The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Brian Mitchell: RGIII should have been out of the game

By Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post.

The RGIII knee debate will likely resemble the Stephen Strasburg Shutdown debate, in which it’s impossible to express an opinion, on either side, without being horribly annoying and overbearing and tendentious and awful. But for now, I suppose I should transcribe what a few prominent voices said about Mike Shanahan’s decision to stick with an obviously gimpy and ineffective Robert Griffin III Sunday evening.

“That was a guy who was obviously injured, ok?” Brian Mitchell said on Comcast SportsNet’s post-game live, while footage of RGIII hobbling out of bounds played over his voice. “I played quarterback. And I think I was a damn good athlete. If I was limping like that, I’m not — I am NOT — anywhere close to being 75 percent. And I think at that point, he should have been out of the game….Those type of guys, you’ve got to help protect them. And I think Robert should have been protected today from himself.”

Then came Doc Walker.

“When he rolled out in the first quarter and threw a pass to Garcon that was incomplete when I thought he should have run, he asked his body to stop on a dime and throw, which he’s done so often, and the leg didn’t support him,” Walker said. “And at that point, I felt that it would have been a very difficult decision — it would have been unpopular, Mike would have been booed — but it might have been the thing to do [to take him out].

“Because at that point, Seattle looked at him and said we don’t think he can run,” Walker continued. “He’s struggling. And at that point, you’re in a do-or-die situation. It’s not about hurting feelings, it’s about the 52 guys that need to move on. You either move on, or you’re gonna die with a guy who wants to play. It’s not his decision at that point. And Mike said he made a gut decision, and you’ve got to live with it. But he had to make one, and he made one that didn’t favor his team, obviously.”

“What happened was, he couldn’t run, ok, we get that part,” Trevor Matich said. “But at the moment when it became clear that he also could not move this team with his arm, that’s when the tipping point came and the decision could have been made to make a change at quarterback. Not that he couldn’t run, not that he couldn’t scramble, not that he couldn’t extend plays. But that he couldn’t stay in the pocket and burn a defense that was overloading the box against Alfred Morris.”

“If you’re a quarterback and you can’t drive off your push leg, you are no help to your team,” B-Mitch then said. “Now I could sit here and listen to Mike Shanahan, he gave us a straight political Presidential-type press conference right there. All that stuff he said, throw 75 percent of it out the window. He did not tell you the truth. They should have taken the boy out of the game, point blank. They did not, they made a mistake, and now they’re trying to cover up for it. Point blank.”