Robert Griffin III presser: Coach “shut me down”

Updated: December 11, 2013
Robert Griffin

A humble and soft-spoken Robert Griffin III addressed the media today, no longer the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins, having been benched in favor of Kirk Cousins. In fact, Griffin won’t even be activated for game days. The second-string role goes to veteran backup and Mike/Kyle Shanahan favorite, Rex Grossman.

Griffin said Shanahan “shut me down” for the rest of the season”, handing the job over to Cousins, another product of Washington’s 2012 draft. Griffin said he expressed his desire to play.

When asked if he believes the benching was really due to concerns about his health, Griffin carefully said he has to “respect authority” and listen to his coaches. Griffin said head coach Mike Shanahan told him “He just wanted to make sure that I got to the offseason free of injury so that I can have a good offseason.”

“I’m going to take what coach has decided and roll with it and just try to find ways to help this team win,” said Griffin.

When asked if missing the three games will set him back, Griffin replied “That’s just a state of mind. I’ll do everything I can after practice to continue to get reps.”

“Any quarterback wants to finish out the season with his team when you’re healthy enough to do so. Like I said, it’s coach’s decision. … As a quarterback, you run the plays that are called, you do what your coach tells you to do, and in this instance he’s telling me it’s time to shut it down and I can’t fight that.”

However, with the decision made, Griffin vowed support for the new starter: “He’ll do a good job. I’ll be there for him every step of the way.”

During his almost ten minutes in front of the podium, Griffin said all the right and proper things about Cousins, the coaches and the entire team. At no time did he express, even faintly, bitterness or anger. He looked a bit defeated and showed little emotion, positive or negative, while speaking.

“It’s tough,” said Griffin. “God’s testing me. I still feel blessed to be in the NFL, be with the guys in that locker room.”