The Washington Post

Cooley on RGIII and film study

(John McDonnell/The Washington Post) (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

So: that Michael Silver report about RGIII not wanting to have the film of his bad plays shown in meeting rooms.

On the one hand, Mike Shanahan denied that report in the strongest words. So did Robert Grifffin III. Strong, adamant, on-the-record denials from the two main actors in this drama count for a lot.

“It’s false. That’s why I didn’t respond to it, because it’s no need to respond to untrue things,” Griffin said. “It’s what coach said it was, ‘completely false.’ People trying to character assassinate me, and it’s unfortunate.”

On the other hand…

Chris Cooley was asked about the report during the Redskins Radio Network pregame show on Monday night, heard locally on ESPN 980. This is a man who knows Griffin well, and who has been inside those meetings. He could have said, “That’s the silliest report I’ve ever heard in my life.” He could have said, “There’s not a chance in the world that happened.” He did not.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if, off-handed, Robert said, I would prefer to only look at the good plays,” Cooley said. “When I played for Joe Gibbs, he chose to show — pregame or the night before — all the plays that the other team did really well. And we thought, ‘Why are we looking at how great they are, when we could be looking at how great we are?’

“Everyone has different motives, and Robert maybe doesn’t want to see his bad things and focus on the positive,” Cooley continued. “But at the same time, you have to be able to self-deprecate in this business. You have to be able to evaluate yourself, to be critical of yourself. The players around you are not blind. And they’re going to watch the film in their own room, anyways, and understand from themselves and their coaches what Robert did poorly. So I think it’s a little over the top. And again, they’re not going to change the way they evaluate film because a player says, can you not show my bad plays. They have to show all the plays so they understand what they’re doing.”

That’s, like, not in the same continent as, “That’s the silliest report I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Just for whatever that’s worth.


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



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Dan Steinberg · November 26, 2013