As soon as Mike Shanahan started suggesting on Monday that he might shut down Robert Griffin III — the reigning offensive rookie of the year, the kid who cost all the draft picks, the player whose development is about the only thing left to monitor this season — tongues started wagging.
So it was safe to play Robert Griffin in the snow on a bad field. But it’s unsafe to play him in a dome this weekend? Got it.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) December 9, 2013
So RG3 playing indoors on turf vs a team ranking 27th/sacks is less safe than outside in snow on grass? His clock mgt. makes more sense.
— Kevin Sheehan (@kevins980) December 9, 2013
So…basically Shanny is daring RG3 to run to Snyder about getting benched and then daring Snyder to do nothing.
— Ben Standig (@BenStandig) December 9, 2013
You can’t convince me Shanahan’s very public flirtation w/ shutting down a healthy RGIII isn’t a power play aimed at calling Snyder’s bluff
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) December 9, 2013
You can’t sit any player who’s healthy with 3 games remaining to what, rest him up for the offseason? RG3 sitting is coach’s payback.
— Rick Snider (@Snide_Remarks) December 10, 2013
This wasn’t just the quick-trigger tweeters, either; our normally sober beat writers included this passage in Tuesday’s wrap-up:
One person close to the Redskins organization said that by raising the possibility of benching Griffin, Shanahan appeared to be deliberately trying to provoke Snyder, who would oppose benching the star quarterback. This person said Shanahan may be trying to force Snyder into firing him, a decision that would mean the owner would have to pay him the money owed under his contract.
The thing is, no one has blinked. Snyder has not fired Shanahan. Movers haven’t started packing up his things. The threat to bench the franchise quarterback has not paid off.
Which makes us feel bad for Shanahan. Thus, Lindsay and I put our heads together, and came up with a few suggestions for Shanahan’s next play, if he really wants to force Snyder’s hand.
1) Bench Kirk Cousins to protect him; announce that Rex Grossman is the new starting quarterback.
2) Show up to his next press conference carrying the latest issue of Washington City Paper.
3) Admit that the Redskins fully deserved the salary cap penalty.
4) The first time the Redskins line up for a field-goal attempt in Atlanta, call for the swinging gate play.
5) The second time the Redskins line up for a field-goal attempt in Atlanta, call for the swinging gate play.
6) Happily announce that his neighbor signed up for the season ticket waitlist last month, and has already been offered seats for next season.
7) Bench Rex Grossman to protect him; announce that Pat White is the new starting quarterback.
8) Stop saying Redskins; begin saying Washington Professional Football Team.
9) Fire Jim Haslett. Hire as Washington’s new defensive coordinator his little-known cousin, “Rodney Shanahan.”
10) Begin his next press conference like this: “3-10! Not very good!”
11) Give Valkyrie a bad score on Rotten Tomatoes.
12) Lobby for all fans to receive vouchers for free parking at the Cowboys game.
13) Tell reporters that he’ll be flying to upstate New York after the season, to vacation at Turning Stone Resort & Casino.
14) Bench Pat White to protect him; announce that Colt Brennan is the new starting quarterback.
15) Admit that he never really wanted a practice bubble; move practice sessions back to Lifetime Fitness.
16) Use UPS. Repeatedly.
17) Mention that he always liked Billy more than Sonny.
18) Pepper his quotes with references to Austerlitz, Elba and Waterloo.
19) Describe, in great detail, several of his favorite trees along the Potomac River.
20) Bring several pints of vanilla ice cream to the podium each time he speaks.
21) Cancel all mid-week practices until every player on the active roster can pass a conditioning test.
22) Offer exclusive interviews to 106.7 The Fan, John Feinstein, Dave McKenna and DallasCowboys.com.
23) Bench Colt Brennan to protect him; announce that John Beck is the new starting quarterback.