Theismann: Benching RGIII is ‘admirable’

December 11, 2013

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The conventional wisdom — currently shared by approximately 173.7 percent of Redskins fans — is that Mike Shanahan is attempting to burn down everything in Redskins Park on his way out of town. Hope he spares the Wegmans, at least.

Anyhow, here’s a counter-intuitive take from Joe Theismann, who somehow has decided to take Shanahan at his word. Like, Theismann appears actually to believe that Shanahan is benching Robert Griffin III out of genuine concern for his health. FOR HIS HEALTH! The coach who played Griffin until his knee disintegrated last winter, and who ran out a gimpy RGIII in the season opener against Philadelphia, and who stuck with Griffin through four Justin Tuck sacks and then a Kansas City onslaught on a beat up field, is doing this FOR HIS HEALTH.

Just not sure how to even grapple with that take.

“Robert’s made some decisions in games that just haven’t allowed the football team to progress and win a football game, but every quarterback does that,” Theismann said Wednesday morning on ESPN Radio, when asked about the benching. “I admire what Mike is doing. I mean, it’s speculation that he’s going to be gone [next season]. And when you lose as many games as the Redskins have lost, there’s a chance that he will be gone. But what he’s doing is he’s trying to protect the franchise quarterback, a guy he drafted, to give him a chance to be able to have an offseason to go to work.

“So I think it’s somewhat admirable that he’s trying to protect the franchise and this young man from the beating that he’s taken over the last five weeks,” Theismann continued. “But then I ask myself the question, how does Kirk Cousins feel? You’re saving Robert for the offseason, and YOU’RE going out there. And then the next thing that comes up is what happens if Kirk Cousins plays very well, because remember who they’re playing. An Atlanta Falcons team that’s given up 360 points. A Cowboys team that defensively is very porous, and a Giants team….They’re not playing the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, the Kansas City Chiefs or the Denver Broncos. So the chances are that that Kirk could place quite well in this game, and then we have a WHOLE ‘nother conversation when the offseason comes around.”

Like I said, it’s an interesting angle. Would love to hear Theismann’s theory on who leaked the office cleaning story. Janitors, likely.

As for the relationship between Dan Snyder and Robert Griffin III, well:

“[Snyder] doesn’t have a relationship with Robert that people think he does,” Theismann said. “That’s the furthest thing from the truth.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod | December 11, 2013