Darrell Green clarifies comments about RGIII’s leadership, sort of

Darrell Green is introduced along with other former Washington players before the Redskins' game against the Chargers on Nov. 3.  (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Darrell Green is introduced along with other former Washington players before the Redskins’ game against the Chargers on Nov. 3. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

The Redskins have huffed and puffed their way to a 3-6 record this season and need a second strike of lightning to reach the playoffs. Robert Griffin III is the quarterback of the Redskins.

So when Darrell Green made an appearance on Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” this week, he questioned the state of the team and Griffin’s leadership:

“I think that’s the problem,” Green answered. “I think it’s SUPER important to have leadership, and I don’t think he really IS the leader.”

“Who do you think is the leader?” Green was asked.

“I don’t know if they have a leader,” Green replied, while everyone else shouted about London Fletcher. “Well, London Fletcher is, but I’ve been that old player before,” Green continued. “And you’re a moral leader, people love you and respect you, but you’re really not the leader. You’re not. And really, you shouldn’t be. Because in my opinion, the leadership should come from the offensive side of the ball, because the game is such an offensive-based game.”

Green’s comments — while not all that inflammatory or out of place — sort of blew up in the way things tend to blow up, to the point that former WRC anchor turned NFL Network host Dan Hellie gave Green a call to see if he wanted to clarify anything.

The Redskins Hall of Famer admitted that he didn’t know much about the current group of players inside the locker room, Hellie said Friday on “NFL Total Access.”

“This guy knows a lot about football, he knows a lot about being in the locker room. This particular situation, as he told me on the phone, ‘I really don’t know a lot about it,’” Hellie said (you can watch the clip here). “I’ll be honest with you. He said, ‘Dan, I know diddly squat about this. I’m giving my opinion based on 20 years in the NFL locker room, and I think it’s hard for a young guy to be a leader,’ and that’s what he was trying to say.”

“But I don’t understand him saying this about RGIII if he’s not right there in house to see what’s going on,” co-host Darren Sharper replied.

“London Fletcher is a leader in that locker room,” Sharper added. “How is he gonna say they don’t have a leader in that locker room?”

“That is the one thing that he said he’d probably wanna take back,” Hellie said. “London Fletcher is a leader in that locker room, and he acknowledged that.”

“Well, you better think before you speak,” Sharper said.

(And no, nobody acknowledged the discrepancy in it being perfectly fine to call London Fletcher a leader without having intimate knowledge of the locker room, despite saying 10 seconds earlier that it was inappropriate to say anything about leadership without having intimate knowledge of the locker room.)

Comcast SportsNet’s Brian Mitchell also asked Mike Shanahan about Green’s comments Friday, and the Redskins coach essentially said the same thing about not knowing the inner-workings of the locker room (without actually naming Green, RGIII, Fletcher, or saying anything specific at all, really).

“I think before you really know, you’ve got to spend time here,” Shanahan said. “You’ve got to spend time with the organization, around the football players. And I think it’s hard to know if anyone’s a leader until you’re around them. Everyone’s got different personalities, how they handle themselves, but I think the people in the locker room know who the leaders are.”

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