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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Robert Griffin III makes curious comment about ex-Washington coaches

Robert Griffin III on Monday made a curious comment about his former Washington coaches.

Washington traded up to take Griffin No. 2 overall in the 2012 draft. The move looked genius when RG3 won Offensive Rookie of the Year and led Washington to the playoffs in 2012. Washington went 10-6 that season but lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs to Seattle.

Griffin hurt his knee in Week 14, sat out in Week 15, and returned in Week 16. He reinjured his knee in the playoff game and ended up undergoing knee surgery.

There was a big controversy over the Washington coaching staff’s handling of Griffin, as well as their scheme for him. Griffin didn’t want to run any longer, while the coaches wanted to utilize that important aspect of the speedster’s game.

Griffin never replicated the success of the 2012 season, was supplanted by Kirk Cousins in 2015, and made just seven more starts the rest of his career after leaving Washington.

Meanwhile, Washington’s offensive coaching staff in that 2012 season included Kyle Shanahan, Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur and Mike McDaniel. They were all coaching under head coach Mike Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls while guiding the Denver Broncos.

Kyle Shanahan has coached two teams to Super Bowl appearances (one as a coordinator, the other as a head coach). Sean McVay turned around the Rams’ franchise and won a Super Bowl. LaFleur has gone 42-11 since becoming the head coach of the Packers in 2019. And McDaniel has looked like an offensive wizard so far as head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

It has become very apparent that the coaching staff in Washington was exceptional and that their schemes helped maximize Griffin’s abilities in 2012. It’s also become apparent that Griffin was completely wrong when he won a power struggle and told the coaches how to handle him.

But even 10 years later, Griffin doesn’t seem to recognize that.

Prior to the Rams-49ers game in San Francisco, “Monday Night Countdown” aired a conversation they hosted between Kyle Shanahan, McVay and LeFleur. The three NFC coaches are regarded as some of the brightest minds in the league.

After the package aired, Griffin somewhat cut down the coaching staff with an odd comment.

“I think they’re truly a story of … they weren’t ready to be successful in Washington,” Griffin said. “I wasn’t either. So, for them to come back and have the success that they’ve had as head coaches, I think it really shows their growth and development.”

That is quite a comment. And the comment shows that Griffin is still in denial.

10 years later, he still doesn’t realize how great of a coaching staff he had. He didn’t want to listen to them and thought he knew better. His family reportedly wanted Art Briles hired in place of Shanahan. The Shanahans were run out of Washington after the 2013 season, and we’ve seen the success Kyle went on to have. McVay remained in Washington and helped turn Kirk Cousins from an afterthought into a Pro Bowl quarterback. McDaniel left Washington and followed Kyle Shanahan, and we’ve seen what he can do.

It seems that Griffin’s comment would be completely correct if inverted. Those coaches were ready to be successful in Washington; it’s Griffin who wasn’t.

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