(AP Photo/Russell Contreras)

Joe Theismann called in to “Mike & Mike” on ESPN on Tuesday and had some strong words about the state of the Washington Redskins and their awful 2013 finish.

“I think with the firing of Mike [Shanahan], it’s the beginning of trying to figure out what’s going to happen and move forward,” the Redskins’ legend said. “This year was a total disaster. 2013, from the beginning of training camp where Mike would have a press conference and then Robert [Griffin III] would say something. And then him wanting to play and not getting a chance to play, which I get the preseason. And basically, I felt like the biggest challenge that Mike was gonna have was protecting Robert from himself. Anytime an athlete thinks he can go, they probably can’t because you’re not quite up to the speed and Mike was gonna make sure he was gonna be healthy, or close to healthy, before he put him out there. And that didn’t sit well with Robert.

“And then there was, when you go 3-13, everybody is gonna complain about something. And then you have the interaction between the players where Robert now has to go to the offensive coordinator and have to answer to Santana Moss. It was one thing after another. But you’re right Robert is the focal point and the central point as they go forward. I think Mike did him a favor by giving him a chance to sit him down and give him an offseason with a new coach, probably a new system, to be able to learn.

“But the bottom line is, Robert wasn’t playing good football. They gave up a lot for him and I think he’s gonna have to go out and prove that he was worth, now, all of the picks that were given up for him and be able to do the things that he needs to do to be successful as a quarterback in the National Football League, and that’s throw the ball from the pocket.”

Theismann went on to say that the team’s next offensive coordinator is more important to RGIII than the next head coach.

“It’s hard to say who the perfect coach is gonna be, because I think it’s more about the coordinator than the coach,”  Theismann said. “I really feel like you have to have the right kind of coordinator for the system on offense and Jay Gruden is a guy that I had an association with in the NFL down in Orlando, who I think did a terrific job as an offensive coordinator. Greg Roman out in San Francisco has had Colin Kaepernick.

“I think the top two candidates for head coaching jobs around the league are, Lovie Smith is one*, I think Jack Del Rio has to be considered as another. And of course Todd Bowles’s name has been mentioned. It’s gonna be really important for Robert to be able to work in the offseason and develop the ability to throw the ball down the field accurately.”

Lovie Smith is now off the board with a reported deal with Tampa in the works.