Cooley on the RGIII/Shanahan divide

December 31, 2013

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

There will come a day, possibly soon, when zero people will remain interested in what went wrong between Mike Shanahan and Robert Griffin III. I’m not convinced that day has yet arrived.

Thus, here’s Chris Cooley, talking Monday afternoon on his ESPN 980 program about the relationship between the former coach and the starting quarterback.

“He has a hard time understanding what Mike didn’t like about him,” Cooley said of Griffin. “There was a problem with their relationship, but there was also this idea that Mike didn’t like Robert. And that idea wasn’t just among Robert; there were a lot of people that saw that Mike had a problem with Robert. And Mike never talked to Robert about that problem. So you’re a young guy; all you want to know is what people think of you, what people really want, what they expect, how they feel about you. And Robert throughout the entire year was under the impression that his head coach really didn’t like him.

“And he didn’t know why,” Cooley continued. “He was never told why. There was never a meeting to say hey, this is a problem, this is what I don’t like about you. You can’t do that. You have to know. When I was a player, I had to know. Even if it’s bad, just give me the bad news. Bad news is [better] than not knowing and just thinking the worst. So I was proud of Robert [for not criticizing the Shanahans], because I think he did respect a lot of what Kyle had done, I knew he got along well with Kyle, because guys that I trust said that they got along well. Rex Grossman said that they got along just fine all the time, they worked together all the time….

“They did care deeply about Robert Griffin becoming a great football player,” Cooley continued. “I talked to Kyle Shanahan, and I was aware that he wanted Robert to be the best football player he could be. He was out of the drama; I don’t believe he was in the drama. I think it all just circulated around a couple people having some simple conversations, some down-to-earth human conversations. That’s sad that that was the end of it and that’s a problem, but hopefully Robert’s learned a lot from that. It seems to me, talking to him not on the record at all, that he has and that he’ll move forward. He wants to be the beloved best quarterback of all time, he wants his teammates to respect him, he wants to be a leader, and I think he’ll show that more.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · December 31, 2013