Adam Schefter, who is likely closer to Mike Shanahan than any other reporter, was on ESPN 980 Wednesday afternoon. He was asked about the coach’s relationship to Robert Griffin III. (Listen here.)
“I think it’s a business one, in the sense that Mike has gone out of his way to let it be known that he’s not going to be Robert’s friend; that he’s going to be Robert’s head coach and try to get the best out of him, which is his job,” Schefter said. “His job is not to be Robert’s friend. Other people in the organization have done that, and continue to do that. That’s not Mike. That’s not going to be Mike. Mike has a different perspective, a different outlook and a different desire in his relationship with RGIII.
“I think the fact that they don’t get along is overdone, overstated, overemphasized, whatever you want to say,” Schefter continued. “I think there are always issues between quarterbacks and head coaches. Quarterbacks want things a certain way, head coaches another sometimes. Look at Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers. Do they not get along now, after they argued on the sideline on Sunday? You know what, I think it’s inevitable that sometimes men in those positions are going to clash. But I think more than anything else — unlike OTHERS in that organization — Mike has not gone out of his way to be friends with RGIII.”
Yes, OTHERS was emphasized. So who were these unnamed others? Immediately, I thought of the person who went to an offseason movie screening with RGIII, who went to an offseason Cafe Milano dinner with RGIII, who went to an offseason fundraiser with RGIII, who dined with RGIII in Richmond, who joked with RGIII at a luncheon, who was asked to dance at RGIII’s wedding.
Thom Loverro must have thought the same thing. He asked Schefter about the perception that RGIII and Daniel Snyder have a relationship.
“That’s true,” Schefter said. “That’s not a perception. That’s true. That’s a fact.”
“That’s different from maybe other owners might have with their quarterbacks?” Loverro continued. “I’m assuming maybe different from what Pat Bowlen and John Elway had in Denver. I mean, do you think that complicates [the Shanahan-RGIII dynamic]? Do you think that maybe empowers Robert if there is a dispute, to feel that he can push his will?”
“I think both of those statements are true,” Schefter said. “I think it complicates it, and I think it empowers Robert. Yes. I think both those things are true. Now, Dan Snyder is a different owner than a lot of other owners, so he doesn’t conduct his business the way that Pat Bowlen conducts his business or the way that some other people conduct their business. Dan has been a tremendously successful business man, so it’s hard to argue about what he’s done and the way he’s handled his business, to me. But, saying that, yes, I do think that that has empowered RGIII. Yes.”
Then Loverro asked if that power would disappear were Mike Shanahan to receive a contract extension.
“I don’t think so,” Schefter said. “I don’t know if that’s the case. I think that there are always going to be certain little things — the push and pull between the quarterback and the head coach, the push and pull between an old-school coach and a new-aged quarterback who doesn’t handle himself like Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck. He’s a little bit more out there, and I mean out there publicizing himself, bringing attention to himself. He just is, [more] than those other guys. Am I wrong?”
Finally, Kevin Sheehan asked Schefter if he thinks Shanahan is bothered by that Snyder-RGIII relationship.
“I’ll say this: do I think he’s bothered by it? I don’t know that,” Schefter said. “But I don’t think that that’s the way that Mike does his job.”