Latest Shanahan Atrocity: Robert Griffin III has been benched

Updated: December 11, 2013
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Redskins

Multiple media sources are reporting that later today Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan will announce what he hinted at in his Monday press conference — he is benching QB Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins. Not only will Griffin not start the game, he will not even be active. Shanahan favorite Rex Grossman will be the second string quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday — and, presumably, going forward for the rest of the season until Shanahan is fired.

I have already made my position on this clear — I think it is a terrible idea and a fairly clear example of Shanahan doing what he thinks is in his own best interest, not the best interest of the team paying his salary.

It is also a damning indictment of Shanahan himself. The ostensible reason for benching Griffin — that he will be injured behind an offensive line that gave up six sacks last Sunday and 25 over the last five weeks — means that after four years building a roster in Washington, Shanahan admits he still does not have an offensive line capable of protecting the franchise’s most valuable asset. Remember, this offensive line was assembled, through the draft or by trade or free agency, entirely by Mike Shanahan himself.

What’s more, the offensive line has been remarkably healthy the past two season. The Redskins’ starting linemen missed almost no games in 2012 and 2013 and yet now, in the fourth year of the Shanahan regime, the line is so bad it cannot be trusted to block for RG3. It’s a disgrace and one that can be laid directly at the feet of Shanahan himself.

Cousins played well in relief of an injured Griffin last year, winning his only start, a road game in Cleveland, and compiling a passer rating of 101.6 and a QBR of 71.2. However, in 2013, Cousins has struggled, with a QBR of 0.9 and a passer rating of 26.6. He has completed fewer than half his passes this season and has two interceptions against zero TD passes.

Team owner Dan Snyder apparently has told Mike Shanahan he will not interfere in this decision. He should.