Former Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III again discussed his falling out in Washington, this time during a Wednesday appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” centered around his continued desire to return to the NFL. Griffin told panelist Stephen A. Smith that he’d “like to look forward” instead of back at his tenure in Washington, but he dutifully answered several questions about the Redskins, including one about his feelings about the team.
“No matter what happens, I will always be connected to the Redskins,” Griffin said. “No matter what happens, whether I play again or not. I’m a fan, too. I’m a fan, too, so I sit there and watch the game. I’m not going to just not watch the Redskins games because I used to be there. I’m a fan. You hear guys like Josh Norman come out and say what they say — he came there to win championships, and they’re not doing that. And it’s just a never-ending vicious cycle there. I don’t know necessarily what the problem is, but I wish the best for them. I really do.”
Griffin had previously detailed his version of his falling out with the team and Coach Mike Shanahan during an October appearance on 106.7 The Fan, and his retelling on ESPN this week was similar. He said he had made mistakes in Washington, and that there were things he could have handled better. He said the head coach and the owner and GM had different views about acquiring him, calling it “a split organization,” which is not “a positive situation for any quarterback.” And he said he still has fond memories of 2012, when he seemed poised to become one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
“Coach Shanahan was my dream coach,” Griffin said. “It was an honor to be able to be coached by him. He catered the offense to me, [and] we had magical success. I’m extremely proud about that, and I’m happy that we had that.”
Griffin also said that while he’s grown since 2012, he never became a different person, and that he never became “this guy that [former Redskins officials] like to preach about.” He said he didn’t think it was fair to suggest that he attempted to usurp Shanahan’s power by ingratiating himself with owner Daniel Snyder, adding that he “did everything [coaches] asked me to do.” And he said there’s a “misconception” that he told Shanahan he didn’t want to run the team’s read-option-heavy scheme going into the 2013 season.
“At the end of the year, every single quarterback in the quarterback room meets with their coach: offensive coordinator, [the] head coach if he’s an offensive head coach,” Griffin said. “You meet with him, you talk about what you did the previous year: what you did well, what you didn’t do, what you needed to improve on. We had that meeting. We had that meeting. Never once did I tell Mike Shanahan I didn’t want to run the zone-read, all those things that were said. That was false. We had that meeting. We definitely had that meeting. But that was not what was said.”
Griffin said if he had never gotten hurt in the 2012 season, the Redskins “probably would have had a chance to win a Super Bowl that year.” He glided past a chance to blame others for his injuries, saying “our job is to play, our job is to suck it up, you’ve got to be tough,” and that quarterbacks need to display toughness to their teams. And he emphasized that such talk about the past wasn’t meant to imply that his career is over, saying he is “still here, ready to play ball” and “in better shape than I’ve ever been.”
“The bottom line is, we didn’t win enough games in D.C.,” he said. “I wish I had more than two-and-a-half years. The amount of picks that they gave, you would think I would get more than two-and-a-half years, but I didn’t. So I’ve been able to swallow that pill, move forward and try to better myself and continue to grow as a player, as a person and as a father.”
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