Robert Griffin III’s Status: Is Mike Shanahan Playing Mind Games?
Thursday Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had a full practice for the second consecutive day. This is good news for the Redskins. Griffin III didn’t take reps with the first-team offense once throughout last week.
When reporters asked coach Mike Shanahan if doctors have cleared Griffin III to play Sunday, he stated, “It’s going to be day by day. If there is no setback doctors feel he’ll be ready to go.” Shanahan also said, “He had a good practice, obviously he’s not 100 percent yet, I think everybody knows that.”
The answer that Shanahan provided was very interesting.
Yes it seems as if Griffin III will play Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, but I’m not so sure Shanahan wants to leak that information to the public so quickly. Most importantly, I don’t think he wants the Eagles to know for sure whether Griffin III is playing or not.
We are all aware that defensive coordinators start to grow gray hair by attempting to game plan for Griffin III. The Redskins offense is basically catered towards his strengths, and if he’s not on the field their offense isn’t exactly the same. For that matter, if a defensive coordinator has to guess which quarterback between Kirk Cousins or Griffin III will start, it makes their job even more difficult.
I believe Shanahan is playing mind games with the Eagles. Griffin III has shown signs since last week that he may be able to play. I don’t think there is any doubt in Shanahan’s mind that Griffin III won’t suit up Sunday.
With the way Cousins performed last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, throwing for 329 yards along with two touchdowns and just one interception, I’m sure Eagles defensive coordinator Todd Bowles went into the week a bit confused on which quarterback he should implement his defensive strategy for. With Griffin III at the helm, the Redskins will predominantly run the “pistol offense”, as with Cousins running the show there is no telling what the offense may entail.
I’m sure Griffin III will play Sunday, as Shanahan was all smiles during an interview today. However, you have to love the way the Redskins coach has been playing his cards. To their benefit, Shanahan and “doctors” haven’t been so quick to officially update the world on Griffin III’s status for Sunday.