Many times, fine souls I meet tell me how I have their dream job, how they’d like nothing better than a blank computer screen and a pot of coffee and a mission to write about D.C. sports, how it’s amazing that I get paid to do what so many would gladly do for free. And mostly, I agree.
Other days, I have to transcribe the comments of 16 different ESPN analysts talking about the relationship between Robert Griffin III and Mike Shanahan. Those are the days when I think longingly of a simpler age, when I carried around 75 pound wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, and had contests with my boss to see who could sell more deluxe cheese items to wealthy dowagers, and attempted to stifle the gag reflex that was triggered by taking huge whiffs of our unrefrigerated Colston Bassett Stilton.
Anyhow, bearing in mind that The Post has not exactly shied away in recent days from the topic of Griffin’s relationship with Shanahan, I still figured I owed it to my loyal readers to transcribe the comments of 16 different ESPN analysts talking about that relationship. Thank me with high fives next time you see me.
Scott Van Pelt: I told anyone who would listen as soon as the offseason began that this summer would be insufferable in Washington D.C. INSUFFERABLE….Every thing, every moment feels like it’s almost like The Truman Show — it’s all on display. And instead of just being like you know what, hey, I’d love to play, but what matters is can I play Monday night against the Eagles when the season kick off, it turns into this….And it won’t end. We’re not done with this.
Adam Schefter: This is two strong-minded men, each determined to get what they want and succeed in their own respective ways. And right now RGIII’s job is and has been to play, and Mike’s job is to do what’s best for that franchise and make sure that he’s good and ready before he plays. And I don’t think there’s any real tension and anger between the two of them. I think that they’ve had continuous communication. It’s not an ideal relationship, probably. I don’t know that any relationship between a coach and quarterback is ideal, ever. And I think that the two men definitely respect each other. They work together, there’s been healthy communication throughout the offseason, they’ve had meetings, talks. I mean, RGIII had his rehearsal dinner at Mike Shanahan’s restaurant in Denver. This is not a Dan Reeves-John Elway type situation.
Herm Edwards: I think Robert Griffin realizes that, regardless of how he said it or what he said, it really became a little bit sticky for this organization and for Mike Shanahan. And I think at this point Robert Griffin realizes that you know what, maybe I shouldn’t talk so much about my injury and where I’m at and the situation. I’ll let the coach handle that….And Robert Griffin has to understand that what they’re doing is in his best interest….He’s trying to clean up something, because this becomes all of the sudden a topic. And you don’t want this to become part of the topic. I’ve always said this to the players: It’s about the guys that are practicing. And right now you’re not practicing full-time, so you don’t need to talk. You really don’t.
Mark Schlereth: I will tell you this, having been hurt a lot and missed a lot of practice time and missed some games during the course of my career: There is no more lonely place in the world than being hurt and watching your other guys go out there and get it done. And there is no quarterback controversy here, there’s no chance of RGIII losing his job, but the bottom line is when somebody else is taking your reps, it hurts you. When you’re a competitor, it hurts you. And you start to question, well maybe that guy IS doing it better, maybe he’s getting reps that I should be getting, maybe he’s gaining on me. Not in a selfish way – you’re there for your team – but you want to be participating in those practices with your guys. Especially if you’re RGIII, you want to be leading your team….And when you can’t be out there, man, you feel like you’re a pariah, you feel like you’re not part of the team. Regardless of how big a part of the team you are, you feel like you’re not a part of it. It’s a gut-wrenching feeling.
Bill Plaschke: Yes, I think it is problematic for Washington, and the reason is, there’s no more important relationship – maybe in all of sports – than the head coach and the quarterback. And they have to be on the same page, they have to be publicly on the same page. You don’t hear Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady or Drew Brees talking about their coaches. And here we have RGIII questioning – actually questioning the truthfulness – of Mike Shanahan, saying he gave me his word. Well guess what, RGIII, I believe you gave him your word you were okay last year when you went back into that game….He needs to calm down and be quiet.
Pablo Torre: The lack of consensus here is absolutely fine — they’re playing exactly the roles that they should be playing publicly. You have Mike Shanahan finally, finally being a hard-line head coach, being the bad cop, telling RGIII you can’t go into this game – and remember, it’s only the preseason. And then on the other side of the scale, you have RGIII, the young quarterback who only wants to play the game, because he loves it so much, he’s chomping at the bit, all of those clichés that we like to use to describe guys who love to play. And remember, it’s the preseason.
