Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III said that he is growing weary of the ongoing off-field drama surrounding his team – most notably himself and Mike Shanahan. The second-year quarterback got emotional, discussing his frustrations over the inability to simply focus on football, and he wondered aloud about the motivation of those leaking such reports.
Griffin in recent weeks has had to tackle a number of controversial topics including his leadership style, his relationship with Mike Shanahan and Kyle Shanahan and rumors that he didn’t want to watch his negative plays during film review sessions, his personality and character.
“That’s not what the game is about,” Griffin said. “Constantly, I come to these press conferences and get asked questions about non-football things as opposed to football. It’s not the way the game should be going. When you are sitting there, 3-10, you partially understand some of it. But at the end of the day, there are other questions that need to be asked and other things that we have to do and one of them is playing better.”
Griffin said that prior to Sunday’s game he hadn’t heard about the report that Shanahan wanted to resign following last season because of frustrations over Griffin’s relationship with owner Daniel Snyder. Griffin said he hoped that none of his teammates had either, because he said they didn’t need a distraction like that.
Two weeks ago, Shanahan defended Griffin against a report that he had asked coaches not to show his negative plays during team film review sessions. That report came out the day before Washington hosted the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football.
Sunday’s report — which team officials suspect came from Shanahan with the belief that the coach is trying to contrive an exit strategy — came out roughly an hour before game time.
Griffin and teammates said that they hadn’t heard about it ahead of time. But the quarterback said he was growing tired of off-field controversy. Griffin hasn’t shied away from discussing shortcomings on the field, but non-football-related drama grates on him.
“It is [getting] old, but I don’t know. It has been the past couple games,” Griffin said. “Is it calculated? I don’t know what it is. Like I said, I still don’t know what the report was, and I’m not going to worry about it.”
Griffin said that the increased frequency of the reports was troubling. He found it interesting that there weren’t any such off-field issues last season, when the team started the year at 3-6.
Griffin said that all of the negativity surrounding the team is avoidable, and that he hopes to be able to simply focus on the upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons.
“I’m getting frustrated now, and trying to hold everything back,” Griffin said, his voice cracking and eyes watering as he spoke. “Some things are allowed to happen, and we can cut a lot of this stuff out, and it is not being cut out. I don’t know what else I can do about that. I come to work every day. I work with those guys every day, and I go to war with them every day. It is very unfortunate, and that is all I can say about it at this time. I will be ready for Atlanta. They are a good football team no matter what their record shows. What we have to do is play hard these last three games.”
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● Full coverage of the Redskins’ coaching situation and the loss on Sunday.
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