Redskins Roundup: “There is no conflict”
We’ll get the bad news out of the way quickly. Rookie safety Phillip Thomas is out for the year with a Lisfranc injury. That sucks. Get healthy and stay that way, Brandon Meriweather!
QB Robert Griffin III needs to clam up about his problems with the way Coach Mike Shanahan is handling his rehabilitation and return to action, writes Jason Reid. That’s all very well and good, but it seems to me that RG3‘s public speaking about his dissatisfaction with training camp is interfering with the way Jason Reid likes to do business — by breaking all this news himself after a private chat with the coach. Reid seems to think it is a bad thing when the public learns something about the Redskins that doesn’t come from him or the Post. That’s his professional prerogative, of course, but I don’t think much of the public will sympathize.
Meanwhile, RG3 now says “there is no conflict” between himself and Mike Shanahan. That’s not very believable. I don’t think this is anything big, but Griffin has gone out of his way to emphasize how much he disagrees with the coach over the way he was used on so many called runs last year and on the speed of his return this offseason. And he’s done it all very publicly. That must be driving the secretive Mike Shanahan crazy.
Mike Shanahan talked a bit yesterday about the relationship between a head coach and his starting quarterback:
- Mike Shanahan has been involved with high-profile players before — guys who were in the middle of Hall of Fame careers. The lessons he’s learned can be applied to his dealings with Griffin. “Me and John Elway used to have knock-down, drag-out fights all the time,” Shanahan said. “That’s part of being a competitor. That’s one of the reasons you have a great relationship with your quarterbacks. That’s part of the process. You want that strong mindset, but at the same time, when I look back on that experience and dealing with all these injuries, I think I have a good feel for what a guy can do and can’t do and what it takes to get him ready for his first game. That’s what I hope to do.”
- More from Shanahan on he and Griffin: “One thing that’s interesting about a relationship with a head coach and a quarterback, it’s a constant communication. We’ll have lots of talks. That’s just part of a quarterback and a coach maturing their relationship as time goes on. That happens all the time.” And Shanahan reiterated that he doesn’t mind Griffin saying how much he wants to play.
Griffin takes his first snaps of training camp with the 11-on-11 crew today. It’s a big step in his rehab process.
John Keim writes that WR Josh Morgan played with seven screws in his ankle last year, but is now healthy and making plays he was not capable of making last year.
“Last year he could hardly cut,” Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. “You could see that. He wanted to compete, but he really had a hard time getting in and out of breaks. We kept waiting for him to improve and it didn’t. But he played through it and played hurt and played tough. Now you can see much improvement in his ability to cut.”
WR Aldrick Robinson and CB Chase Minnifield got in the first scuffle of training camp.
Former Redskins QB Donovan McNabb doesn’t like Mike Shanahan, doesn’t like Kyle Shanahan and doesn’t like Robert Griffin III, who spurned McNabb’s offer to sit down and talk about football. Talking on his radio show, McNabb said:
“It’s a shame,” McNabb said on his radio show McNabb and Malone, speaking of RG3‘s reluctance to schedule a meeting. “Over there in Washington, [Griffin's] getting brainwashed. ” …
“They think they have all the answers,” McNabb said on the radio, speaking of Griffin and young quarterbacks in general.
The strongest language in McNabb’s diatribe on Griffin came towards the end, when things almost sounded threatening. McNabb ends his rant saying, “He does not want to go there with me, especially when I got the last word.”
The Redskins hope their pass rush will be a lot better this year than last year’s anemic version and they hope rookie OLB Brandon Jenkins is part of it. I like Jenkins a lot. He says he’s learning quite a bit from Brian Orakpo. What interested me the most was the three speed rusher formation the Redskins used early in the preseason win over the Titans. The Redskins lined up with Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan and Jenkins all on the field. They pushed the pocket and Kerrigan got a sack. I’d like to see more of that. With Rob Jackson suspended for the first four games of the season, Jenkins has a chance to find a spot in the playing rotation early in his rookie year.