Bomani Jones: Being on the same page was their problem last year, because Shanahan needed to be the guy to tell Robert Griffin that he could not play. Where the problem comes up this time is not the fact that they disagree – because you want Griffin to want to come back, and you want Shanahan to be responsible. The problem that I saw was Robert Griffin basically put his head coach in a box when he come out and said he gave me his word. This is on the heels of saying I will be playing Week 1. I don’t care if he’s right, I don’t care if he’s wrong: I guarantee you Mike Shanahan is not so eager to have this 20-something-year-old dude telling him what he’s going to do with his football team. And that’s where you’ve got to wonder where this is going to go for the Redskins.
Jackie MacMullan: To me, at the end of the day, both of them know the same thing: RG Griffin’s going to start Game 1 of the Washington Redskins season….So that’s the first thing. And honestly, with RGIII, he’s got to understand the flack that Shanahan took, because Shanahan trusted him and gave him his word and let him go back into that game.
Bob Ryan: I’m an outsider, okay? I’m looking at this with a detached viewpoint about this, and as a fan of RGIII. Who can’t be a fan of RGIII?….I think that Shanahan is being rightfully cautious in not letting him play in those games. On that one, I have no problem. But that inference [of a promise], whoo, I don’t know anything about that.
Michael Wilbon: I’m going to read between the lines a little bit, and say with some confidence that RGIII doesn’t trust the Shanahans. And there’s no real need. I know you’re not shocked by this; he doesn’t trust them. And you know what, at this point there’s no real reason. The trust is still developing, perhaps on both sides. But he doesn’t believe that the Shanahans won’t give his job to Kirk Cousins, because they WILL give his job to Kirk Cousins, and this is why you don’t draft Kirk Cousins, who’s a young, ambitious guy. He’s not a middle-aged guy, happy to carry a clipboard on Sundays. He wants to play, he’s capable, RGIII is coming off an injury. There is potential trouble here.
Dan Le Batard: This coach is paid to make these decisions. You can’t allow a player to police himself; otherwise they’d all want to play quarterback. It’s why you have coaches. I get why RGIII did that though…It is a little bit delicious, is it not, that you’ve got a situation where Mike Shanahan played him while he was limping and now doesn’t want to play him now that he’s not. He played him while he was limping because he needed to win a playoff game and those are tied to his resume in a way these games aren’t.
Dan Le Batard’s Dad: Before the season starts the crisis will be over; his father will be part of the coaching staff.
John Clayton: RGIII keeps bringing it up. [Monday] he started to really go off on it, which I’m surprised. It’s like hey, they’re caring about his long-term health, along with his short-term health, and he seems to be resisting. It’s like, now what does he want to do? Does he really want to play a preseason game? Even last year Adrian Peterson didn’t play a preseason game. So it seems like he’s going against the wishes of both the doctor and the coach….Why risk it in a preseason game?
Mike Tirico: It sounds like Robert is very uptight, he’s very itchy, he’s very antsy. And that’s why you have coaches who’ve done this for a long time to just hit the patience button and say we don’t need to waste it in the preseason, we know what you can do.
Skip Bayless: I’m going to exercise some tough love on Robert Griffin III here today. This [clarification] was the wrong move, because it was a completely unnecessary move….I hate it. I’m concerned about the fact that almost on a daily basis we all have to sit back and watch Robert Griffin III clarify his remarks or restate his position on this issue or that issue or this or that. And I must admit to you, I’m concerned, because the face of the franchise leader of the Washington Redskins is coming across slowly but surely, just in part, as almost a thin-skinned diva receiver type, who overreacts to everything that’s said in the media about him, and especially by his Twitter followers about him….Stop it. Stay above it. Keep your differences with Mike Shanahan behind closed doors, because this is not a good look for you or your football team right now.
Stephen A. Smith: I fully support what he did [Tuesday], because I suspect that the Senior VP for Communications, Mr. Tony Wyllie, for the Washington Redskins, is behind this, and this dude is one of the most brilliant dudes at what he does. He’s one of the best in the business….Again, you’re talking about damage control, because this story was not going anywhere, and it was something that was going to linger.