RGIII says his fallout with Mike Shanahan was ‘heartbreaking’

(By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

With the start of the Redskins season finally less than a week away, Bleacher Report published a 3,000-plus word feature on “The Complicated Reinvention of [RGIII].” Written by former Yahoo Sports (and Washington Post) writer Les Carpenter, the piece touches on Robert Griffin III’s 2013 campaign, his offseason, his social-media habits, his new coaching staff and new offense, and all the other expected themes.

But there are some strong, and fascinating, words from Griffin in the piece. Here are five of the best quotes; read the full story here.

1) On his 2013 break-up with Mike Shanahan: “For me it was just heartbreaking,” Griffin says. “You know with everything that happened—came into the league with—I was a huge Bronco fan, everybody knew that, and I had the coach of my dreams pick me in the draft.”

He stops. He repeats himself.

“Heartbreaking,” he says.

2) On whether he understands what happened: “No,” he says. “But right now I don’t need to try, you know?…Yeah, I put last year into perspective and have used it as fuel to move me forward, but I don’t need to try to understand why it happened because it’s kind of like trying to understand why there are so many planets out there, or is anyone else out there, or how did God build the human body. How did all this stuff happen? It can drive you crazy.”

3) On public judgment: “I just think I’m the easy guy, the easy target,” he says. “I’m the one that gets the clicks when you’re on ESPN and you’re watching it. ‘Hey, let’s talk bad about [RGIII].’ That’s just the way it is now.”

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4) On groupthink: “Anytime you get into a group you can kind of have groupthink—no one’s saying no, or no one’s saying yes and everyone’s saying no,” Griffin says, an obvious reference to Shanahan, whose employees feared him so much that even long after they have stopped working with him, their words quiver when his name is raised.

“There’s no groupthink going on with this staff,” Griffin says.

5) On brand building: “There’s such a negative connotation when people say ‘building your brand,’ but it’s not about building your brand. It’s just about having people relate to who you are,” he says. “I’m not going to say: ‘I like Cheetos’ if I don’t like Cheetos. I’m not going to say things because I want the money.

“You know why I signed with Subway? Because I ate Subway every day before I went to practice with my teammates. That’s why I signed with Subway. People say: ‘Oh, it’s because of the money,’ but like I said that’s a means to the end. I created that relationship because it was a real relationship.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.



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Dan Steinberg · September 2, 2014