. If Cousins performs well and wins some games, it will show that the Shanahans’ offensive system can still work.

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.

Robert Griffin III denies he rushed back because he was worried about Kirk Cousins

Robert Griffin IIIRobert Griffin III denies that he rushed back from knee surgery because he feared Kirk Cousins could take his starting quarterback job.

Cousins, a 2012 fourth-round pick out of Michigan State, helped lead Washington to victory after Griffin got hurt against Baltimore last year. He also won in Week 15 at Cleveland and looked pretty good whenever he got playing time.

There has been speculation the past several months that RG3 hurried back from surgery to repair his torn ACL and LCL because he was worried about losing his job. NFL Network took that speculation to another level when they reported that some with the Redskins felt RG3 returned eight months after having surgery because he was concerned about Cousins.

Here’s what they wrote:

Redskins coaches have noticed an insecurity with Griffin this season, and some in the organization believed part of his motivation to quickly return from ACL surgery was driven out of fear that Kirk Cousins would make a run at his job.

In comments to CSN Washington, Griffin disputed that notion.

“Me and Kirk have always been good,” Griffin told CSNwashington.com. “That’s not an issue. The way I look at it, hard work, dedication and God’s grace is what helped me come back and play so quick.

“My job during the offseason was to get ready to go and make sure Kirk was ready to go,” Griffin said. “And we worked well together.”

Allow me to call B.S. here and say I don’t believe Griffin. Griffin saying he has a good relationship with Cousins doesn’t exactly answer the question. They can still have a good relationship and he could still be worried about playing for his job. I absolutely think he hurried back in part because of Cousins. He probably hurried back because he wants to be out there and, like any competitor, how could he not be concerned about someone getting a crack at his job?